John Sheely

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 2: How Do You Pronnounce Giacomo's, Anyway?

    In part 1 of our Chef Chat with Lynette Hawkins of Giacomo's, we discussed how it started out being a counter service restaurant. The customers didn't like it, though, and the restaurant is now 100% table service. Why didn't it work, though? We find out here in Part 2. We also get three recommenda ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 4, 2014

    Openings & Closings: Confusion at Osteria Mazzantini

    Unlike past weeks, this week was filled with upsetting and shocking closings. First, let's start with Osteria Mazzantini. On Tuesday, July 1, chef and owner John Sheely informed CultureMap Houston that his newest restaurant, Osteria Mazzantini, which opened in August 2013, would serve its last meal ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 4, 2014

    Rest of the Best 2014: Houston's Top Ten Italian Restaurants

    Our 2013 Best of Houston® winners were announced a while back, but in many cases, picking the best item in any category was no easy task. In order to show off all the culinary greatness Houston has to offer, we're continuing to round up the "rest of the best" in some of our favorite categories. Bon ... More >>

  • Dining

    May 8, 2014

    Where to Eat on Mother's Day 2014 in Houston

    Take your mother out this year.

  • Blogs

    May 1, 2014

    Where to Eat on Mother's Day 2014 in Houston

    It feels like just yesterday we were rounding up the places to eat on Easter. Now, it's time to help you decide where to take Mom out on her special day. A multitude of Houston restaurants are opening up their doors on Sunday, May 11, to serve brunch, lunch and/or dinner. So be a planner and make re ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2014

    Third Annual Go Pig! Or Go Home! Suckling Pig Throwdown Coming May 4

    Get your stretchy pants ready, 'cause it's time for the third annual festival of gluttony, otherwise known as Go Pig! Or Go Home! For the past two years, Kata Robata has been inviting local chefs to roast whole pigs in the parking lot in front of the restaurant, and the event has continually brought ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 25, 2014

    Upcoming Events: Passaporto Italia Begins at Central Market

    Head to Canyon Creek Cafe on Tuesday, April 29, for a five-course beer dinner paired with brews from Buffalo Bayou, Saint Arnold and Karbach. The beer dinner costs $65 and begins at 6 p.m. with crispy calamari paired with Buffalo Bayou Figaro - Belgian Fig. Next, Canyon Creek will serve a roasted ga ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 7, 2014

    Osteria Mazzantini's Samantha Porter Tells Stories With Wine

    This week's cafe review takes a look at Osteria Mazzantini, a new-ish Italian restaurant from Mockingbird Bistro's John Sheely. I first went there on opening night, and though I enjoyed the food, I found myself most impressed by the creative and interesting wine list and the young sommelier who had ... More >>

  • Dining

    March 6, 2014

    Impressive Steaks and Family Heritage on the Menu at Osteria Mazzantini

    It may not be perfect, but it's pretty damn close.

  • Blogs

    December 17, 2013

    Dear Santa Claus, Please Send Me a Kegerator and a New Knife Set: Denizens of Houston's Culinary World Share Their Wish Lists

    It's that time of year! Children are writing Christmas wish lists and mailing them off to Santa at the North Pole, hoping that he'll deliver what they ask for come Christmas morning. Some of that magic goes away as you get older, but there's no reason we can't keep making wish lists for the holidays ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2013

    Feminism, Organic Activism, & a Bold Italian List at Osteria Mazzantini

    "While traveling alone through Sicily," writes Osteria Mazzantini wine director Samantha Porter in the presentation of her intelligent list, "I fell in love with the idea of taking risks. Feet soaking in the crystal, cyan sea along the coast of Taormina, I sipped on a bottle of wine chosen by the ow ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2013

    The 'Bird Dog': September Special at James Coney Island

    Although the chef series of specialty hot dogs have been going on all summer, I only jumped on the bandwagon in August but with delicious results. Thus, I needed little convincing to go for round two in September when James Coney Island is showcasing Mockingbird Bistro chef John Sheely's creation, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 6, 2013

