Houston

Blue Nile

Apr 4, 2018 By Texas Monthly

Enjoy Ethiopia’s imaginative, homey cuisine in colorful comfort.

Le Colonial

Feb 25, 2018 By Texas Monthly

A handsome River Oaks spot offering a fusion of French and Vietnamese cuisine.

Lowbrow

Oct 9, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Mockingbird's John Sheely has resurfaced at this easygoing eatery.

Helen in the Heights

Jul 20, 2017 By Texas Monthly

After a short-lived experiment with Italian food, a.k.a. Arthur Ave, the Helen folks have decided to keep the rustic setting but return to their Greek roots, importing some dishes from their original Rice Village location and adding some more down-home fare as well. We went both old and new, order-…

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

Jul 17, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Bosscat takes the “libations” part seriously: witness an inviting, gloriously lit private whiskey room, with more than three hundred bottles of whiskey, scotch, and bourbon, and a bar serving innovative cocktails like the Revolver (rye, coffee, orange bitters) and the BC Lemonade (vodka, lemon, and jalapeño). We sat at a…

Rim Tanon

Jun 23, 2017 By Texas Monthly

As we know, street food is all the rage, whether Indian, Thai, Chinese, Lebanese, Latin, Hawaiian—you name it, and Houston has it. The aptly named Rim (which means “roadside”) makes a credible new entry on the Thai scene with some laudable dishes served in a colorful, casual setting.

Presidio

May 22, 2017 By Texas Monthly

It’s not fine dining, but it’s mighty fine nonetheless. This handsome space is wildly popular for its expansive patios, indoor-outdoor bar, and acclaimed chef, Adam Dorris (formerly of Pax Americana). Despite a packed house, we snagged a few stools at the bar to sip cocktails (a terrific pink lemonade spiked…

Brasserie du Parc

Apr 5, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Philippe Verpiand, the owner of Etoile, has opened this airy, industrial-chic space in One Park Place, opposite Discovery Green. And the menu, though not a cloned copy of its sibling, offers many of the same dishes, sometimes a few bucks cheaper and, alas, sometimes less successful. Rich ravioli stuffed with…

Potente

Apr 5, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Reminiscent of a modern Italian villa, this romantic gray-hued spot, with lofty ceilings and a stunning bar, is so dimly lit it’s a relief to see that the menus are on iPads.

Nobie’s

Mar 2, 2017 By Texas Monthly

Come-as-you-are is the vibe at this snug, rustic bungalow by former Coltivare bartender Martin Stayer, who charmingly named this, his first restaurant, after his grandmother. On the concise menu of mostly small plates, a must is the signature baked potato bread dotted with bacon and served warm in the skillet…

Café Azur

Dec 6, 2016 By Texas Monthly

In the old Max & Julie’s space, which has been considerably spiffed up with white walls, pale wood flooring, and aquamarine accents, chef Sidney Degaine is serving up Mediterranean fare worthy of the Côte d’Azur. Think rich linguine graced with a “perfect egg” (45 minutes at 65 degrees Celsius) and…

State Fare

Dec 4, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Still undergoing renovations, this crowd-pleaser draws a full house on Saturdays, with its thirteen screens showing college football. A menu of made-from-scratch Texas comfort food includes good stuff like gumbo, tortilla soup, fried catfish, a bone-in ribeye, four decadent mac and cheese options, and barbecue shrimp, to name a few.

Harold’s

Nov 17, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Since the expansion of this three-level Southern eatery in the Heights, the new first-floor taproom and the shaded terrace are the two biggest draws. On the new seasonal menu, find ambitious choices like quail stuffed with andouille sausage and cornbread and roasted in hay. Our appetizers pleased, both the deep-fried…

Uyghur Bistro

Nov 8, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Culinary explorations along Bellaire Boulevard are just plain fun, and the rustic, hearty fare at this welcoming Chinese halal bistro is worth checking out. We found the menu (with pictures) thoroughly approachable and selected two house specials. One, “Big Plate Chicken,” was a comforting platter of bone-in chicken pieces, mildly…

