Winter 2023 Issue
Feb. 14, 2023
WHAT'S THE SECRET to running a successful business? It is so important to stay present every day. With the fast-paced patterns of today’s society and ever-evolving technologies, I stress to our agents how important it is to continue to learn. If one reaches a point at which the ego takes over or burnout sets in and progress takes a back seat, things will get stuck. Regardless of what field you are in, I believe in starting with the basics to set and strengthen your foundation. I treat everyone we work with from our contractors, clients, to our inspectors with respect, patience and care.
What’s special about your team? Our group is made up of like-minded individuals that come together just like a family would. The Reyna Group is a family-owned company, and it means everything to us to be able to say that we all wholeheartedly have each other’s back. We as a group are constantly brainstorming and bouncing new ideas around with each other. I have many friends in this business, and I know the synergy we have at The Reyna Group is something very special.
What inspires you as you seek to reach greater heights of success? Whether we are helping a long time investment client or a family buying their first home, it is truly rewarding to play such an integral part in these decisions. It is an honor to have the trust of our clients, new and old. The trust our clients instill in us is, first and foremost, what inspires every agent in our office to continue to strive to improve the hustle.
ONE OF HOUSTON'S most beloved music organizations — Mercury, whose mission is to serve the community by celebrating the power of music, teaching, sharing and performing with passion, intimacy and excellence — raised a quarter-million bucks at its recent annual gala, which had a fun “Carnival of the Animals” theme.
“Amidst décor that evoked a bright and colorful celebration at Rio Carnival, guests dined on a first course of grilled baby romaine with olive oil herb ciabatta and parmesan shavings,” explained a rep for Mercury. “The main course featured herb-roasted airline chicken with truffle risotto, green beans, and carrots, followed by a delightful cinnamon Tres Leches for dessert.”
What happened after dinner may have been even more delicious. Artistic Director Antoine Plante and Mercury musicians played selections from Saints-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals,” Paganini’s “Carnival of Venice,” and Pink Martini’s rousing samba “Brazil.” The finale showcased Donna Bella Litton on vocals, Carmon Kerl on Trombone, Jesus Pacheco and Charlie Perez on percussion, and samba dancers from Houston’s LD Dance Company, the latter bringing dinner guests to their feet!
Chairs Keith and Julie Little welcomed guest including Kelly and David Rose, Ginny Hart, Robert Navo, Blake Eskew, Martha Eskew, Lori Muratta, Brian Ritter, Christopher Michael Stribling, and Carlos and Luvi Wheelock.
Robert Navo & Ginny Hart
Martin Stuardo & Kyle Nasrallah
Matthew & Jaime Titus
Julie & Keith Little
Kelly & David Rose
Shane & Marissa Gilroy
Elena Lexina & Brian Rishikof
Michelle Furcho & Jonathan de la Garza
Rachel & Barry Lichman
Carlos & Luvi Wheelock
Emily Key & Martin Simoncic
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!