Michael Kramer

  • Dining

    January 31, 2013

    Line & Lariat Goes from Surf to Turf

    Line & Lariat offers an exceptional menu showcasing some of the best foods in this state's culinary history. Now it just needs some customers.

  • Blogs

    April 20, 2012

    Openings & Closings: The Blind Items Gain Vision Edition

    Everyone likes to see a good blind item come to fruition. We have two that gained sight this week. With one of our most recent items, our readers -- as usual -- were spot on in their guesses. Ocean's, the big white house in Montrose that currently serves subpar seafood, will soon become Concepción ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 21, 2012

    Is Great Pizza in Houston Finally on the Rise?

    Let's face facts: Houston isn't known as a great pizza town. We don't attract heavy-hitters like Il Cane Rosso, in Dallas. Hell, we don't even have one outstanding, nationally recognized pizza place here -- no Pizzeria Bianco like Phoenix, no Pizzeria Mozza like Los Angeles. Last year, Greg Morago ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2012

    Foodies, Your Photo Show Is Here

    Alex Gregg is not only an award-winning bartender at Anvil; he is also a professional photographer, and he recently put his skills to work last October at the very popular Les Sauvages Supper Club dinners. The fruits of his labor are now on display at Catalina Coffee on Washington Avenue.

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2011

    The Biggest Disappointments of 2011

    I think that 2012 is shaping up to be Houston's year, after a long 2011 featuring false starts, delayed openings, unexpected closings and failures to launch. That's not to say that 2011 didn't have its perks: Look for our list of the year's best new restaurant later this week. But it came with its ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2011

    A Tale of Two Dinners: Ava Kitchen & Whiskey Bar vs. The Modular

    This lobster risotto and accompanying lobster came from your friendly local dive bar.​One is a highbrow full-fledged restaurant -- a "brick-and-mortar" place, to use the parlance of the day -- owned and operated by heavyweight restaurateurs. The other is a cobbled-together food truck, ephemera ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2011

    First Look at Felix 55

    The first time I tried to eat at Felix 55, the new Rice Village restaurant with Chef Michael Kramer at the helm, it was utterly packed. The patio was overflowing with guests and music pulsed from inside the restaurant, which is sandwiched between Baker St. Pub and D'Amico's in the hip 'n' happening ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 22, 2011

    The New Kid on the Block: Happy Hour at Felix 55

    Pulled Pork Tacos​When I think of Morningside Drive in the Rice Village, casual dining and late night bar hopping come to mind. So Chef Michael Kramer's (formerly of Voice and The Tasting Room) new restaurant, Felix 55, is somewhat of an anomaly in the midst of Irish pubs and casual cafes. I'v ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2011

    Bartender Chat: Piran Esfahani of Zimm's Martini & Wine Bar

    ​Piran Esfahani came to Houston from Vienna, Austria to study business and graduated from St. Thomas University. Shortly thereafter, he left Houston for Roatan, Honduras (it's not ugly...) to sell beachfront real estate. Now he's back masterfully crafting martinis at Zimm's Martini & Wine Bar ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 12, 2011

    Openings & Closings: Fisch, Fish and More Fish

    Which sushi place has opened its second Houston location?​Unfortunately, we're ending the week on a sad note: Sweet 'n' Namkin, which I just spotlighted on Wednesday as having my favorite dahi puri in town, has closed. Anyone want to try and direct me to a new place for dahi puri, preferably a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 22, 2011

    Openings & Closings

    Pure Luck ravioli with warm tiny beets, brown butter and hazelnut puree.​With an opening date seemingly in sight, the latest food buzz is centered around Chef Michael Gaspard's Brasserie 19. Gaspard's partners in the new venture, Charles Clark and Grant Cooper, are already old hands at shaping ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 21, 2011

    Chef de Cuisine Justin Basye Departing Stella Sola

    Photo by FabioBasye is leaving Stella Sola to further sharpen his skills.​It's a day for kitchen shakeups across Houston. First came the news from the Houston Chronicle that Michael Kramer is ending his partnership with The Tasting Room. And now, Justin Basye has also announced that he's leav ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 15, 2011

    Chef Chat, Part 3: Greg Lowry of VOICE

    Caprese salad.​Before last week, I had never eaten at the restaurant inside the Hotel Icon - not when it was Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Bank, and not when Michael Kramer was the executive chef of VOICE. So I can't comment on what Houston may have lost in the way of fine dining. All I can say ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 13, 2011

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Greg Lowry of VOICE

    ​It's been nearly a year since Greg Lowry took over as the executive chef at VOICE, and he has settled into the position with confidence and style. Trained at Culinary Institute LeNôtre with a specialization in French pastry, Lowry jhas had stints at Tony's, Farrago, Mulberry, Max's Wine Div ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 12, 2011

