New and Noteworthy
Café Pita, Houston and Rise no1, Dallas
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Houston It’s probably safe to say that 99 out of 100 Texans—make that 999 out of 1,000—have no earthly idea what Bosnian food is like. Now they can head far, far west on Westheimer and find out. Offbeat and economical, Café Pita has captivated almost everyone who’s sought out its unpretentious digs and tried its cuisine, which draws inspiration from both the Middle East and Central Europe. Despite the name, pita is not the featured bread; instead it’s lepinja, a puffy flatbread that’s good alone or made up into sandwiches with layers of terrific Bosnian cevapcici (grilled ground meat “sausages”). You can play it safe with the likes of eggplant dip and hummus, or take a chance on less-usual treats like the amazing flame-grilled marinated sardines sided by basmati rice and roasted vegetables. BYOB. 10890 Westheimer Rd (713-953-7237). Open Mon–Thur 11–9, Fri 11–10, Sat noon–10, Sun noon–9. $–$$ W+
Dallas “Wow,” said our male friend, pausing at the door of this comfy-cozy new place to survey the almost-all-female clientele. Luckily, said friend enjoys women’s company and tearoom food, so he was happy to brave the chitchat at Rise no1. This charming spot has been a success since it opened two and a half months ago, thanks to a smart, focused menu of soufflés, salads, sandwiches, cheese boards, and wine, all at reasonable prices. Overall, the quality is high in creations like a French ham-and-cheese sandwich on a baguette (though it was a tad dry). A classy niçoise salad came with rare ahi tuna covered in black and white sesame seeds. But the key to the allure is the menu of individual soufflés, both savory and sweet. The spinach and goat cheese versions were wonderful; so was the (slightly soupy) cassis. Order a couple of these and a bottle of wine and you’ll think you’ve stepped into A Year in Provençe. Beer & wine. Inwood Village, Suite 220, 5360 W. Lovers Ln (214-366-9900). Open Tue–Thur 11–11, Fri & Sat 11–midnight, Sun 11–9. Closed Mon. $$–$$$ W+