The city has a new Spanish eatery from longtime restaurant manager Alberto Alfonzo. Tintos Spanish Restaurant & Wine Bar opened in June featuring tapas and a large wine selection. "Tintos will be open seven days a week, 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., and will serve great Spanish food, both traditional and modern, where it will be all about flavor," Alfonzo said. Tintos also has a retail license to sell wine by the bottle or case. It takes over the River Oaks space that was formerly Backdoor Sushi. Lunch & Dinner daily. Tintos Spanish Restaurant & Wine Bar, 2015-J West Gray St., Houston, TX 77019, 713-522-1330.
Piero Selvaggio of the famed Valentino in Santa Monica and Las Vegas, is headed to Houston. Selvaggio and executive chef and partner Luciano Pellegrini will open PS Valentino Vin Bar in the trendy boutique Hotel Derek this fall, taking over the Bistro Moderne space. PS Valentino Vin Bar will house two dining experiences, an intimate fine dining restaurant serving Selvaggio's inventive Italian cuisine and the more casual Vin Bar with a selection of innovative dishes in a "primi" or small plate format. PS Valentino Vin Bar, Hotel Derek, 2525 West Loop S., Houston, TX 77027, no phone available yet.
After his successful exec chef stint at the The Mansion Restaurant at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, toque John Tesar returns to Texas to open his first eponymous restaurant. Tesar's passion for sustainable foods will be the focus for his first branded restaurant, Tesar's Modern Steak & Sustainable Seafood. The earth-friendly menu will feature produce, meats and seafood that are 100% organically grown and fed, with a zero-tolerance policy for resource or food waste. Tesar's Modern Steak & Sustainable Seafood is coming to the Woodlands area of Houston in August.
Raul Molina, Jr. Honored by TRA
Raul Molina, Jr., the second of three generations to own and operate Molina's Cantina, was inducted into the Texas Restaurant Association's Hall of Honor in June. The Hall of Honor is the highest recognition members of the TRA can achieve. Molina, Jr. took over Molina's Cantina, Houston's oldest Tex-Mex restaurants, family owned and operated since 1941, from his father in 1977, although he started working in the family business at the age of 12. Still going strong, the restaurants are now run by his three sons, Ricardo, Raul and Roberto. Molina's Cantina, 4720 Washington Ave., Houston, TX 77007, 713-862-0013.
Bistro Calais Offers Saturday Brunch
Bistro Calais is now serving a modified Saturday brunch after the success of its Sunday brunch, which draws a packed house to the little cottage on the edge of River Oaks. Co-owner Jane Knapp says the Saturday brunch won't include the carvery and omelet stations they do on Sunday, but "we do have a spinach, bacon and goat cheese omelet on the menu, as well as eggs Benedict with fruit and hash browns," she says. Co-owner and chef Phillip Mitchell also has added homemade waffles with fried chicken wings to the menu. There are also bagels and lox and, of course, $3 mimosas. Bistro Calais, 2811 Bammel Lane, Houston, TX 77098, 713-529-1314.
Chef Steve Super has left The Reserve Room at Uptown Park, but not the company that owns it as well as The Tasting Rooms and Max's Wine Dive. Super, a former musician, got his wish when the company transferred him to Austin---The Live Music Capitol of the world---to become the executive chef at the brand new Max's there. TTR is now doing a nationwide search for two executive chefs, after Michael Dei Maggi left the local Max's of open his own eatery. The Reserve Room at Uptown Park, 1101 Uptown Park Blvd., Ste. 18, Houston, TX 77056, 713-993-9800.
Sauté is now shuttered, after just six months. The new world Creole restaurant, opened by Connie Lacobie who also owns Té House of Tea, closed June 5. In what's becoming a modern-day trend here, Sauté announced the closing via Twitter, the microblogging social network that is now a mainstay of hot young chefs and foodies in Houston. http://sautebistro.com/. Sauté, 2303 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX 77098, no phone.
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