These CityBook partners are among the best eateries in the most deliciously diverse city.
Infused with the charm of a bustling Parisian café, Berg Hospitality’s newest concept is in Autry Park on Buffalo Bayou. Anticipate modern French cuisine — brunch, lunch and dinner — served in a very pretty space with picturesque views of the park. 811 Buffalo Park Dr.
Venture in for the deep-fried A5 Wagyu katsu sando, or similarly stacked deli sandwich in the adjoining butcher shop, at this boutique steakhouse. A rooftop terrace makes B&B a premiere Sunday brunch destination. 1814 Washington Ave.
Find classic Italian-American food with modern twists in a lively setting, in the heart of Sugar Land’s Town Square. 16250 City Walk
The old-fashioned-yet-upscale bar setting, complete with green-checkered tablecloths and tufted leather banquettes, serves starters like blue-crab beignets, chili and New England clam chowder. 1809 Washington Ave.
Bringing to mind Chinese restaurants in Ben Berg’s native New York, from the menu to the decor, Benny Chows is a delight. With Chinese-born exec chef Shirong Mei at the helm, it serves dishes both familiar — dim sum, Peking Duck — and uniquely Texan, a la the Smoked Brisket Egg Roll starring Truth BBQ. 1818 Washington Ave.
Wine with lunch and bubbles with brunch is the norm at this sceney River Oaks spot. Situated in the center of a busy shopping strip, it’s reminiscent of a Parisian sidewalk café. 1962 W. Gray St.
At this speakeasy lounge reminiscent of a 1950s Cuban club, guests can enjoy cocktails designed by Alba Huerta, chef-driven small plates, as well as nightly live “bossa nova style” music and tunes by local DJs on weekend nights. 1800 Post Oak Blvd.
Jonathan’s the Rub has two locations in the Memorial area and is open for brunch, lunch, dinner and special occasions, touting steaks, meatballs, gumbo and hearty American cuisine. The eatery is also known for its catering services, private events and putting on amazing wine dinners at the Memorial Green location. Multiple locations
An all-day café from Ben Berg, NoPo offers a menu of classics like a piled-high club sandwich, pizzas and more. In the front, find unique local provisions, premade meals and freshly baked pastries to-go. New happy-hour specials and cocktail list! 1244 N. Post Oak Rd.
Chef Danny Trace’s handmade pastas come with the option of tableside truffle service, and baguettes and pastries are made in house by pastry chef David Berg. A supremely sexy cocktail lounge serves as a festive gathering area with a happy hour to boot. 1515 Texas Ave.
Under new ownership, the upscale spot on the Westheimer Curve is an elegant space touting a richly classic menu — lobster tortellini, stuffed lambchops — that now includes killer pizzas and dessert staples like cannoli. One of the best bread baskets in town. Brunch is lovely. 415 Westheimer Rd.
A steakhouse standout delivers in its rich side dishes — the Hasselback potatoes are excellent — and desserts. Crowds of pretty people pour in early and stay late, so reservations are recommended. In River Oaks District
Polished and glamorous, Tavola on Post Oak aims to be the next see-and-be scene in a neighborhood known for them. Chef Luca Di Benedetto’s wild-boar ragu is a must-try. 1800 Post Oak Blvd.
A fine-dining stalwart for decades, The Annie Café & Bar has ample private-event spaces and impeccably executed white-tablecloth service. 1800 Post Oak Blvd.
The restaurant inside storied Montrose hotel La Colombe d’Or boasts eclectic but sophisticated European dishes with Southern touches. Be sure to check out the cocktail lounge, Bar No. 3. 3410 Montrose Blvd.
An Italian-American spot from Berg Hospitality looks like a trattoria you might stumble upon in rural Italy, with enchanting and spacious indoor and garden seating. 911 W. 11th St.
At hidden-gem Turner’s, the food is as decadent as the environment (which is kicked up a notch further with live vocalists accompanying the pianist on weekends). 1800 Post Oak Blvd.
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WHILE YOU WON’T be noshing British teatime favorites crumpets and scones at Duchess, you will be lavished with global cuisine inspired from the Mediterranean, Asian, and South American coastal traditions. The new Uptown Park restaurant is the brainchild of restaurant veterans Peggy and Daniel Chang of Uptown Sushi and Sushi Rebel, and biz partner Roveen Abante.
According to the restaurateurs, “Our muse, the Duchess, is the embodiment of unpretentious glamour, a character that enjoys jaunts abroad, but whose sensibilities are rooted stateside. Like many of us – someone who enjoys great cocktail and an easy-to-understand menu served in an inviting room.”
Roasted seafood platter
Scorpion Kiss cocktail
Gougeres and caviar
Regarding interiors, eye-catching jewel tones, cushy banquettes, and snug upholstered chairs are guest-friendly and pretty versus precious. The vibe is casual and works for day and night, and the ambitious menu is served all day, so you can pop in for a gorgeous cocktail if not seeking a dinner commitment.
Consulting chef Omar Pereney, who foodies may recall opened now-shuttered Peska, has crafted a seafood-focused menu devoted to live fire cooking. Diverse yet approachable, most dishes are infused with the smoky and succulent flavors from the kitchen’s wood-burning grill. The Caesar salad, side vegetables, and the Scorpion Kiss cocktail are even influenced by fire.
