Best Vintage Atmosphere - 2005
La Tour d'Argent
About a hundred years ago, a French-Canadian carpenter built a log cabin on White Oak Bayou. Various residents since have expanded the building using logs and other rough-hewn materials. Today, that old building houses the French restaurant called La Tour d'Argent. The name means "tower of silver" in French; it's also the name of one of the most famous restaurants in Paris. The Paris original is a legendary haute cuisine restaurant with posh dining rooms overlooking the Seine. The Houston Tour d'Argent overlooks a ravine in White Oak Bayou and recalls the hardscrabble lifestyle of this city's pioneers. The original hundred-year-old log cabin serves as the central dining room; it's decorated with an unbelievable number of antlers, horns and other hunting and fishing souvenirs. The restaurant also houses a large collection of antiques. This dense accumulation of taxidermy and old furniture in a rustic building gives the restaurant the atmosphere of an ancient hunting lodge. It's a remarkable slice of Houston history, but whether you love it or hate it depends on how you feel about old hunting lodges.