Chef Marco Wiles has made it a trifecta in Montrose by adding the vinoteca salumeria Poscol to his existing Da Marco and popular Dolce Vita Pizzeria & Enoteca. The new space is a wine bar with charcuterie (some of which is cured in-house), paninis, cheeses, salads and pastas. Much more casual than the fine-dining Da Marco---and even Dolce Vita---Poscol fills a niche in the neighborhood for those looking for an extensive wine list and small plates that go well beyond the cheese and cracker set. Poscol, 1609 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77006, 713-529-2797.
The Azuma Group's HUE, in Upper Kirby, is now Kata Robata, a chef-driven grill and tapas eatery. And the chef is none other than Manubu "Hori" Horiuchi, formerly of Kubo's. Chef Hori promises a contemporary take on traditional Japanese cuisine, with such menu items as snapper sashimi with truffle oil, uni and king crab spoons and a Kobe beef roll. Kata Robata, 3600 Kirby Dr., Houston, TX 77098, 713-526-8858.
Denver-based Smashburger Expands to Houston
Houstonians love their burgers---even if they do come from a Denver-based burger joint. Earlier this year, Smashburger opened a storefront at 7811 Main St. near the Texas Medical Center (713-491-4526), and now comes word that the smashed-burger concept has been so well received in Houston that the company will open three more locations by the end of the summer. The burger joints will pop up in West University, the Galleria area and the Energy Corridor. Smashburger, 7811 Main St., Houston, TX 77030, 713-491-4526.
Dessert Gallery Bakery & Cafe Moves Flagship Store
Dessert Gallery Bakery & Cafe is moving its flagship store from its current backstreet location to a front-and-center space at 3600 Kirby Drive. The suite number, appropriately, is D, for dessert. The new location opened May 26 in a space designed by Kathy Heard of OPEN Restaurant Design. It peddles sweet eats, features ample off-street parking and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. Owner Sara Brook is also adding new menu items, including filled cupcakes and Tres Leches cake. Dessert Gallery, 3600 Kirby Dr., Suite D, Houston, TX 77098, 713.522.9999.
Own Your Own Carrabba's Kitchen
Now everyone can cook at Carrabba's. The just-opened Crawford Experience Center, a multi-million dollar, 10,000-square-foot design-built showroom, features six kitchens. Of special note for foodies is one designed by Johnny Carrabba of Carrabba's Italian Grill and host of the PBS show Cucina Amore. The $100,000-Italian villa kitchen has a coffee bar, butler's pantry and wine cellar. The showroom is open by appointment only, so call ahead if you want to remodel your kitchen into a Carrabba's special. Crawford Experience Center, 3033 W. Alabama St., Houston, TX 77098, 713-463-8600.
Chef Matthew Gray has been named executive head chef at Chez Roux, the first American eatery from European star chef Albert Roux. Gray comes from Inverlochy Castle in Scotland, where he worked under Roux since 2005. "I am excited for this very new and promising chapter of my life," Gray said. "There is a certain mystique about Texas that has always fascinated me, and I am particularly excited about the Houston area's burgeoning culinary scene, in addition to what I understand are a wealth of nearby resources for locally grown produce plus game and seafood." Chez Roux, La Torretta Del Lago Resort & Spa, 600 La Torretta Blvd., Montgomery, TX 77356, 936-448-4400.
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