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!
Tell us about your business. What’s unique about your partnership and how does the relationship benefit the business? Clare’s experience in the luxury market for the last 20+ years is enhanced by Leigh’s fresh take on marketing and insight on the ever-evolving Houston neighborhoods. We recognize that real estate is so much more than just “the house.” Exceeding client expectations, marketing, negotiating, hand-holding, and successfully maneuvering in changing markets are what we do best.
What is the Leppert Ladies’ secret to success? We take a family approach to real estate. Clare and Leigh provide a combination of grit and grace, constantly striving to protect and honor clients’ privacy and to prioritize clients’ best interests.
What makes your partnership effective? Clients benefit from the expertise of not one but two Realtors! Clare is a top-producing, seasoned agent in the luxury market who grew up in River Oaks and knows the tried and true Houston neighborhoods. Leigh offers knowledge about current marketing and advertising strategies and is a connoisseur of Houston hotspots and happenings.
What can Houston expect from this duo? We specialize in assisting clients in all seasons of life. From leasing or purchasing for the first time to empty-nesting and beyond, Clare and Leigh will be there! Our goal is to be your real estate partner for generations to come.
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.
Looking to save a little dough? Order the live crawfish 88Special, a melding of each of the café’s seasoning blends tossed in the same bag. Go ahead, inhale a few pounds! Tip: regulars like it extra-spicy.
With a designated crawfish menu, BB’s lets you build a tray any way you like. Choose seasonal crawfish with its signature spice and sauce or “the Louisiana way.” Add on potato, mushrooms, corn, boiled onion, veggies, and a wide variety of sausage links.
Crawfish come boiled and bagged at this bustling café in the Heights, so it’s easy to pick up your order or dine in. Choose your seafood and your sauce — like lemon pepper, Thai basil or coco loco — and a preferred spice level, then dig in! Also look for crawfish eggrolls, crawfish cheesebread, and garlic noodles with crawfish.
Prep at Crawfish & Noodles
Houston’s original Viet-Cajun outpost recently spawned a new location at the Houston Farmers Market, and its original on Bellaire in Asia Town is still bustling. It’s “world famous” Viet-Cajun garlic seasoned crawfish arrive with butter, secret sauce, corn on the cob, potato and sausage. Followers wait in long lines to grab a taste of the action.
Crawfish season has officially commenced at this Heights newcomer located in the former Revival Market space. Every Sunday, the café will offer freshly boiled mudbugs through Feb. 12.
Orleans Seafood (photo by Becca Wright)
Travel west for gumbo, jambalaya, char-grilled oysters, po’boys and spicy crawfish. The kitchen only serves fresh Louisiana crawfish in-season, so grab ‘em while you can. Also anticipate crawfish etouffee; crawfish bisque; fried crawfish tails with French fries — and live Zydeco bands throughout February.
Crawfish at a BBQ joint? Yep! Thursday through Sunday, order by the pound ($12.95), which also includes corn, mushrooms, and andouille sausage. Groups can indulge in The Feast ($90) complete with three pounds of crawfish, one pound of shrimp, two snow crab clusters, link sausage and sides.
The Original Houston Ragin’ Cajun is now serving fresh Louisiana crawfish. Consistently making “best crawfish in Houston” lists, the perfectly seasoned and steaming pound of crawfish can be accompanied by corn on the cob, potatoes, a sausage link, and melted butter for dipping.
As posh as its food is imaginative, Doris is an intimate neighborhood gem. Its Middle Eastern origins make it even more intriguing in a city full of American steakhouses. On Feb. 14, the a la carte menu will be on offer — consider the standout porterhouse for two — and guests will receive complimentary heart-shaped blondie cookies from its Badolina Bakery. Optionally, choose steaks from the on-site butcher shop and cooking tips to take home.
Looking for dinner and a view? Try the sleek rooftop lounge. Upstairs or down in the airy modern dining room, choose from any dish from the regular menu for Valentine’s Day. Chef Greg Peters’ special features include A5 aged ribeye with bourbon butter and beef tartare topped with quail egg and caviar. Start with the Loose Cannon cocktail, a blend of citrus vodka, mint and sparkling rosé... The night is young.
La Colombe d'Or
Check out Tonight & Tomorrow for dinner, or check-in for the night at Houston’s most romantic, art-filled European-style inn. Its Valentine’s dinner features a starter, entrée and dessert with dishes including prime beef tenderloin, salmon, lobster and more ($97 per person). Pop by cozy Bar No.3 for specialty Valentine’s Day cocktails. The hotel’s “Amour” overnight package includes a craft cocktail and in-room bottle of Champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and breakfast for two. Reserve online here.
Lee's Den (photo by Jenn Duncan)
Waiting for the weekend to celebrate? Sneak away to this tropical “treehouse” atop Local Foods in Rice Village. Shareable plates mirror the paradise vibe, like sesame ginger meatballs with Thai basil; Forbidden Rice balls; halibut with Japanese squash; for dessert, mille crepe cake with miso caramel. On the upstairs terrace (weather-permitting), kick things off with a Champagne cocktail touting lavender bitters and a ginger twist.
Lulu's pappardelle bolognese (photo by Kirsten Gilliam)
If any restaurateur knows about setting the mood, it’s Armando Palacios, co-founder of Lulu’s, the cozy Italian joint in the same River Oaks center as his eponymous restaurant. Settle in for the Valentine’s Day three-course tasting menu including bread service and a glass of prosecco, and a choice of featured specials or the regular menu, like smoked ricotta ravioli or Black Angus tenderloin ($75 per person).
March (photo by Julie Soefer)
It’s a thrilling time to visit one of Houston’s most romantic and elegant restaurants, as the culinary team is about to unleash its next menu theme: Greece! When award-winning March re-opens Feb. 8, chef Felipe Riccio’s new tasting menu will reflect the exploration of Greece’s roots from land and sea with re-imagined classics and some of Greece’s most iconic wines.
Navy Blue carrot cake
Reserve a cushy banquette with a view of the open kitchen at this sophisticated seafood newcomer where the firecracker staff pamper you. Let us count the ways to fall in love with chef Aaron Bludorn’s menu: Start with tuna crudo, fennel and apple; segue to luxe seafood risotto and swordfish au poivre; end with mind-blowing carrot cake garnished with sweet cream cheese and candied ginger.
State of Grace oysters (photo by Andrew Thomas Lee)
Is there a food more reputed as an aphrodisiac than oysters? This River Oaks fave boasts a cool, tucked-away oyster bar with daily changing bivalves. Or go all out with a table in the dining room and special prixe fixe menu ($145 per person). Start with the amuse bouche of caviar service and oysters, followed by three courses of your choice — think Texas quail and roasted bone marrow — plus dessert. Reservations here.
Ten Sushi (photo by Kirsten Gilliam)
Bathed in vibrant pink and murals of cherry blossoms, sexy Ten Sushi will flatter your Valentine with rosy hues in a compelling setting. Start with the Forbidden Roll layered with fresh seafood and avocado perfectly paired with the cocktail “Lychee Like That.” Whatever you order, you really can’t go wrong here.
Uchi (photo by Logan Crable)
Outside-the-box Japanese restaurants Uchi in Montrose and Uchiko in Uptown will each offer a 10-plus-course omakase tasting menu (also available to-go!) for Valentine’s Day. Highlights include softshell crab maki and Wagyu strip steak at Uchi, and Sawara crudo and black truffle squab at Uchiko. Call to reserve: Uchi, 713-522-4808; Uchiko, 713-522-4808.