    First Look at Osteria Mazzantini by Chef John Sheely

    Opening night at Osteria Mazzantini drew a decent crowd, but the kitchen and waitstaff were well prepared for the evening's service after a week of soft opening previews with a perpetually packed house. The upscale Italian restaurant is the newest venture by Mockingbird Bistro chef/owner John She ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 21, 2013

    Chef Chat, Part 3: Jose Vela of Mockingbird Bistro and the Wows that Come from his Kitchen

    This is the third part of a three-part chef chat series. If you missed our previous posts, you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. This week, we've been getting to know Jose Vela of Mockingbird Bistro. Vela's story is the classic one of immigrants everywhere. He came to the United States with his ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 19, 2013

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Jose Vela of Mockingbird Bistro and His Previous Life as a Drummer in a Mexican Rock Band

    This is the first part of a three-part Chef Chat series. Check back with us for Parts 2 and 3, which will run in this same space Thursday and Friday. Mockingbird Bistro is one of our city's finest hidden gems. Sitting smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood in the River Oaks-Montrose ... More >>

  • Dining

    May 30, 2013

    Max's Wine Dive Moving to Montrose

    What does that mean for Houston?

  • Blogs

    May 20, 2013

    Max's Wine Dive Moving into Montrose; What Does That Mean for Houston?

    Fried eggs and truffle oil as toppings may be old hat to foodies these days. We're easily distracted creatures who paw like needle-clawed kittens at every new bauble that comes along. But back in the rollicking days of the mid-2000s, the novelty had not yet worn thin and restaurants like Max's Wine ... More >>

  • Dining

    May 9, 2013

    Todo con Queso

    Houston's 10 best Tex-Mex restaurants.

  • Blogs

    May 9, 2013

    The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Bistros

    How do you define a bistro? If you're going to stick to the traditional Parisian definition, a bistro (or bistrot) is a small, tidy restaurant that serves inexpensive wine and simple dishes in a modest price range. Those dishes are traditionally French "comfort food" recipes like coq au vin, boeuf ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2013

    Openings & Closings: New Concepts from Beloved Chefs, Opening Soon

    Let's pull the Band-aid off and list the bad news first: Jeannine's Bistro officially closed this past week after a temporary closure became permanent. On its Facebook page, the Belgian restaurant posted the following farewell: We've sadly decided to close, and wanted to thank all our friends & pat ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 24, 2013

    Two Surprise Ties and Fantastic Food at the Inaugural Big Taste of Houston

    As far as tasting events go, the Big Taste of Houston, which debuted this past Sunday night to a crowd of about 700, was all that it promised to be and then some. Billed as a premier foodie extravaganza and fundraiser for the Houston chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, the elegant, high class soir ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 10, 2013

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Jonathan Jones of Monarch at the Hotel Zaza, On Running a Hotel Restaurant and Creating a New Menu to Give the Restaurant a Houston Identity

    This is the first part of a three part Chef Chat series. Come back on Thursday and Friday, to read parts two and three of this series. Walk into the lobby of the Hotel Zaza, and as you're checking in you'll see a life-size billboard of the hotel restaurant Monarch's new executive chef, Jonathan Jon ... More >>

  • Dining

    January 24, 2013

    The Dan Marino Restaurants

    The 13 restaurants that nearly made our 30 essential Texas restaurants list.

  • Blogs

    January 18, 2013

    Openings & Closings: Backstreet's Back ... All Right!

