Restaurateurs Charles Clark and Grant Cooper---of Ibiza Food & Wine Bar, Ibiza Next Door and Catalan Food & Wine---have opened a new eatery in the old Tony Mandola’s Seafood Kitchen location. Named for its River Oaks’ zip code, Brasserie 19 offers locally sourced traditional French brasserie fare and modern American cuisine by chef Michael Gaspard, previously of the Pump Room at the Omni Ambassador East hotel in Chicago, along with craft beers and a 400-plus wine list available on iPads. The cozy space seats 220 including counter service at the marble-topped bar. Besides such staples as bouchot mussels and steak frites, the restaurant also showcases Gulf Coast seafood and a raw bar. Brasserie 19, 1962 West Gray St., Houston, TX 77019, 713-524-1919.
Changes for Gravitas
Chef-owner Scott Tycer---who last year shuttered his Textile restaurant---has now sold Gravitas to an Austin-based partnership that includes Stephen Ross. Ross formerly worked at Gravitas in the lounge area before decamping to Austin to work at such venues as the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin hotel and the Speakeasy bar. Gravitas will keep its name and head chef Fidel Flores, but Ross does plan to make some changes. Tycer hasn’t announced his new plans, but it’s hard to imagine that he won’t have another restaurant here. Over the years, he’s helmed such well-known spots as Aries, Pic and Textile; he’s also the owner of Kraftsmen Baking, which provides artisan breads to many Houston restaurants. Gravitas, 807 Taft St., Houston, TX 77019, 713-522-0995.
New Restaurant from Elouise Adams Jones of Ouisie’s Table
Elouise Adams Jones, the Ouisie of Ouisie’s Table, will open a more casual concept this fall. She’s leased the space at 2810 Westheimer Road that currently houses the temporary Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen. Mandola moved his popular seafood eatery from its longtime West Gray location while waiting for his new spot to be built, which should be sometime this summer. In the never ending musical chair world of Houston restaurants, the West Gray location was taken over by Charles Clark and Grant Cooper, who plan to open Brasserie 19. Jones hasn’t named her new restaurant yet, but says it will be an American-style bistro inclusive of new items and some of the popular Southern dishes at Ouisie’s. She hopes to have it up and running by September. Ouisie's Table, 3939 San Felipe Rd., Houston, TX 77027, 713-528-2264.
It's Now Breakfast All Week Long at Goode Co. Texas Burgers & Taqueria
Good news for early risers looking for a Tex-Mex breakfast! Goode Co. Burgers & Taqueria is trotting out its weekend breakfast every day of the week. This family-friendly Upper Kirby spot is now open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. for breakfast; it opens at 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Breakfast here is typical Texas comfort food such as migas, breakfast tacos, quail eggs and venison sausages. Goode Co. Texas Burgers & Taqueria, 4902 Kirby Dr., Houston, TX 77098, 713-520-9153.
Not only has chef Arturo Boada decamped from Arturo's Uptown Italiano, he’s also suing his former partners to stop them from using his name and opened a new restaurant. He describes his Arturo Boada Cuisine at 6150 Del Monte Drive in the Memorial area of Houston as a fun bistro offering pasta, seafood, steaks, a few South American dishes and a wood-burning pizza oven. Arturo's Uptown Italiano, Uptown Park Plaza, 1180 Uptown Park Blvd., Houston, TX 77056, 713-621-1180.
The popular Catalan Food & Wine is now closed, but fans of co-owners Charles Clark and Grant Cooper won’t have long to wait for a new concept: Since founding chef Chris Shepherd left to open his own restaurant, the owners decided to end Catalan’s reign and create Coppa Ristorante Italiano. They’ve tapped Brandi Key, formerly of the Pappas family restaurants, to run the kitchen, which, as the name implies, will be turning out Italian food when it opens in a few weeks. Catalan Food & Wine, 5555 Washington Ave., Houston, TX 77007, n/a.
And yet another closing in Houston as the Vallone’s Caffe Bello quietly shut its doors on May 9. Co-owner Tony Vallone said the concept just wasn’t doing as well as they had hoped and they received an offer for the property they couldn’t refuse. Vallone did not disclose the buyer but said the property would be another restaurant. Caffe Bello opened just nine months ago. Caffe Bello, 322 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77006, n/a.
After 26 years at 3116 Bissonnet St., the popular breakfast spot Buffalo Grille has moved. But West University fans need not worry too much, the restaurant has already opened its doors at the new location just one mile away in Weslayan Plaza. The new place---4080 Bissonnet St.---was built to resemble the original, with an indoor patio and gas fireplace and even the painting known as Billy the Buffalo has made the move. And while the space is much larger, the menu and hours remain the same. Buffalo Grille, 3116 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX 77005, n/a.
After more than three decades, Andre's in River Oaks---known for its fine pastries and breakfast and lunch menus---has quietly closed. A sign indicates that the longtime favorite may reopen at another location. In the meantime, Andre’s in Uptown Park remains open and will continue filing special cake orders. Andre's , 2515 River Oaks Blvd., Houston, TX 77019, n/a.
View our calendar of Wine Dinners & Tastings in Houston