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Riviera Grill

By January 2003Comments

SEEING STARS Thank heaven the Riviera Grill has finally left that tatty suburban location and moved into glittering new digs in downtown Houston. The sleek Sam Houston Hotel is the perfect setting for chef-owner John Sheely’s inspired French and Italian cuisine. At dinner, the menu showcases dishes like velvety grilled scallops with braised fennel and spectacularly moist olive oil-poached salmon filets. I also like Sunday brunch. It’s a bit less ambitious, and the offerings (assorted egg dishes, French toast, and entrées like lamb T-bones accompanied by a great chunky, vinegary ratatouille and adorned with wisps of fried spinach) suit me just fine. But I’d drop by anytime for a salad or an appetizer and a chance to spend an hour in the smartly understated dining room. The amazing Austrian crystal light fixtures form rows of twinkling stars overhead that cast both food and guests in a flattering light.

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