Just when foodies thought chef Randy Evans’ Haven restaurant, opened in 2009, couldn’t get any better, it did. The environmentally friendly eatery featuring locally sourced food items now has a restaurant inside the restaurant. Evans has turned over the bar area to chef de cuisine Jean Philippe Gaston who has turned it into Cove Cold Bar, a self-contained raw restaurant. Cove features a global menu of seafood and some land food, none of it cooked. Expect fresh sushi, sashimi and even Italian lamb carpaccio. And while you can dine in Cove and watch chef Gaston create his raw dishes, you can still also stop in on the way to Haven’s main dining room and enjoy the craft cocktails the bar is known for. Cove Cold Bar, 2502 Algerian Way, Houston, TX 77098, 713-581-6101.
The original Carraba’s Italian Grill in Upper Kirby is gone. But not to worry, there’s a brand new building right next door. Same address, same great food from Johnny Carraba, just in a bigger, fancier building. Construction started last summer and the restaurant opened November 7, although landscapers and construction workers were still busy on the outside of the structure. Eubanks Group Architects, Mission Construction, Matrix Structural Engineers, Judson Design and Moss Landscaping created the new building. The original, 25-year-old building was torn down to make way for parking. The new Carraba’s is part of a three-restaurant concept from Carraba’s including the recently opened Mia’s across the street and a fine dining Italian restaurant to be called Grace that is already being built on Kirby Drive. Carraba’s Italian Grill, 3115 Kirby Dr., Houston, TX 77098, 713-522-3131.
Triniti Restaurant + Bar Switches to Fall Menu
Cooler weather in Houston means that seasonal menus are changing and that is apparent at Triniti Restaurant + Bar. Executive chef/owner Ryan Hildebrand is updating his menu with seasonal favorites like pumpkin, carrot and sweet potato that complement and enhance the seasonal French-American inspired menu. Of note are the tableside prepared beet soup with carrots and goat cheese and a remarkable starter of mushroom custard topped with truffle oil and rye bread crumbs. Entrées consist this season of such hearty fare as pork schnitzel with potato roti and a Wagyu flank with sweet potato and foie gras tlacoyo, Brussels sprouts and brandied peppercorn sauce. Even the dessert menu has been updated to reflect the local seasonal bounty. New pastry chef Samantha Mendoza has created a cinnamon pear cake with poached figs, red wine reduction and butter pecan ice cream to finish the meal. Triniti Restaurant + Bar, 2815 S. Shepherd Dr., Houston, TX 77098, 713-527-9090.
Galveston Restaurant Week Returns
Come to the island for Galveston Restaurant Week, January 13-26, sponsored by Galveston.com. Not only can you make reservations to dine at Galveston’s favorite eateries for special prix-fixe lunches and dinners from $10 to $45, but you can also upload photos of your meals online to compete to win a cruise for two. Participating restaurants include some of the island’s most popular Gulf Coast seafood eateries as well as fine-dining establishments like The Terrace restaurant. The event is designed to boost tourism on the island and allow visitors to sample the diversity of dining experiences in Galveston.
New Fall Menu at Brennan's of Houston
Executive chef Danny Trace of the venerable Brennan’s of Houston is adding fall items to his menu, including some seafood. “Oysters, will be a huge focus for Brennan’s of Houston this season,” Trace says. “We are anticipating a great year for Matagorda Bay oysters. All of our menus, including the bar menu, will reflect the bounty.” Also on the seasonal menu, a salt, roasted beet salad; braised oxtail and dumplings with a pearl onion confit; and a Berskhire pork osso bucco. Houston’s cooler weather means you can enjoy the new menu items on Brennan’s on the New Orlean’s-styled courtyard. Brennan’s of Houston, 3300 Smith St., Houston, TX 77006, 713-522-9711.
Chef German Mosquera is out at Roots Bistro in Houston’s Lower Westheimer Curve. Chandler Rothbard is now heading up the kitchen. Roots Bistro, 507 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77006, 713-524-1000.
Check back soon for more news.
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