Best Atmosphere (2004)
Rainbow Lodge Tucked away on Buffalo Bayou, this once-private home with a pond, meandering gardens and sunroom overlooking a quaint gazebo has a way of making you think you're nowhere near the city. Pick a shady spot on the terrace and lose yourself in the trickling of the bayou below. The hand-carved wood bar, the collection of antique outboard motors mounted on the walls and the deep red cedar and pine details give the place a cozy hunting-lodge feel. If you don't mind stuffed trophies peering at you as you munch on some of the best Gulf Coast cuisine Houston has to offer, you'll enjoy a menu that leans heavily on wild game (the mixed grill appetizer includes venison, quail, elk and wild boar) and fresh seafood (salmon, lobster and blue crab plus daily fresh catches).