    First Look at The Tasting Room at CityCentre

    Photos by Katharine ShilcuttThe grouper crudo photographed beautifully. If only it tasted that way, too.​Before my wine or food (or even my dinner date) had arrived at The Tasting Room at CityCentre last night, I thought that I'd already had the place mostly figured out. The shiny new space sa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 3, 2011

    Houston's Top 10 Wine Bars

    Photo by Troy FieldsYou can even get a helluva guanciale cheeseburger at Plonk.​Today's Houston Press Deal of the Day (oh, you don't know what those are? sign up; they're seriously fantastic) is for 50 percent off at Boheme, a little wine bar in Montrose that also serves up cappuccinos and bee ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 11, 2011

    Openings & Closings

    Photo courtesy of AvaInside Ava Kitchen & Whiskey Bar​First things first, for anyone who might be heading out to Skewers (3991 Richmond, 713-599-1444) for its grand reopening: Don't. At least, not yet. The restaurant's PR team emailed us an explanation for the delay this week: Skewers is not ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 4, 2011

    Chef Chat, Part 3: Michael Kramer of The Tasting Room

    ​This week we have been chatting with Chef Michael Kramer, who has trained with some of the biggest names in the business, from Wolfgang Puck at Spago to Dean Fearing at The Mansion on Turtle Creek. He brings his years of experience to both the River Oaks Tasting Room location and the Uptown ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 3, 2011

    Chef Chat, Part 2: Michael Kramer of The Tasting Room

    ​Yesterday we asked Chef Michael Kramer at The Tasting Room's Uptown Park location about his personal food and wine pairing suggestions. Today we get the inside scoop on The Tasting Room's new CityCentre location, set to open on February 16. Eating Our Words: Michael, you became the executi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 2, 2011

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Michael Kramer of The Tasting Room

    ​Eating Our Words recently caught up with Chef Michael Kramer at The Tasting Room's Uptown location to get the scoop on the huge new City Centre location, set to open in February 16, and find out what goes into a good wine bar restaurant. Eating Our Words: Hi Michael. This Uptown Park locati ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 14, 2011

    Upcoming Events

    Photo courtesy of Paula MurphyCome prepared to the fruit tree sale and don't say you weren't warned.​Don't forget! Urban Harvest's annual fruit tree sale is kind of a big deal, and it's happening this weekend at Robertson Stadium on the University of Houston campus. From the press release: Th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 30, 2010

    Openings & Closings

    David Luna at Flora & Muse, his new restaurant.​Add another unlikely mobile food vendor to the list of food trucks now rolling through Houston's streets: Hubcap Grill's fire engine-red truck had its grand unveiling last night in the parking lot of Christy's Donuts at West Gray and Montrose. Th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2010

    Finding a New Voice

    Coca-Cola braised beef cheek and cassoulet.​"I just picked up a knife for the first time today about an hour ago," an exasperated but happy-looking Greg Lowry gushed yesterday evening at Voice. The new chef at the downtown restaurant in the sumptuous lobby of the Hotel Icon has been spending h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2010

    Openings and Closings

    Losing our Voice.​Although it technically isn't a closure, it's the end of an era for Voice, the critically-acclaimed restaurant at the Hotel Icon. Chef Michael Kramer is leaving as the hotel has decided to take the restaurant in a different, slightly less upscale direction. It's a huge blow f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2010

    Southern Star Beer Dinner at VOICE

    ​Wine is typically the chosen buzz agent at fine-dining establishments, but chef Michael Kramer and the Southern Star Brewery are out to break some habits. Last week, VOICE hosted the latest in a string of dinners in which beer takes the supporting role alongside a multi-course meal. And not j ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 30, 2010

    May Is National Hamburger Month

    Smashburger.​May is National Burger Month, that special time when you can channel your inner Hamburglar. Burgerphiles can sample their way through the specials around town, while the ne'er-branch-outs can perhaps be tempted to try something new. Here are a few Houston restaurants spreading the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 6, 2010

    What's Going On In The Champagne Room?

    Photo by geishaboy500​Cha isn't quite "officially" open yet, but that hasn't prevented the new champagne bar from experiencing its share of issues already. A shakeup from top to bottom (the fallout from which you can read about in some rather dismal reviews on Yelp) has resulted in the upscale ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2010

    A Texas-Sized Food Fight at the Rodeo's Best Bites Competition

    Photos by Katharine ShilcuttMasraff's got into the spirit of the rodeo with Lone Star attire.​With a nearly endless bounty of fine food and wine that stretched over an area larger than a football field, guests at last night's Best Bites Competition at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo were ha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 18, 2010

    Houston Heavily Honored by James Beard Foundation

    Photos by Katharine ShilcuttRobert Del Grande​If anyone is still under the impression that Houston is trying desperately to play catchup with culinary empires like New York City and Chicago, they only need to look at the 2010 James Beard Award nominations -- released today -- to see that isn't ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 2, 2010

    An Unlikely Winner at the Mushroom Throwdown

    Photo by Katharine ShilcuttThrowdown judge Gracie Cavnar prepares to sample an entry.​The big guns were brought out last night for the fourth -- and largest to date -- throwdown organized by Jenny Wang and the Houston Chowhounds: the Mushroom Throwdown at Vic & Anthony's. From the judging pane ... More >>

  • Culture

    December 31, 2009

    Buh-Bye 2009

    Where to celebrate the dawn of a new year: Our guide to the best events in town.

