Here’s How to Have a Speakeasy-Style NYE at Houston’s ‘Number-One’ Hotel. But First — Holly Jolly Cocktails!

Here’s How to Have a Speakeasy-Style NYE at Houston’s ‘Number-One’ Hotel. But First — Holly Jolly Cocktails!

Menage a Trois cocktail

ENTER THE CODE on the hidden door disguised as a bookshelf and give it a hard shove. Then wind through the bustling kitchen and enter another door, which opens to a softly lit hideaway. You’ve arrived at Bandista, the cool little speakeasy upstairs at the Four Seasons Hotel Houston.


Feel lucky, because with only 20 seats, dim lighting and zero outdoor views, it could be any time of day and in any city, which makes it truly feel like an escape. Spiffy bartenders are extra attentive to each guest, carefully crafting high-end cocktails that are works of art served in specialty glassware and goblets. (With service like this, it's no surprise the Four Seasons was recently named No. 1 hotel in Houston and the No. 19 hotel in the world by Condé Nast Traveler.)

You’ll be greeted with a snack of fried mushroom chips with a horseradish cream dip, a tasty nosh complemented by one of Bandista’s classics like the beautiful Spirited Courage. This must-try is a fruity take on the French 75 made with house made raspberry purée and meticulously garnished with whole raspberries. If that sounds like a chick drink, The Dead Man Walking is stout with Sipsmityh V.J.O.P, lemon, Americano, Italicus, and Nouvelle-Orleans Absinthe (um, this one has a limit of two — whew!).

To make things even jollier, consider the roster of new holiday cocktails —some of which come with little treats! — created under the guidance of beverage manager Johnathan Jones. Rich in flavor, the cocktails are prepared with elements of surprise and glamour. Its Menage a Trois pushes the envelope by transforming a Brandy Alexander into a trio of experiences: Expect a fog of Krigler’s “Established Cognac 66" perfume, followed by made-to-order Brandy Alexander ice cream. Lastly, sip cognac with an added bouquet of chocolate and mouth feel of cream.


Crime of Passion is a tangy (and showy!) twist on a traditional tiki cocktail combining passion fruit, coconut and tequila, transporting you to another time and place. Served in a carved wooden goblet, the libation is briefly set aflame at presentation. For a refreshing rum libation, try Strawberry Fields for Now and dance through strawberry and cabernet fields with subtle hints of balsamic and Fernet-Branca. This cocktail is accompanied by a goat cheese biscuit snack. (Want a meal? Check out Bayou & Bottle or more upscale Toro Toro upstairs.)

Because of its intimate size, reservations are required to enter Bandista. The speakeasy, which just added service on Wednesdays, has also refined its extensive fine spirits list, as well as its curated menu of half bottles of wine and Champagne.

Speaking of bubbles, to celebrate the last night of 2022, Bandista is hosting a New Year’s Eve Party. Guests who reserve a 90-minute seating between 5pm and midnight will have the option of ordering a la carte or selecting a NYE menu ($125), which includes a half-bottle of Laurent-Perrier Champagne, a “bump” of caviar, and a cocktail from the Bandista menu (Menage a Trois not included). Guests of the 10:30pm seating will also receive a molecular Champagne “toast” at the turn of the year.

Food
Duos, Trios and Teams: ‘Next-Generation’ Mother-Daughter Leppert Duo Debuts

Clare Leppert and Clementine, the Cavachon. Leigh Leppert and Benny, the Bernedoodle.

HOW DID YOU come together as a team? This fall, we are celebrating the introduction of an exciting real estate collaboration between Clare Leppert, longtime Houston Realtor®, and daughter Leigh Leppert. Clare shared a 20+ year real estate partnership with her mother, Bette Carpenter, until Bette’s death in 2016. Having worked solo for several years, Clare in 2021 was awarded Houston Business Journal’s No. 2 Luxury Realtor® in Houston. Leigh, who has been working in marketing for the past decade, has always shared a passion for real estate and watched Clare successfully balance family and career. We are excited to re-create the next generation of a mother-daughter duo at Compass!

Keep ReadingShow less

Orleans Seafood (photo by Becca Wright)

FORGET MARCH MADNESS — mudbug madness has arrived. Fans think the little critters taste like baby lobsters, so they can’t gobble up enough. Here’s where to hit for the most badass boils in town.

Keep ReadingShow less
Food

Lobster royale at Tonight & Tomorrow

WHETHER YOU’RE IN the mood for intimate dining, a destination to impress, or a sexy spot that electrifies, Houston has you covered. For Valentine’s Day, here’s your perfect 10 — with specials to boot!
Keep ReadingShow less
Food