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Nov 8, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Hopdoddy has arrived! One would think the trip from Austin shouldn’t have taken so long, but it’s finally here and handsomely ensconced in the new River Oaks District. Expect to stand in line—to enter, to order, to be seated. Luckily, we avoided the worst by arriving at an off time…

The Pit Room

Sep 25, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

The Pit Room is still in its early phases. They plan to add dinner hours soon, and the menu will continue to grow. Look for some of the items next door at Jackson’s Watering Hole, which Sambrooks also owns. You might remember that name as the bar where Pappa Charlie’s…

El Tiempo Cantina

Sep 9, 2016 By Texas Monthly

With their newest location, the Laurenzo family comes full circle, returning to the East End, next door to the original Ninfa’s. The solid Tex-Mex menu and cantina interiors are the same, as are the potent margaritas and addictive green sauce—we’ve made many a meal out of just that—but the nostalgia…

Pepper Twins

Aug 18, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Inner-city fans of fiery Szechuan peppers can forgo the freeway foray out Bellaire Boulevard. In the heart of Montrose (on Fairview, no less), sisters Yunan Yang and Lily Luo are dishing up authentic, lip-tingling fare from organic ingredients. Go early, hunt for a parking spot, then dive into a bowl…

Republic Diner

Jun 19, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Casual in flip-flops, Heights denizens drop in regularly at this modern Korean pub, which welcomes Fido on the patio and invites diners to convene at community tables or in private booths. Next time, we’ll skip the seafood pancake starter, as it was bready and short on seafood. However, the double-fried…

Andes Cafe

Jun 8, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Featuring the cuisine of South America’s western coastal countries, this modest yet colorful eatery in EaDo caters to an enthusiastic crowd of expats, especially for weekend brunch. Our weeknight visit began with a Peruvian mixto crudo, featuring cubed corvina, shrimp, black clams, choclo both boiled and roasted, sweet potatoes, and…

Toulouse Cafe & Bar

Jun 8, 2016 By Texas Monthly

This Dallas import, with its white walls, wood panels, and bentwood chairs, is more Paris than Big D (for our new River Oaks District, that is). And we like the shaded front patio. Top marks go to the crusty, warm baguette to start, the moules marinières (big, plump mussels in…

Enoteca Rossa

Jun 8, 2016 By Texas Monthly

The rustic stucco-and-brick build-out of Daniel Wong’s former space just inside the West Loop provides a handsome new setting for Bellaire and West U residents to hang out, day and night. Think breakfast pastries and espresso in the morning, pizza and salad midday, or a full-blown Italian repast in the…

Ginger & Fork

May 25, 2016 By Texas Monthly

With a spate of new Chinese restaurants in town, this Heights newcomer from well-known Houstonian Mary Li rates among the most attractive. It boasts pristine white walls with dramatic large black silhouettes (one a dragon), a long bar at front serving craft cocktails, and a welcoming back patio. And the…

B&B Butchers

May 24, 2016 By Texas Monthly

A butcher shop, deli, and steakhouse with a rooftop terrace are all cohabiting nicely at this handsome brick-walled space in the historic Dittman Bakery building. With a section devoted entirely to bacon, the menu is loaded with solid steakhouse classics, like pricey cuts dry-aged in-house and ready to be cooked…

Mein

May 10, 2016 By Texas Monthly

One block off the Bellaire bustle, this Chinatown newbie has quickly won a following. Sultry interiors with industrial lighting and nostalgic Chinese graphics set the stage for an exceptional meal of Cantonese fare with pan-Asian influences. At lunch, the space was full of Asian ladies who lunch and smaller parties…

Bistecca

Feb 9, 2016 By Texas Monthly

We loved our herb-marinated porterhouse steak, carved table-side; we marveled at the stunning renovation of the former flower shop; we basked in the attention of a first-rate server. In short, we spent an awesome evening at the newest venture of chef Alberto Baffoni and Abbas Hussein, the owner of Sorrento,…

