THERE'S NEVER A bland moment in the Houston restaurant world. This week's food news is piping hot, with a side of wasabi! Read on for more.
Uchiko Opens May 23
Hai Hospitality opened Loro in February to great acclaim, and is following up with another equally anticipated hot spot: Uchiko will open in the Zadok family's Post Oak Place development on May 23, almost exactly 10 years after the Austin-based group opened its Houston outpost of Uchi. Chef de Cuisine Shaun King is finalizing the menu, which touts similar sections to that of Uchi — Makimono, Cool Tastings, Hot Tastings, etc. — as well as staple Uchi items like Hama Chili and the P-38 roll. Uchiko will set itself apart, though, in its rich flavors and smoky profiles, as in the seared and charred beef served alongside foie au Poivre. As for libations, expect plenty of ones with shochu and Japanese whisky, and a unique Tea Smoked Martini with smoked gin concentrate, jasmine tea and, yes, more gin.
New Chef and Menus at La Colombe d'Or
One year after reopening as Tonight & Tomorrow following a grand renovation and expansion, the restaurant at La Colombe d'Or has named a new chef and the hotel has a new food and beverage director. JB Babaran now helms the kitchen, adding some French techniques and flavors to the coastal-European menu. Seasonal dishes newly include a cacciucco seafood stew, lamb shank barbacoa, and grilled rabbit. Drinks at Bar No. 3 are inspired by and named after the pieces in the hotel's sculpture garden, a la RockGrowthRoot, a cocktail of dark rum and coffee liquor. Meanwhile, Newstonian Calvin Salemi oversees the day-to-day operations of the restaurant and bar.
This Week's Must-Hit Happy Hour
Sliders at NoPo (photo by Kirsten Gilliam)
Ben Berg's NoPo Café, Market & Bar just rolled out a new weekday happy hour, offered from 3-6pm. There's a new menu of plates designed for sharing — fritto misto, fried pickles and spinach dip, all under $10 — and list of seven cocktails crafted by Alba Juerta available for $4 off. There's also happy-hour pricing on pizza, sliders, beer and wine. Cheers to that!
James Beard Nom Overhauls Popular Restaurant
Curry fish balls (photo by Kim Park)
In Katy, chef Alex Au-Yeung owns and operates the Malaysian spot Phat Eatery and its newer sister resto Yelo, named for a color associated with joy. Yelo originally opened as a grab-and-go banh mi and Vietnamese street food concept , but Au-Yeung, who was a 2022 James Beard Award semi-finalist for Best Chef: Texas, has shifted its focus. The counter-service restaurant now showcases street foods from all over Southeast Asia, with items that homage his childhood in Hong Kong and his training in Cantonese kitchens, along with his time in Houston. New plates include impossibly stretchy Chinese-style hand-pulled noodles, curry fish balls and firecracker shrimp — but the craft banh mis remain.
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