Rock the Restaurant

Vintage tunes set the mood for ‘wow factor’ food at an Upper Kirby bungalow hideaway.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 3.17.23 PM

The faint sound of traffic shuttling down Shepherd in the distance is nearly drowned out by the rustling of leaves on the tree-lined street just outside. A 1930s bungalow home-turned-restaurant touts fragrant herb planters on the front patio, and a dimly lit entryway. Welcome to six-month-old Nobie’s, one of the best-kept secrets of Houston’s dining scene.


Named after chef-owner Martin Stayer’s grandmother, Nobie’s is equal parts contemporary American and vintage chic, with a lot of heart. Stained glass panels and paintings made by family members add to the otherwise warmly sparse décor. And the senior staff is a family affair, too, as Stayer’s wife Sara, a sommelier, curates the wine and cocktail program — the latter featuring a rotating menu of craft cocktails served in antique glasses.

Texas native Stayer, 35, spent most of his culinary career in Chicago and honed his skills at Michelin-starred L20. “After a few years, I wanted to work in restaurants where my friends could afford to eat,” he laughs. He channeled that desire into a stint with Revival Market and Coltivare in Houston before opening Nobie’s, where he says he loves to “up the wow factor” in dishes inspired by vintage cookbooks. To wit, “Old Fashioned” chicken liver mousse mimics the classic cocktail with cherry jelly and a hint of orange; the new Sunday brunch menu includes the “$100 Steak & Eggs,” pairing a wood-roasted then pan-seared rib-eye with French fries and duck eggs.

The sourcebooks aren’t the only fun vintage items; there’s a throwback sound system, replete with record player and tape deck, cranking out a wide range of tunes to match the menu’s eclecticism. Imagine everything from Outkast to Johnny Cash, with healthy doses of disco and funk in between, all carefully curated by the staff. “They decide what goes into the cue by feeling out the energy of the room,” says Stayer.

Uncategorized

AN INTERVIEW WITH Jon Heine President of Houston Market, Veritex Community Bank

What were your biggest challenges of 2020? Without question the biggest challenge was pivoting from the playbook we had to begin 2020 in order to quickly address the immediate needs of our clients, colleagues and communities. Working with our customers to provide loan payment deferrals and PPP loans through the SBA Payroll Protection Program (Veritex Bank provided over $400 million to 2,100 clients in Round 1) became the immediate priority. This involved a Herculean effort from over 120 of our colleagues in various departments of the Bank who raised their hand to assist not because of an opportunity, but out of obligation to the communities we serve.

Keep Reading Show less

Warren and Rachel Ellsworth and Betty and Jess Tutor

HOUSTON GRAND OPERA officially opened its first live season of shows in two years with a bold, colorful presentation of Bizet's Carmen followed by a fabulous crimson-tented dinner on Ray C. Fish Plaza just outside the theater.

Keep Reading Show less
People + Places

SOME SAY, "LIFE is a bitch and then you die." I say, life is a coach and then you thrive!

Keep Reading Show less
Opinions