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 dining room hidden away inside Hubbell & Hudson Bistro. Here, three evenings a week, ambitious 28-year-old chef Austin Simmons plies guests with an eight-course extravaganza. It starts light, with a stunning still life of bay scallops and fresh vegetables in a dashi-apple broth. Then it gets serious with a two-part medley of precisely crisped pork belly and assertively char-grilled Spanish octopus tricked out with dabs of sriracha and house-made apple butter. It peaks with a surf and turf duo of lobster and phenomenally marbled Miyazaki. (Kobe and Akaushi are so last century.) Does the level of execution justify the hefty prix fixe ($135 each for food alone when we visited)? Absolutely.
City: The Woodlands
Cuisine: New American