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.
The nightly show is worthy of 'The French Chef.'
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Eleven XI's auspicious approach is attracting an eclectic crowd to Montrose.
It's not every day that you'll want to indulge in a fancy meal for lunch, but when you do, a lunch prix-fixe is the only way to go. For a fraction of the cost you would pay for dinner, many of the best restaurants around town offer set lunch menus for your dining pleasure. Here are our picks for the ... More >>
Find out where to celebrate in the Bayou City.
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 >>
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 >>
Surviving its critics' predictions, this restaurant continues to thrive in Houston, folllowing a most atypical path to attract the city's diners.
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 >>
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 >>
The top 10 restaurants in Westchase.
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
elitemom.netIt'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 >>
"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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Photo by Kent WangEat like a prince at Da Marco (on a pauper's salary).At Da Marco, as I ate the last, sweet bites of my antelope paillard -- the barely gamy meat pounded thin and just slightly crispy at the edges, draped with caramelized peppers and finished off with a beautiful mound of flu ... More >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Photo by Robb WalshFine dining establishments are suffering in these days of the downturn. But as we've mentioned many a time before, the best restaurants in the city have some of the choicest lunch specials. Bistro Don Camillo's business lunch, an appetizer, entrée and dessert for $18.95 is ... More >>
Forget what I said about Catalan Chris Shepherd is one of the top toques in Texas.
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 >>
When it's on, there's no place in town like Scott Tycer's new restaurant.
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 p ... More >>
An old favorite has opened at a new location, but is its upscale Northern Italian fare still worth the price?
Chef Bryan Caswell is putting a new spin on Gulf red snapper and serving up some fish you've never heard of
Our restaurant critic gets busted at Gravitas, so we send in our counterintelligence team
There's a thrilling new Vietnamese restaurant on Bellaire with a menu that reads like a mystery
Pope's new restaurant is flat-out brilliant
Zack Ateyea gives up the ghost of continental cuisine and bets the bank on a California red
The Zagat Survey spits out large amounts of data, not informed criticism
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