    Last week was quiet; this week has some talking to do -- starting with news that David Grossman will be closing out at Branch Water Tavern and taking the restaurant's name with him when he does. The restaurant itself will remain open under a new name and new ownership, reports Greg Morago at the Hou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 15, 2013

    Top 10 Restaurants in River Oaks

    The last time we tackled the Top 10 restaurants in River Oaks, Tony Mandola's was still open in what is now Brasserie 19's spot in the River Oaks Shopping Center. Needless to say, things have changed a bit in three years. And in spite of its ritzy exterior, River Oaks still has plenty of inexpensive ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 15, 2012

    What Are Houston Chefs Doing for Thanksgiving (Besides Cooking for You)?

    With so many great restaurants open for Thanksgiving Day -- and so many chefs working hard on a day when the rest of us are enjoying family time or simply a much-needed day off -- it's tough to find a chef who's celebrating Thanksgiving in any sort of traditional sense. John Sheely, executive chef ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 30, 2012

    The Eating...Our Words 100: Sam Ray of Republic National

    Eating...Our Words has embarked on a project to profile 100 Houston culinarians of all fields, practices, careers and backgrounds. This isn't a Best of Houston list, it's not a 100 Favorites list and it's not in any particular order. Instead, the Eating...Our Words 100 is a way to introduce our read ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 22, 2012

    Saving Lives at the Sweet & Savory Dinner

    When pastry chef Rebecca Masson teamed up with her friends to host a fundraising dinner for Lucky Dog Rescue three years ago, she sold 40 seats and raised $3,500 to help forgotten and unwanted Houston dogs find homes. There were three savory courses and three sweet courses at Masson's first Sweet & ... More >>

  • Dining

    October 4, 2012

    100 Favorite Dishes 2012

    No. 1, Korean Braised Goat and Dumplings at Underbelly.

  • Blogs

    September 28, 2012

    Openings & Closings: September 2012, Plus Picking a New Name for Calliope's Po-Boy

    After a supremely busy seven days for restaurant news last week, this week let up a little bit -- but not by much. Starting off the week was news that chef Erin Smith is leaving Plonk. Her last day will be October 13 and after a brief trip to visit family, Smith will be back in Houston looking for h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 31, 2012

    Upcoming Events: Sweet Charity and Celebrity Chef Tours

    First and foremost, go check out today's Voice Daily Deal. It's the first time we've partnered with 100% Taquito, and today's deal gets you $20 worth of food for $10. For those (like me) who are terrible at math, that's half-off your meal. Do you know how many cups of elote you can buy for $20? A lo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 10, 2012

    Valentine's Day Dining 2012

    Ed. note: We are running this again after publishing it a week ago, for all you last-minute lovers. It isn't hard to figure out why dining and chocolate candy play such a prominent role in Valentine's Day celebrations. Eating is, by nature, extremely sensual. Few activities are capable of pleasura ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2011

    The Top 10 Cookbooks of 2011: Texas Edition

    ​This is neither a list of the all-time best cookbooks of the year, nor is it a list of the best Texan cookbooks of the year. It's a combination of both. Because odds are that if you're giving a cookbook as a gift this year, it's either going to be to a fellow Texan or because you're a Texan l ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 12, 2011

    Chef Chat, Part 2: Juan Carlos Gonzalez of Bistro Alex in City Centre

    Mai PhamChef Juan Carlos Gonzalez of Bistro Alex​Yesterday, we caught up with Chef Juan Carlos Gonzales of Bistro Alex and talked about his background and some of the standout dishes in his restaurant. Today we ask him about his involvement in the Toque 5 dinner series and his favorite foods. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 14, 2011

    Chef Chat, Part 2: Greg Lowry of VOICE

    ​Yesterday, we spoke with VOICE executive chef Greg Lowry about how he became a chef and the evolution of the menu under his direction. Today we talk sharks, Toque 5 dinners and molecular gastronomy. EOW: Have you recovered from the Final Four? GL: Business-wise it was fantastic, but hour-wi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2011

    Upcoming Events

    ​Up in Cypress, Chef John Ly is hosting a wine tasting at Strata (122 Vintage Park Boulevard, Suite A, 281-379-2889) this Saturday, January 8, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. If you have shopping to do at Vintage Park, what better way to unwind afterward (and trust me, wine is the way to do it) than at ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 7, 2010

