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 >>
It may not be perfect, but it's pretty damn close.
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 >>
"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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
A beginner's guide to Vietnamese cuisine.
Houston's 10 best Tex-Mex restaurants.
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
The 13 restaurants that nearly made our 30 essential Texas restaurants list.
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
No. 1, Korean Braised Goat and Dumplings at Underbelly.
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Mai PhamChef Juan Carlos Gonzalez of Bistro AlexYesterday, 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Tam VoToday 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Photos by Katharine Shilcutt A packed dining room at Catalan on Monday nightPeople 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
The Sam Houston Hotel unites shrimp curry, king salmon with Moroccan spices, and mac 'n' cheese
The Sam's PR people call it a business decision
Plus: Defining Moment, Egg on the Face, Get Off Death Row!
The Riviera Grill has moved downtown, but it doesn't know how to make an urban statement
Chef John Sheely's Mockingbird Bistro could end up as an inside-the-park home run