Restaurant Reviews

  • Blogs

    September 18, 2014

    A Wine Competition For A Cause:
    Iron Sommelier 2014

    Iron Sommelier, the annual wine competition and fundraiser, returns on October 2nd from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Houstonian. The event benefits The Periwinkle Foundation, a non-profit organization which helps seriously ill children and their families. It's also an opportunity for Houston's top somme ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2014

    "Summer Riesling" Grease Parody Brings Down the House at Camerata

    There was brio in the air last night at Camerata, as co-owners David Keck and Paul Petronella wrangled an ornery projector and guests sipped Riesling selected especially for the wine bar's "Summer of Riesling" microlist. The occasion was the debut screening of "Summer Riesling - A 'Summer Nights' P ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 19, 2014

    Houston Restaurant Weeks: Backstreet Cafe

    What they're up to for Houston Restaurant Weeks: This year, Backstreet Cafe offers one lunch menu for $20 and five prix fixe dinner menus paired with white and red wine, cocktails or beer for $35 each. For lunch, guests have the option of four first course dishes, followed by dessert; dinner include ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2014

    The Houston Press is Expanding Its Food Coverage, Has Opening for a Freelance Restaurant Reviewer

    The Houston food scene is gloriously rich, wild and big. And getting bigger. As a result, we at the Houston Press have decided to split up some of the responsibilities of our food coverage. Restaurant critic Kaitlin Steinberg will remain fulltime but move to a new role with additional daily online ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 18, 2014

    Where Are Houston's Female Sommeliers?

    Quick, name all of the female sommeliers in Houston. OK, if you can't name all of them, name at least ten. Trick question. Here in Houston, we have six: Vanessa Trevino-Boyd (60 Degrees Mastercrafted), Samantha Porter (freelancing), Kelly McCloud (Camerata), Annette Amaya (Cru Wine Bar), Angie Ch ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 4, 2014

    Bobby Stuckey, a Master Sommelier Not Afraid to Get His Hands Dirty

    The A-list always comes out when Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey and his business partner, celebrity chef Lachlan Patterson, come to town to cook and taste wine. Last night found the two of them at Reef, where Patterson prepared a meal inspired by the cuisine of Friuli (northeastern Italy) and Stuck ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2014

    Openings & Closings: Dirk's Coffee Ceases to Brew After 15 Years In Business

    It's always sad to see a long-standing restaurant shutter, but, after 15 years, Dirk's Coffee, formerly Diedrich Coffee, has decided to close its doors. The coffee shop on Montrose Boulevard closed on Tuesday, April 8, according to Eater. Back in 2012, Katharine Shilcutt ranked the Mayan Mocha at Di ... 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.

  • Dining

    February 20, 2014

    Each Meal Is a Production at The Pass

    The nightly show is worthy of 'The French Chef.'

  • Blogs

    February 20, 2014

    How to Order a Bottle of Wine in a Restaurant (Without Feeling Like an Idiot)

    Please click here for previous entries in our "how-to wine" series. How can I put this delicately? I get treated like shit by sommeliers more often than I'd like to admit. I guess I just have a face that screams wine idiot. It's hard to believe, but sadly, it's true. As much as I hate to write ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 18, 2014

    Tony's Still Wows Nearly 50 Years After First Opening

    With newer, hipper Italian restaurants opening in Houston every year, it can be easy to overlook the fine-dining behemoth that is Tony's in favor of something, perhaps, less dated. But this would be a mistake. Tony's opened in 1965 as a mom-and-pop Italian eatery serving hearty bowls of pasta and ... More >>

  • Dining

    February 6, 2014

    Where to Eat on Valentine's Day

    FYI, it's on a Friday.

  • Blogs

    January 23, 2014

    Where to Eat on Saint Valentine's Day 2014: FYI, It's On A Friday

    This year, Valentine's Day is on a Friday. In other words, everyone will be vying for a reservation at one of the many Houston restaurants offering a special meal on the day of romance. Don't be that guy or gal who forgets to make a reservation in advance, especially if your special someone is expec ... More >>

  • Dining

    January 16, 2014

    No Need for Wishes at the Enchanting Eleven XI

    Eleven XI's auspicious approach is attracting an eclectic crowd to Montrose.

