One of Houston’s most popular food trucks is now a restaurant. Matt Marcus, Ryan Soroka and Alex Vassilakidis quietly opened the Eatsie Boys Café in mid-December at 4100 Montrose Boulevard, in the old Kraftsmen Café spot. They are currently in soft opening mode with a limited breakfast and lunch menu of favorites from the food truck, including the Asian-inspired sandwiches and homemade ice creams and some new items. The boys will take a break for the holidays before a grand opening Jan. 7, 2013. Meanwhile, the Eatsie Boys’ food truck is winding down operations and will move to the partners 8th Wonder Brewery when it opens next year. Eatsie Boys Cafe, The Campanile, 4100 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX 77006, no phone.
A lot of Houstonians still remember Tony Vallone’s steakhouse concept, but the new Vallone’s opening next year on the Westside will only share the name. Vallone is lending the name --- plus consulting --- to the project helmed by his executive chef and general manager at Tony’s. “A partnership among executive chef Grant Gordon of Tony's, general manager Scott Sulma of Tony's and Ciao Bello, and others is opening Vallone’s,” reads the press release. The new Houston restaurant, scheduled to open in the fall of 2013, will have a "technique-driven approach to steak, fish, chops and housemade pastas." Tony Vallone is consulting on the venture in collaboration with his two young "dynamos," as he likes to call them. Both Gordon and Sulma grew up in the Memorial area and have wanted to bring an upscale steak and pasta place there. Vallone’s will be in the high-end CityCentre complex that also houses 15 eateries, including Bistro Alex and an Eddie V’s Prime Seafood.
Eric's Closes for the Holiday Break
Eric’s, the restaurant at the Conrad N. Hilton College at the University of Houston for hotel and restaurant management, will be closed for the Christmas break from December 22 to January 2, 2013. The restaurant, run by chefs in training, is not only a favorite for students but also draws campus visitors from around the city for its flavorful, well-priced dishes. Eric's, Hilton University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Rd., Entrance 1, Houston, TX 77004, 713-743-2513.
Chef David Coffman has left his post at Katsuya by Starck Houston, the chic Japanese restaurant from sbe group and master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi. Katsuya by Starck Houston, West Ave, 2800 Kirby Dr., Houston, TX 77098, 713-590-2800.
While Kirby Drive is heating up as the new restaurant row in Houston it’s not been favorable for all eateries. The Navigation at the corner of Kirby Drive and Richmond Avenue switched over to the Maggi Rita’s concept this summer, but regulars of the long-time Ninfa’s shunned it and now it’s shuttered. While the Schiller Del Grande Restaurant Group had a longer run at the West Ave multi-use center on Kirby Drive just a block away, the two-restaurant concept suffered a blow this year when the downstairs Ava closed and now the upstairs Alto, a stylish Italian spot with a great view and fine pizzas, has also closed. Apparently the competition along this street --- with the new Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Hawthorn, Nosh and Elevation Burger all recently opened --- was just too much.
In a city that has seen a plethora of nationally acclaimed restaurants open in the last few years, we are now seeing some of them close. Sad news for foodies was announced via --- what else? --- Twitter that Feast, the wonderful nose-to-tail British restaurant, will close in August of 2013. Chef/owner James Silk, his co-owner wife Megan and co-owner/chef Richard Knight say that there just aren’t enough people coming to dine at Feast, so they'll close when their five-year lease is up next year. The owners currently have no plans for another venue. Feast, 219 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77006, 713-529-7788.
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