Good news for fans of Triniti Restaurant + Bar and chef Ryan Hildebrand: He's opening another restaurant. Hildebrand has hired Houston's MC2 Architects to build a new restaurant at the former site of Ruggles Grill at 903 Westheimer Road. Called Brande, the place will have a rustic farmhouse feel and specialize in charcuterie, crafted breads, pastries, dry-aged meats and craft cocktails. Dax McAnear, formerly of Beaver's and benjy's and most recently at San Francisco's Hog & Rocks, will return to Houston as chef de cuisine of Brande, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2013. Brande, 903 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77006, no phone.
Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos at Hugo's
Hugo’s, Houston’s authentic Mexican restaurant offering dishes from the interior of the our Southern neighbor, celebrates Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead, from Oct. 31 through Nov. 3. The three-course dinner offered nightly for $35 --- plus beverages, tax and gratuity --- includes gorditas, mole dishes and flan from James Beard-nominated chef Hugo Ortega and his pastry chef brother Ruben. The restaurant will have a traditional ofrenda, an alter to deceased relatives, and invites patrons to bring photos of loved ones to decorate it. Hugo's, 1600 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77006, 713-524-7744.
New Seasonal Menu at The Spindletop
The Spindletop just introduced its fall menu from chef de cuisine Drew Yeckley that includes lots of locally sourced root vegetables and greens. The downtown, revolving restaurant also now serves mussels steeped in shallots, garlic, saffron spice and locally brewed Saint Arnold beer as well as a red wine-braised boneless short rib entrée seasoned with a mix of chiles, herbs and garlic. It’s chef Yeckley’s favorite new dish. “We prepare the short ribs at a low temperature for hours until the meat is so tender it practically melts in your mouth,” says Yeckley. The ribs are paired with a sweet potato cheddar cake and roasted local root vegetables. The Spindletop, Hyatt Regency, 1200 Louisiana St., Houston, TX 77002, 713-654-1234.
Record Breaking Houston Restaurant Weeks
Houston Restaurant Weeks, the August brainchild of Cleverly Stone that brings in business during Houston’s slowest month while raising funds for the Houston Food Bank through prix-fixe lunches and dinners, really outdid itself this year. In a press conference at City Hall on October 10, officials announced that a record-breaking $1.2 million had been raised for three area food banks, a huge increase over last year’s $800,000 that was raised. This summer, 170 area restaurants offered special $20 lunches and $35 dinners with a portion of the proceeds going to the food banks. Besides being a fundraiser for families in need of food, the event, which began in 2003, is also a shot in the arm for the local economy. The event resulted in some 48,000 lunches and more than 205,000 dinners being sold, with an estimated $13.47 million spent on food, beverages, sales tax and tips. And that total doesn’t include alcohol bought by diners. Participating restaurants say the event brings in new customers and helps them stay busy during a traditionally slow summer month.
More from Mockingbird Bistro Chef John Sheeley
Chef-owner John Sheeley of Mockingbird Bistro will open a restaurant in BBVA Compass Plaza, a 22-story office tower that will be completed in 2013. While Mockingbird Bistro serves American-Provençal fare, this new concept will have more of an Italian influence. Mockingbird Bistro, 1985 Welch St., Houston, TX 77019, 713-533-0200.
Philippe Gaston, previously of REEF and Kata Robata Sushi + Grill, will head up Cove, the new raw bar opening in Haven. Haven, 2502 Algerian Way, Houston, TX 77098, 713-581-6101.
And another one bites the dust. Houston lost a long time Tex-Mex favorite when Molina’s in West University sold out to pave way for a fancy grocery store a few years back, and now comes word that the iconic Cafe Adobe, a classic watering hole and enchilada palace in Upper Kirby, will close next year. After more than a three-decade run, the restaurant and the premier property it sits on have been sold to Hines, which plans to develop a multi-family residential project. There are two more Cafe Adobe restaurants in Houston suburbs, but the company says it will search for another property in the general Upper Kirby area for fans of the original site, which will stay open until a new location is found. Cafe Adobe, 2111 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77098, 713-528-1468.
View our calendar of Wine Dinners & Tastings in Houston