Nosh Bistro, You Sexy Thing

Nosh Bistro, in all its sultry splendor, delivers modern American fare with clever South Asian twists.

 See more of Nosh Bistro's elegantly quirky interior and its colorful kitchen in our slideshow.

"It looks like Prince exploded in that place," grumbled one of my friends — French and very fussy — about the new Nosh Bistro, recently opened in the same plot at Kirby and Highway 59 that houses Haven, Twin Peaks, Cafe Japon and the equally new Elevation Burger. Between this not-so-glowing assessment and the traffic and parking nightmares one normally encounters when heading to that corner for dinner, I must confess that I didn't expect much from the quiet restaurant.

Perhaps going in with such low expectations is the reason I came away with such a huge crush on the chic, sexy place after only one visit. Two follow-ups confirmed my admiration for what owner Neera Patidar and her French-trained chef, Carlos Gonzales, have done with the narrow space that — contrary to my initial fears — actually has plenty of parking. But that's not all Nosh has going for it.

Dishes such as braised short ribs are given fun Indian updates with curry powder and cauliflower.
Troy Fields
Dishes such as braised short ribs are given fun Indian updates with curry powder and cauliflower.

Location Info


Nosh Bistro

3983 Kirby Drive
Houston, TX 77098

Category: Restaurant > Eclectic

Region: Lower Shepherd-Kirby


2502 Algerian Way
Houston, TX 77098

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Lower Shepherd-Kirby

Twin Peaks

4527 Lomitas St.
Houston, TX 77098

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Lower Shepherd-Kirby

Cafe Japon

3915 Kirby
Houston, TX 77098

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: Lower Shepherd-Kirby

Elevation Burger

3819 Kirby Drive
Houston, TX 77098

Category: Restaurant > Burgers

Region: Lower Shepherd-Kirby

Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen

2712 Richmond Ave.
Houston, TX 77098

Category: Restaurant > British

Region: Lower Shepherd-Kirby


2800 Kirby Drive, B132
Houston, TX 77098

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: Lower Shepherd-Kirby


Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Fresh pasta with pancetta: $9
Eggs in curry: $10
Beef burger: $10
Lamb burger: $11
Yellowfin tartare: $14
Angry shrimp: $19
Chocolate spiced doughnuts: $7

SLIDESHOW: Nosh Bistro Heats Up Upper Kirby
BLOG POST: Opulent or Overdone? Nosh Bistro's Ornate Decor Proves Divisive

During that first visit, I was stunned to see two of my favorite things beckoning from Nosh's short and sweet menu: a Gaia Agiorgitiko rosé from the surprisingly mature wine list and a pungent morsel of Époisses de Bourgogne cheese that oozed slowly across the wooden slats of a cheese board laden with other old and new favorites: caramel-sweet gjetost (a soft, fawn-colored Norwegian cheese that's seen on cheeseboards as rarely as that intoxicatingly smelly Époisses) and housemade rabbit sausage that tasted fresh and sweet. The Greek rosé couldn't have been a better companion to the entire board, its dry, acidic cherry notes bouncing off and slicing through the fatty cheeses and rich sausage.

I'd thought Nosh Bistro was merely an Indian fusion restaurant in the same vein as The Queen Vic or Pondicheri, both of which are just down the street — and would offer fierce competition even if they weren't. But where The Queen Vic offers a somewhat traditional blend of Indian curries and British pub grub (albeit with a Gulf Coast flare) and Pondicheri a hard Indian bent to its fusion food, Nosh Bistro takes a much lighter approach with the dishes that Patidar and Gonzales have created.

This is modern American bistro fare, for the most part, given clever South Asian twists: braised short ribs with a faint bite of curry powder, topped with barely fried quail eggs and served on cushions of pureed cauliflower. Or fat, "angry" shrimp tossed in a spicy blend of cayenne, ginger and ­jalapeños, the burn mitigated by the sweet bites of forbidden rice in such a dark shade of purple that the rice is nearly black. And even where there aren't any licks of saffron or cardamom livening up a dish, there are unique surprises to be found, like that glass of rosé and that slip of Époisses.

I don't think it's entirely fair to say that Nosh looks as though Prince exploded inside of it. Sure, there's a lot of purple velvet to be found here — mostly in the form of padded, upholstered bar stools that perch on thick, finely turned, stark white legs. Almost everything inside is purple, white, mother-of-pearl or silver — from glittering trim along the bar to the tiles along the oven that turns out pizzas on fluffy naan, from the giant, Alice in Wonderland-sized silver booths that seat six people to the purple napkins at every place setting.

I can see how the decor might be over the top for some, but I love it unabashedly. It has sex appeal and personality to spare at an time when many restaurateurs seem determined to strip dining rooms down to their most basic, bare, boring elements. This works for some restaurants but not all, and I'm glad to see the "modern industrial" aesthetic has not invaded every space in town. The boisterous design at Nosh Bistro mimics the fun, playful food, and although it's decidedly quirky by day, the dining room is downright sultry at night.

Gentlemen, this is exactly the type of spot you take your lady friends to impress them: Nosh is in a hip part of town but tucked away. It's sexy but not cheesy. Its food is adventurous but not too outlandish. Its wine and cocktail list are thoughtfully curated. Its patio has a cozy fire pit — lined in glittering mother-of-pearl tile — and intimate seating. As long as you're not a total creep, Nosh is guaranteed to get you at least a follow-up date.

It functions equally well as a ladies'-night destination, I found out on my first visit, when my girlfriend and I tested out the "shareability" of Nosh's plates, which are designed — as so many restaurant dishes are these days — for splitting or for keeping to yourself. Often, however, "shareable" dishes are too small to split. Not so at Nosh, where there was more than enough of each to go around.

Good thing, too, as I would have fought her for the last leaves of arugula in a roasted beet salad tossed with fried lentils for crunch and dressed in a vinaigrette redolent with garam masala spices and the slightest touch of truffle oil. I thought the truffle oil would be overpowering but instead was bemused by how well it mingled with the cloves and cinnamon in the curry blend. I was equally wary of a dish called simply "fresh pasta with pancetta" but ended up loving the chewy squares of diced pork amid plump strands of linguine, poppyseeds and subtle whiffs of saffron.

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