Selections are divided into cold and hot appetizers, skewers and mains and everything is plated meticulously and imaginatively. You might start with chilled red snapper crudo, beef tartare, or peach and pistachio burrata. Tender grilled skewers — think ribeye or salmon — are a highlight, each flavored with a different glaze and sauce, like the tiger prawn with coconut red curry.
Entrees sport something for everyone including an au jus burger with garlic aioli to bucatini with mussels and chorizo, and the luxe roasted seafood platter. The enticing menu isn’t confusing with mysterious ingredients or dauntingly long, making choosing a breeze. Do choose to save room for dessert – the white chocolate mousse Duchess Rose is a work of art!
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Ready to Rodeo?! Lasso All the Fried Fun and Fuel with These Specials, from Happy Hour to Late Night
THE HOUSTON LIVESTOCK Show & Rodeo is back in the saddle, Feb. 27-March 17. Whether you’re seeking pre-show snacks, a righteous dinner, a quick happy hour, or late-night nosh, H-Town eateries have you covered. Rope in these food and drink rodeo specials while they're hot!
Through March 7, the River Oaks neighborhood favorite will whip up rib-sticking rodeo eats including 44 Farms mini corn dogs and all-beef hot dogs with spicy mustard. Its puled-pork sandwich comes with Relish BBQ sauce and slaw on a brioche bun with a side of fries, and the Rodeo Burger, also with Relish BBQ sauce, is stacked with house-ground beef, cheddar, shoestring onions, and a side of fries. Rodeo Ribs — a half rack of smoked St. Louis ribs — come with choice of collards or fries (available at dinner time only). New cocktails like the Space City Cowboy with bourbon, blackberry, mint, lemon and maple, and the Rodeo Rita with mezcal, tequila, lime and blood orange, are fitting for city slickers.
Trill Burger's Trillen's burger (photo by Dylan McEwan)
Trill Burgers, co-founded by Houston’s own Bun B, will offer two new items for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in collaboration with Houston chef Ronnie Killen: Trillen’s Burger topped with Killen’s Sweet Barbecue Sauce, and Trillen’s Brisket Fries. Items are only available at the Trill Burgers Rodeo booth in Rodeo Plaza (RP65) outside of NRG Center at NRG Park Feb. 27-Mar. 17. Trill Burgers’ outdoor Rodeo Plaza location will offer the OG Burger and Vegan OG Burger combos. Rapper Bun B’s “All-American Takeover” March 12 features special guest performances by Rick Ross, E-40, Too Short, That Mexican OT and more. Tickets are available at rodeohouston.com.
GJ Saloon (photo by Becca Wright)
To celebrate Rodeo season, Georgia James is turning its expansive upstairs lounge into a western-themed watering hole playfully named “GJ Saloon.”Feb. 28-March 16, hang out rodeo-style in the saloon with live musical performances every Wed.-Sat.; live airing of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo on its TVs; daily happy hour from 5-7pm ($1 oysters, $7 martinis and more). A three-course Rodeo Prix Fixe ($95) stars fine steak and seafood, and specialty rodeo-themed cocktails including Mr. Cash’s Fire Water (tequila, passion fruit, hibiscus, jalapeno, lime, sparkling water, tajin rim), and more. The entire Georgia James menu will be on offer in the GJ Saloon.
Underbelly Hospitality’s serene Italian spot will offer a prix-fixe menu ($70) during rodeo season. Two-step on over for four courses with your choice of salads, ravioli or spaghetti and meatballs, and entrees of Gulf snapper or strip steak. For dessert, tiramisu or chocolate tart will not get the boot!
Downtown rodeo revelers can rustle up western-themed bites before hitting the road (or the light rail at the nearby Preston station). Hotel ICON's restaurant and bar dishes out a festive menu of food and happy hour specials Mon.-Fri., 2 p.m to 6 p.m. Drop in for chopped brisket, barbecue grilled polenta, Texas venison stew, blue pig burger and pulled duck confit sliders. Texas draft beers are $3.
Want to keep the party going? CIEL’s kitchen will stay open until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays with a late-night menu featuring ribeye, French fries and truffle pizza for rodeo-goers. Bottle specials are on offer every night for the duration of rodeo season; and the restaurant offers a luxury sprinter van that can shuttle guests to and from CIEL to the Rodeo (and vice versa). Interested parties can call the restaurant or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve the service.
Goode Co. BBQ
Goode Co. will offer a special limited-time menu item through rodeo season at Goode Co. Armadillo Palace and Goode Co. BBQ on Kirby. At Armadillo Palace, guests can order the All-Night Revival, a cocktail featuring Milam & Greene Bourbon, lemon, strawberry, ginger and amaro. At Goode Co. BBQ, its 1977 Sandwich is piled high with sliced brisket, ham, mac’n’cheese, jalapeno, bacon and onion.
Beginning Feb. 27, the Enchilada Queen will bring back the Texcoco Enchilada, a fiery barbacoa enchilada topped with chile de arbol red sauce, fresh chopped onions and cheese. The special ($17.95) includes rice and beans or a salad and is available for lunch and dinner during the entire run of the rodeo.