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News for Restaurants in Houston
June 2012 Archive

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To mark a quarter of a century Carrabba’s is shaking things up. The original Carrabba’s Italian Grill on Kirby Dr. is preparing to move into a new building next door later this year and will be renamed Carrabba’s Johnny IV after Johnny Carrabba’s son. Then the old building will transform into a more upscale Italian eatery named for his mother, Grace, next year. But already opened is a third restaurant just a block over. Called Mia’s, after his daughter, it’s a Texas-themed family restaurant, something very different for the brand. The space resembles an old country store with open dining rooms, shelves of produce, and a free self-serve soft ice cream machine. The portions are huge, even the Asian salad is big. The fare is mostly sandwiches --- big burgers and a very good pulled-pork on toasted buns. The fries are hand-cut and other sides include coleslaw and a creamy potato salad. There are also corn dogs for the kids, queso and chips and fried chicken fingers with jalapeño gravy. Mia's, 3131 Argonne St., Houston, TX 77098, 713-522-6427.

News Bytes

Summer Cocktail Dinner at Philippe Restaurant + Lounge
Having dinner at chef Philippe Schmit’s eponymous restaurant is pretty good anytime, but on June 27 a special meal will pair the master chef’s food with Sommelier Vanessa Trevino-Boyd’s specially designed summer cocktails. The four-course dinner with cocktails is priced at $85 per person and begins at 6:30 p.m. with an amuse bouche and a cocktail of cava, rose essence and Lillet Rose. There will follow a salad course, fish, meat and desserts, all with summer sips. The main course will be a pork chop with spicy vanilla roasted apricots, chick pea fries, rum sauce with cardamom and house dried grapes paired with a “Captain Cousteau” made with Sailor Jerry spiced rum, Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, pineapple, cinnamon syrup and lemon bitters. For reservations call 713-439-1000. Philippe Restaurant + Lounge, BLVD Place, 1800 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX 77056, 713-439-1000.
Summertime Brings Back Landry’s Signature Chef Series
When the Houston heats climbs, so does the foodie fun. Now through August, Landry’s flagship restaurants --- Vic & Anthony’s, Brenner’s, Brenner’s on the Bayou, Grotto, La Griglia, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Morton’s The Steakhouse and Willie G’s Seafood and Steak House --- will host special dinner parties where you can dine with the chefs. For ticket information, visit
Triniti Hosts A Concerto in Eight Courses
A first-of-its-kind fundraiser June 10 paired the food at Triniti Restaurant + Bar with the sounds of baroque music to raise more than $7,000 for Mercury, a period instrument orchestra. Executive chef and co-owner Ryan Hildebrand created eight courses; everything from a deconstructed tomato consommé served up with a side of Handel to a pistachio opera cake accompanied by --- of course --- opera. “I had two tastings with Maestro Antoine Plante so we could get the courses and concertos just right,” Hildebrand said. “The music reflects the nuances of each dish.” Plante, who often collaborates with other artists on performances, said this was no different. “Ryan is an artist, too,” he said. “Just like the choreographers I work with.” Hildebrand plans to host more dinners with Mercury to introduce each of his seasonal menus. Triniti Restaurant + Bar, 2815 S. Shepherd Dr., Houston, TX 77098, 713-527-9090.
Eat well; Help Out the Italian Earthquake Victims
The recent earthquakes in northern Italy have killed at least 17 people, left thousands homeless and have devastated the Parmigiano Reggiano industry there. As many as 400,000 wheels of cheese came crashing off shelves during the quakes and producers say they will be lucky if they can even save half of them. The disaster could set the region back two years and cost 200 million Euros in lost produce. But some Italian restaurants in America are stepping in to help. Giacomo’s cibo e vino in Houston is one of those restaurants. Owner/chef Lynette Hawkins is donating proceeds from her $14 tagliatelle al prosciutto di Parma entrée to the relief efforts during the month of June. “This dish features the two most famous, iconic and venerated ingredients of the cuisine of Emilia-Romagna: Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma,” says Hawkins. Giacomo’s is one of many restaurants across the country raising funds for the hard-hit region. Giacomo’s cibo e vino, 3215 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77098, 713-522-1934.

Chef Shuffle

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