  • Year End

    December 26, 2013

    Ringing in the New Year: The 2013 Houston Press New Year's Eve Guide

    Find out where to celebrate in the Bayou City.

  • Blogs

    December 26, 2013

    Where to Eat on New Year's Eve and Day 2013

    Making plans for New Year's Eve celebrations can be hectic and stressful, but that's why an array of Houston restaurants have opened their doors to help you ring in the New Year with lots of food, dancing, music and, of course, Champagne toasts at midnight. Treat yourself to an amazing last meal of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 22, 2013

    Houston's 10 Best Restaurants for Wine

    For decades, the Houston wine scene has been dominated by the California powerhouse: "California Chardonnay," "Napa Cab," and "Merlot" (in quotes because it denotes Merlot from California) have long been been Houston's go-to wines. And in many circles, they still are the most frequently ordered wine ... More >>

  • Dining

    May 30, 2013

    Oxheart: Challenging the Idea of What Dinner Can Be

    Surviving its critics' predictions, this restaurant continues to thrive in Houston, folllowing a most atypical path to attract the city's diners.

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2013

    Seasons 52 Opens Today with a Full Menu of Dishes Under 475 Calories

    Seasons 52, the new restaurant located in the new Millennium complex on Westheimer adjacent to Bo Concept, is opening to the public today. "The name Seasons 52 represents the 52 weeks of the year," said Reuben Rolf, the managing partner. "Every week, our menu offers a side panel of new dishes that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2013

    Where To Eat: Mother's Day 2013

    One of the best ways to show your mother how much you love her on Mother's Day is to take her out to eat and treat her like the Queen she is. All throughout Houston, you will find an ample amount of opportunities to treat your mother to brunch, lunch and dinner. Here's where you can make Sunday, May ... More >>

  • Dining

    February 14, 2013

    Go West, Young Man

    The top 10 restaurants in Westchase.

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2013

    Top 10 Wine Lists in Houston

    It's exciting to run across a well-priced favorite on a restaurant's wine list, or to discover something new as you dig through its pages. But there's more to making a world-class wine list than just stocking a cellar with Cakebreads and Chardonnays. To spotlight the best wine lists in Houston, we ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 29, 2013

    The Eating Our Words 100: Sean Beck, Sommelier Extraordinaire

    Who he is: Sommelier and wine consultant to a number of Houston establishments, Sean Beck started working as a waiter at Backstreet Cafe 15 years ago while he was pursuing a history degree at the University of Houston. "At the time, Backstreet had about a 55-bottle wine list," Beck recalls. Backst ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 28, 2012

    Ring in the New Year: Where to Eat on New Year's Eve and Day 2012

    It's time to start making plans for New Year's Eve and Day, if you haven't already. Houston restaurants are opening their doors for you and your friends and family to celebrate the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 with a delicious meal and champagne toasts at the strike of midnight. Many locations ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2012

    Ring in the New Year: Where to Eat on New Year's Eve and Day 2012

    Yes, Christmas isn't here yet, but it's time to start making plans for New Year's Eve and Day. Houston restaurants are opening their doors for you and your friends and family to celebrate the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 with a delicious meal and champagne toasts at the strike of midnight. Man ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 27, 2012

    Underbelly's Underpriced Wine List Gives Us More Reasons to Love It

    Because there is so very much to discuss when it comes to Underbelly, the subject of this week's cafe review, I found myself having to trim back significantly in certain areas of the review in order to get a broader point across (which, TL;DR, is that Underbelly is where it's all happening and you s ... More >>

  • Calendar

    June 14, 2012
  • Blogs

    March 30, 2012

    Wine Subject to Availability? Texas Sommeliers Respond

    In the wake of last week's post here at Wine Time ("What To Do When Fine Wine Service Is Really Bad?"), I wrote to some of the top sommeliers in Texas asking them how they would have handled the situation. (Background: I ordered three bottles of white wine from a list at one of Houston's top restaur ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 23, 2012

    Wine Time: What To Do When Fine Wine Service Is Really Bad?