The Del

Feb 3, 2016 By Texas Monthly

Claiming a “country-club casual” atmosphere, this freshly remodeled spot from the Brooklyn Athletic Club folks seems more Memorial than Montrose, the ideal fit for Briargrove and Tanglewood folk to dine alfresco on pretzel-bun cheeseburgers and craft beers while the kiddos build Jenga towers across the spacious patio. We visited on…

Izakaya

Jan 11, 2016 By Texas Monthly

From the Kata Robata folks, this spare, casual offspring mixes Japanese, South American, and North American cuisine with a pub-style atmosphere and creative flair. Top marks went recently to big, plump grilled oysters prepared Creole style; trumpet mushrooms, skewered and served with garlic soy butter; and juicy pork belly accented…

Ka Sushi

Jan 4, 2016 By Texas Monthly

This casual spot from the team behind Fat Bao is the first sushi bar in the northern Heights. Our initial experience with the inventive menu was hit-and-miss. The Balsamic Tuna was generous but overly sweet. The Miss Piggy roll intrigued, with its marinated apple and fried pork belly, but it…

Sud Italia Ristorante

Nov 22, 2015 By Texas Monthly

This old house on the edge of Rice Village has been a snakebit location for years. Enter Sud Italia, with a good concept and, at last, valet service. On a pleasant evening, we found a table on the shaded front deck and dug into bright gazpacho packed with lump crab…

Velvet Taco

Oct 5, 2015 By Texas Monthly

Known for a global collection of unique taco combos, this new offshoot of the Dallas-area original is drawing crowds. Perhaps it’s because they do it all with a velvet touch; amenities include plenty of parking and a pleasant patio. Shunning carbs? Order the ahi tuna poke taco wrapped in lettuce.

Pho Binh [Heights]

Oct 5, 2015 By Texas Monthly

When we crave pho, we know where to go, and the new Heights locale of this popular mini-chain is quite charming. The noodle soup comes seventeen ways, but our fave is the pho ga kho, a big bowl of house-made noodles, scallions, thinly sliced chicken, and a mug of fragrant…

Jinya Ramen Bar

Oct 5, 2015 By Texas Monthly

A roomful of (mostly young) folks contentedly wielding chopsticks and slurping noodles is proof that this California chain has found its niche in Midtown. Piping-hot brussels sprouts tempura and cold Sapporo beers got us off to a good start, but we agreed that the No. 1 ramen bowl—tonkotsu black, with…

Revival Market

Sep 25, 2015 By Texas Monthly

Hallelujah! This favorite market/coffeeshop/lunch stop in the Heights has removed the produce racks and expanded its space to allow for a seasonal dinner menu with table service. We devoured our salads—one was watermelon, basil, and feta with lots of fresh corn, and the other was an even better pickled shrimp,…

La Grange

Sep 25, 2015 By Texas Monthly

The name of a storied Central Texas town—site of the infamous Chicken Ranch brothel celebrated in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas—is apparently a magnet for thirtysomethings on the prowl for novel Mexican food. The Montrose-area haunt, from the owners of the Raven, along with other partners, is in fact…

Roegels Barbecue Co.

Sep 23, 2015 By Texas Monthly

 Husband-and-wife owners Russell and Misty Roegels have been operating at this location since 2001, but three years ago they said goodbye to their Baker’s Ribs franchise and went their own way. Their hallmark is pepper—lots of it. The bark on the brisket and beef rib is a thing of black…

Pizzitola’s

Aug 27, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Pizzitola’s is a legend wishing it could play the new game where juicy briskets trump years in service. Maybe they shouldn’t change a thing. Yes, they have some issues with consistency that are inherent in the equipment that helped make them famous, but maybe we should be happy to get…

Cureight, The Woodlands
Cureight

Aug 24, 2015 By Texas Monthly

Attention, residents of The Woodlands: there’s a reason to stay in town for dinner. Attention, Houstonians: there’s a reason to leave town for dinner! In this posh community 40 miles north of Houston, an extremely ambitious tasting menu is being floated at Cureight, located in a nice (if plain) white-tablecloth…