    Chef Chat, Part 2: John Sheely of Mockingbird Bistro

    Tam Vo​Today we continue our discussion with John Sheely to learn about how skiing ties into cooking, his memorable food discoveries and how he's been coping with the down economy. EOW: I understand you love to ski. Do any skiing concepts translate into what you do in the kitchen? Sheely: S ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2010

    The Houston Culinary Awards Get a Facelift

    Photo courtesy of My TableThe steel awards themselves (no more glass!) weren't the only new things this year.​"You can't help but feel great when you're honored and respected by your peers and Houston diners," said Sean Beck today, after bringing home a stunning two awards at the annual My Tab ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 5, 2010

    Top 10 Restaurants in River Oaks

    It's not surprising that one of the most exclusive zip codes in the country has some pretty fantastic food -- but rest assured that the 'hood isn't all iced tea and crumpets. So excited were we about the ten below that we didn't find room for neighborhood icons like Avalon Diner, Andre's, and the Fr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 23, 2009

    Upcoming Events

    ​Although it's facing stiff competition from Southern Star lately, Saint Arnold is still our favorite hometown brewery. And this weekend's Foam Raiser at the Orange Show (Saturday, October 24, from 7 to 10 p.m.) is one of many reasons why. The ticket sales for the 2nd annual Foam Ra ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2009

    The Belly of the Beast

    Photos by Katharine Shilcutt A packed dining room at Catalan on Monday night​People swarmed the table full of pork and beans at last night's long-awaited Pork Belly Throwdown at Catalan like bees on a hive. Dishes such as Vermont maple-glazed Kurobuta pork belly shared space with whole suc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2009

    A Chat with John Sheely of Mockingbird Bistro Wine Bar

    Photo by Sarah Rufka Since opening in 2002, Mockingbird Bistro Wine Bar (1985 Welch) has garnered props from The New York Times Magazine, Southwest Spirit Magazine, Bon Appetit and Esquire. Mockingbird's French-bistro-inspired menu changes with the seasons to guarantee fresh flavors and also to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2009

    This Week In Deliciousness

    Ray's Franks' Freddy Krueger will haunt your dreams. But in a good way. Welcome back to the weekly round-up here at Eating Our Words, where we have gravy on tap. To start off with, Mike Giglio out-spent Robb Walsh $13 to $7, because Mike is a fancy man of top-shelf tastes. He seemed impressed b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 26, 2009

    Follow Friday for Houston Food Hounds

    Photo courtesy of @bakerella In the world of Twitter -- the love-it-or-hate-it microblogging service -- Fridays are known as "Follow Friday," a day devoted to suggesting new or interesting users for your friends to follow. Depending on who you follow, your Twitter stream will be inundated on Friday ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 11, 2009

    Tomato Fest at Bayou City Farmer's Market

    Photos by Carlos Meltzer Jr.Tomato season has begun. And last Saturday the Bayou City Farmer's Market celebrated the lipstick-red, round bottom fruits with their Fifth Annual Tomato Fest. The market felt more like a block party that day, with the usual vendors selling everything from eggs to homemad ... More >>

  • Dining

    November 11, 2004

    Sweet 17

    The Sam Houston Hotel unites shrimp curry, king salmon with Moroccan spices, and mac 'n' cheese

  • Best of Houston

    September 23, 2004
  • Dining

    July 24, 2003

    Sheely Splits

    The Sam's PR people call it a business decision

  • Dining

    January 9, 2003

    New Digs, Old Tricks

    The Riviera Grill has moved downtown, but it doesn't know how to make an urban statement

  • Dining

    March 7, 2002

    Inside Baseball at the Bistro

    Chef John Sheely's Mockingbird Bistro could end up as an inside-the-park home run

  • More >>