Say Oheya to Omakase, a New French Bistro, and More Fabulous Food News!
IT’S ONLY MID-March, and new restaurants are in full bloom. Here are the latest picks!
Eau Tour burger (photo by Jenn Duncan)
Benjy Levit, owner of Local Foods and Lees Den, has transformed the adjacent Thai Spice space into a community bistro scheduled to bow March 21. Eau Tour, or “water journey,” features a creative, relaxing vibe and chef-driven, shareable feasts. Expect a playful but focused approach to contemporary French cuisine by chef Kent Domas with a menu centered around the wood-burning Josper oven and seafood gems. Think Caviar for the People; scallop crudo with blood oranges and leek vinaigrette; and tuna tartare Romesco. Also look for a double cheeseburger with house-ground meats and pork Milanese, along with a boisterous wine selection and heavy-pour cocktail program. The intimate dinner and drinks spot outfitted by Garnish Design features Art Deco bravado with pops of color, flirty vintage light fixtures, and custom stained-glass second-story windows.
Hai Hospitality, the team behind Uchi, is opening Oheya by Uchi, a 12-seat, reservations-only omakase restaurant today. Taking the petite space neighboring Uchi on Westheimer, Oheya will offer two sushi-bar seatings per night with a 15-course menu that changes monthly, led by a different Hai Hospitality chefs each time. “This initiative will allow guests to engage with Hai chefs from all over the country, introducing new flavor combos while experiencing an entirely new menu each month,” says founder Tyson Cole. The chic surroundings boast custom millwork with place settings made from handmade ceramics, which perfectly showcase the colorful and always surprising courses.
Rockhouse cocktail (photo by Raydon Creative)
March 20 brings yet another opening, this one on the Richmond Strip by the team behind The Warwick. Rockhouse Southern Kitchen is located in the former Billy Blues building, where some of the most classic artist performances have been held for more than 25 years. The expansive, 14,000-square-foot space has been transformed into Houston’s go-to spot for live music and all things southern-inspired. Rockhouse taps into its history with an outdoor stage that will regularly host live music, while the interior features velvet booths and copper tabletops. The daily dinner menu stars southern classics like fried chicken and fried catfish served with smoked collard greens and, of course, mac and cheese. Signature items include lobster sliders, oxtail egg rolls, and a Cajun ribeye.
Dubbed “Houston's first true service-oriented entertainment restaurant,” splashy Se7en has swung opened its doors in Upper Kirby. “Our primary focus is to create a mixture of wonder and intrigue while making our guests feel at home,” said Frank Edosomwan, co-founder of Seven Hospitality Group. Headed by executive chef Erhan Özkaya, dishes focus on Asian-Mediterranean cuisine with an emphasis on using quality ingredients found in the Mediterranean basin. Begin with a selection of handrolls, or a starter such as labneh and cucumber or prime beef kabobs. A 42-ounce, 45-day- aged Tomahawk finished with demi-glace is a standout entrée. To drink, Se7en has an extensive wine list and a discerning mixology program served in a sophisticated supper-club setting. Expect dinner Tuesday through Saturday, with a late-night weekend menu and bottle service available alongside nightly DJs and entertainment acts.
Layne's Chicken Fingers
Aggie cult-favorite fried chicken fingers spot has opened its first Houston location in Garden Oaks. Franchisee Masroor Fatany, a Texas A&M grad who also owns seven Halal Guys restaurants, plans to open five more locations in Houston in the near future. Located adjacent to the Halal Guys on Ella Blvd., the eatery is open for to-go service only, so guests have the option of walk-in counter ordering or the drive-thru. Expect a concise menu of chicken tenders, chicken tender sandwiches, crinkle-cut fries, Texas toast, potato salad, and milkshakes. Quell those late night cravings!
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