    Historically, a sommelier was a cellar master who managed a wine collection. He -- and I say he because in the pre-sexual-revolution era, the sommelier was always male -- tracked and tallied the sums of wine (originally stored in cask and later in bottle). Today, the word is used loosely to denot ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2011

    Dining Out on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day​It's allegedly the most wonderful time of the year. But we're guessing whomever penned that phrase never spent Christmas Eve amid the pandemonium of wide-eyed, frantic shoppers desperately trying to cross those last few names off of the shopping list, or stayed up until the wee ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 15, 2011

    Despite Blue Laws, Texas Sommelier Conference Opens on Schedule

    ​"You'll note that there are pastries in the foyer," said Master Sommelier James Tidwell, as he and Houston's own Master Sommelier, Drew Hendricks, opened the Texas Sommelier Conference promptly at 9 a.m. yesterday morning at the Four Seasons Las Colinas Resort in Irving, Texas. The two co-fou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 28, 2011

    Houston Restaurant Week's Best Bangs for Your Bucks

    ​There have been a few significant changes to this year's Houston Restaurant Week, the annual fundraising-through-dining event that benefits the Houston Food Bank. Most noticeably, the event will run throughout the entire month of August (making it "Houston Restaurant Month," technically, but ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 15, 2011

    Zelko Bistro Puts Female Winemakers and Craft Beer Front and Center

    Photo by Tam VoChef Jamie Zelko.​Zelko Bistro, although it's only been open for less than two years, has already garnered a reputation for its wine list: Aggressively priced, the list offers an excellent selection of wines between $28 and $46 a bottle. Chef and owner Jamie Zelko wanted it that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 15, 2010

    Bailey's Shutters Seabrook Location; New Venture Planned

    You'll have to get your banana pudding fix at Sudie's for now.​The second shocking shuttering of the week -- after the discouraging closure of the wonderful Sabetta Cafe & Bar -- took place in Seabrook, when employees showed up to Bailey's American Grille on Monday to find it closed after thre ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2009

    Top 11 Houston Restaurant Openings of the Decade

    Since I started my job as restaurant critic of the Houston Press in May of 2000, I've had a chance to observe the Houston restaurant scene for just about the entire decade. Our fine dining scene has evolved in the last ten years, and so have our ethnic cuisines. Houston became the birthplace of some ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2009

    Branch Water Tavern: The Best New Restaurant Not Open Yet?

    ​Branch Water Tavern at 510 Shepherd will be a new American tavern with outstanding whiskeys, microbrewery beers and one of the hottest chefs in the city behind the stove. CIA grad David Grossman used to cook at Gravitas and Reef. Before that, he worked with the legendary Alfred Portale at Got ... More >>

  • Dining

    July 30, 2009

    Washington Ave. Revisited

    Forget what I said about Catalan – Chris Shepherd is one of the top toques in Texas.

  • 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 >>

  • Dining

    March 12, 2009

    The Tastes of Textile

    When it's on, there's no place in town like Scott Tycer's new restaurant.

  • Dining

    January 15, 2009
  • Blogs

    December 23, 2008

    Christmas Eve Dining, Without the Duck Heads

    Want to take the family out for a nice meal tomorrow night so someone else can wash the dishes for a change?  Worn out from holiday shopping and don't want to cook dinner?  Or have the Bumpus hounds destroyed your turkey and you're looking for an alternative? Never fear!  There are pl ... More >>

  • Dining

    January 17, 2008


    An old favorite has opened at a new location, but is its upscale Northern Italian fare still worth the price?

  • Dining

    September 6, 2007


    Chef Bryan Caswell is putting a new spin on Gulf red snapper and serving up some fish you've never heard of

  • Dining

    October 20, 2005

    Spy vs. Spy

    Our restaurant critic gets busted at Gravitas, so we send in our counterintelligence team

  • Dining

    September 29, 2005

    Crispy Muc, Tender Bo

    There's a thrilling new Vietnamese restaurant on Bellaire with a menu that reads like a mystery

  • Best of Houston

    September 23, 2004
  • Dining

    March 11, 2004

    Monica Hits Midtown

    Pope's new restaurant is flat-out brilliant

  • Dining

    June 21, 2001

    America's Volume Dealer

    The Zagat Survey spits out large amounts of data, not informed criticism

  • Dining

    November 18, 1999

    And the Survey Says...

    Local Restaurant News

  • More >>