Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

News for Restaurants in Houston
February 2011 Archive

Search / Openings / Closings / News Bytes / Culinary Events / Wine Dinners / Sign up for our free, monthly newsletter / News Archive



Schiller-Del Grande, the folks behind RDG + Bar Annie, Taco Milagro, Cafe Express and The Grove, have opened another new spot. Ava Kitchen & Whiskey Bar is now up and running at the multi-use West Ave in Upper Kirby. Executive chef Robert Del Grande has crafted an eclectic but down-to-earth menu combining Italian dishes with regional tastes such as a spicy coppa salad with aromatic Taleggio cheese, dried mission figs and fennel, and a delicate white anchovies salad paired with hot chorizo and green olives. There are also pasta dishes, steaks and even a Texas-style burger. The décor, by SDG partner Candice Schiller, is a modern take on a traditional European space with ocean hues and a bank of windows. The entrance hall splits to a stairway that will soon be open to a second SDG venture at West Ave: Alto Pizzeria. Ava Kitchen & Whisky Bar, West Ave, 2800 Kirby Dr., Houston, TX 77098, 713-386-6460.
Philippe Restaurant and Lounge in Houston Philippe Restaurant + Lounge, the long-awaited eponymous eatery by French chef Philippe Schmit, formerly of Bistro Moderne, is now open. The modern and almost over-the-top chic restaurant designed by architect Shafik Rifaat (who created Tony’s) is now open for dinner Monday through Saturday and will open for lunch service on February 8. The extensive menu is based on Schmit’s immersion in traditional French cooking techniques but leans toward creative dishes, including everything from thin-crust pizzas to Texas-style Burgundy beef cheeks paired with mac and cheese. Philippe’s also sports a full bar and a lengthy and reasonably priced wine list. Philippe Restaurant + Lounge, 1800 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX 77056, 713-439-1000.

News Bytes

Restaurant CINQ is offering a special anniversary meal deal Anniversary Meal Deal at Restaurant CINQ La Colombe d'Or Hotel
It was 30 years ago that a lawyer named Steve Zimmerman decided to save the old Fondren Mansion and turned it into La Colombe d’Or Hotel, one of the world’s smallest luxury hotels. Now the restaurant at the hotel---recently redubbed Restaurant CINQ and with hot young chef Jeramie Robison at the helm---is honoring the anniversary with a $30, three-course anniversary meal. The package includes a choice of escargots, Caesar salad, ceviche or soup of the day; pan seared chicken breast, petit filet mignon, braised short ribs or Asian red fish; and a dessert course of crème brulee, coffee cake or chocolate mousse. The anniversary meal is available for lunch or dinner until November 29 of this year. Restaurant CINQ, La Colombe d'Or Hotel, 3410 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX 77006, 713-524-7999.
Breakfast at Ouisie's Table
Ouisie's Table, a River Oaks longtime favorite known for Gulf Coast comfort food, has started serving breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday and brunch from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the weekends. The menu includes such down-home dishes like biscuits and gravy, crab cake Benedict, steak and eggs and sweet potato pancakes. And, of course, plenty of Bellinis and mimosas. Ouisie's Table, 3939 San Felipe Rd., Houston, TX 77027, 713-528-2264.
Happy Hour at Catalan Food & Wine
Catalan Food & Wine offers a $5 Washington Avenue happy hour every day in the bar and patio from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. (starting at 5 p.m. on weekends). Guests can enjoy $5 appetizers, $5 wine specials, $5 cocktails and discounted beers. The menu changes every week but previous options have included Frito chili pie, muffaletta sliders and BLT flatbread. Catalan Food & Wine, 5555 Washington Ave., Houston, TX 77007, 713-426-4260.

Chef Shuffle

Look for some big changes in the next few months at Catalan Food & Wine, as founding chef Chris Shepherd departs in May to open his own restaurant. Catalan co-owners Charles Clark and Grant Cooper plan to announce a new chef in May and rebrand Catalan around his/her talents. At the same time they’ll be busy turning the old Tony Mandola’s spot on West Gray into a casual French brasserie. As for Shepherd, he’ll be working on Underbelly, a Westheimer Road restaurant focusing on the same kinds of food he developed at Catalan, combining local ingredients and his love of whole pigs; he even plans to have a full-scale butcher shop onsite. Along with the 2011 opening of Philippe Schmit’s eponymous restaurant and the anticipated opening of the Bryan Caswell, Bill Floyd, Robb Walsh El Real Tex-Mex, it’s shaping up to be a fun year for Houston foodies. Catalan Food & Wine, 5555 Washington Ave., Houston, TX 77007, 713-426-4260.


Take your taste buds on a walk down memory lane! Check out our exclusive closed restaurant database for Houston to virtually visit your favorite dining spots from yesteryear. Zula, R.I.P.

Check back soon for more news.

Want to
learn to cook? Try new dishes? Meet a foodie friend for fun? Check out our compilation of culinary events in your area.

View our calendar of Wine Dinners & Tastings in Houston

Current News View archived news: October 2013 | September 2013 | August 2013 | July 2013 | June 2013 | May 2013 | April 2013 | March 2013 | February 2013 | January 2013 | December 2012 | November 2012 | October 2012 | September 2012 | August 2012 | July 2012 | June 2012 | May 2012 | April 2012 | March 2012 | February 2012 | January 2012 | December 2011 | November 2011 | October 2011 | September 2011 | August 2011 | July 2011 | June 2011 | May 2011 | April 2011 | March 2011 | February 2011 | January 2011 | December 2010 | November 2010 | October 2010 | September 2010 | August 2010 | July 2010 | June 2010 | May 2010 | April 2010 | March 2010 | February 2010 | January 2010 | December 2009 | November 2009 | October 2009 | September 2009 | August 2009 | July 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009 | April 2009 | March 2009 | February 2009 | November 2008 | June 2008 | May 2008 | March 2008

Check GAYOT's Best of Drink Lists to help you choose the best bottle(s).