  • Culture

    December 24, 2009

    Buh-Bye 2009

    Where to celebrate the dawn of a new year: Our guide to the best events in town.

  • Blogs

    December 3, 2009

    Walking in a Gingerbread Wonderland

    Photos by Groovehouse​If it didn't feel like Christmastime yet on Tuesday night with a slight chill in the air, the sight that greeted us as we walked into Voice put us right in the holiday mood: delicately and immaculately designed gingerbread houses all in a row, next to a glimmering Chri ... More >>

  • Calendar

    November 26, 2009

    Movies Houstonians Love: Meals on Reels: Big Night

    "Sometimes spaghetti likes to be alone"

  • Blogs

    November 23, 2009

    Eating Out on Thanksgiving Day? What's Open

    ​Not everyone in the city celebrates Thanksgiving, and that should come as no surprise given our increasingly diverse tapestry of residents (something for which Eating Our Words is thankful). And not everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving does so with a big family dinner at home. For these folk ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 9, 2009

    Bivalve Throwdown: Oysters With a Side of Intrigue at Stella Sola

    Photos by Katharine Shilcutt​In the heat of battle last night, the oysters -- and the chefs -- kept their cool. The fourth such event organized by Jenny Wang and the Houston Chowhounds, the Bivalve Throwdown at Stella Sola on Sunday afternoon saw 11 of the city's best chefs compete to create ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 9, 2009

    Beer and Sausage and Beer Ice Cream at VOICE

    Photo by jk5854​It is a dinner that begins with pheasant sausage coupled with a robust pumpkin beer and ends with a stout (beer) ice cream. Along the way there will be more sausage and bratwurst, a beer-braised duck and an apple tart (to go with the beer ice cream). Once again, Chef Michael Kramer ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 19, 2009

    A Stout Dinner at Hotel Icon

    Photo by Katharine ShilcuttVoice in the Hotel IconIf you like good food but elaborate wine pairings just give you a headache, then consider this upcoming meal put together by Voice Executive Chef Michael Kramer, in which he pairs good food with craft (no Bud) beer. On May 28 at the Hotel Icon, Kram ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 6, 2009

    Treat Mom Right on Mother's Day

    Mother's Day is quickly approaching, and if you've already made plans to take your dear, sainted mother out to a lovely meal on Sunday...wonderful! You're ahead of about 90 percent of us. Make us all look bad, why don't you? If you're like the rest of us, you're probably still trying to deci ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2009

    One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Four, Let's Have Some Tequila, Then More, More, More

    Photo by Margaret DowningThe scene last night was the wine vault at Voice in the basement of the Hotel Icon, 220 Main Street, and the occasion was a tequila cocktail pairing dinner for members of the media. Voice Chef Michael Kramer served up his usual magic with a dinner that started with a hearts ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 16, 2009

    I'll Have a Little Wine With That Peekytoe Crab

    Voice Restaurant in the Hotel Icon (220 Main Street) has come up with another special dinner, a five-course tasting menu and wine pairing for $75 a person on January 21. This time they are teaming up with Axel Schug of Schug Cameros Estate Winery in California. Here's the menu from Executive Chef ... More >>

  • Year End

    December 25, 2008


    Kiss 2008 goodbye in style

  • Year End

    December 18, 2008


    Kiss 2008 goodbye in style

  • Blogs

    December 2, 2008

    Gingerbread House Smackdown at VOICE Tonight

    Click here for a slideshow... Tonight's the night that the results of a gingerbread house baking and design contest orchestrated by VOICE Restaurant Executive Chef Michael Kramer will be revealed to the world. In keeping with the season, Kramer challenged the city's best pastry chefs to put toget ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 21, 2008

    And No You Can’t Send Food Up a Dumb Waiter, Even in the Finest Restaurants

    Chef Michael Kramer; Sandy Collet, director of sales and marketing for Hotel ICON; and Ludovic Poirer, general manager Last night was a celebration at Voice, the restaurant in the Hotel Icon known for its basement wine cellar and kitchen and its sterling food at the bar. Famed restaurant critic Joh ... More >>

  • Dining

    October 30, 2008
  • Dining

    July 10, 2008

    Voice: Tastes Great, Less Filling

    The food at Voice in the Hotel Icon is fabulous. Too bad the place is such a rip.

  • Dining

    March 13, 2008