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  • Article

    Conditional Amore - Best as a neighborhood joint

    The bruschetta is a do-it-yourself project at divino. This version of the Italian-restaurant staple features slices of grilled bread, naked but for a drizzle of greenish olive oil, with three little bowls of savory spreads on a big white plate. The t...

    by Robb Walsh on January 18, 2001
  • Article

    Hidden Charms - Vinnie's Italian Caf

    You won't find the encrusted snapper ($19.95) on the menu at Vinnie's Italian Caf [5413 Bellaire Boulevard, (713)667-7740]. You have to track down a waiter, wink twice and provide the secret password before he'll tell you about the dish. Well, not r...

    by Carol Rust on January 18, 2001
  • Article

    Stirred and Shaken - Champps Americana's Manhattan

    Three twentysomething bleached blonds in blue jeans share a giant sandwich at the bar, while the New York Giants eat the Philadelphia Eagles' lunch. First the subway series and now this. I order a Manhattan. At Champps Americana [1121 Uptown Park Bou...

    by Robb Walsh on January 18, 2001
  • Article

    Chicken-Fried Honor - George's civic slur

    A steaming chicken-fried steak comes sliding down the stainless-steel bartop at Ouisie's Table and comes to rest below my nose. The golden-brown, Southern-fried crust is so perfect that the cream gravy is served on the side. I nibble on the mashed po...

    by Robb Walsh on January 11, 2001
  • Article

    Buenas Noches - A Montrose-area Tex-Mex institution does not go gentle into that good night

    On December 14, a notice was taped to the inside of the glass door at Cafe Noche [2409 Montrose Boulevard, (713)529-2409], stating that the popular Tex-Mex outlet was closed and giving the home and cellular-telephone numbers of Alan Mallett, the exec...

    by George Alexander on January 11, 2001
  • Article

    Reload the Confetti Gun - Speaking off the toque: Yuriy Fisher

    Speaking off the toque: Yuriy Fisher, owner of the Stoli Grill, 13148 Memorial Drive, (713)932-1336. Q. Why do Russians celebrate New Year's Day on January 13? A. Well, it is not only Russians. It is all the many nationalities that are, traditi...

    by George Alexander on January 11, 2001
  • Article

    Clove at First Sight - El Meson

    If garlic is a health food, maybe it's the nutrition-conscious who have made the pollo al ajillo ($10.95) the most popular entre at El Meson [2425 University Boulevard, (713)522-9306]. Then again, maybe folks just like loads of garlic. This Cuban di...

    by Carol Rust on January 11, 2001
  • Article

    Stirred and Shaken - Dancing Marlin's Bloody Mary

    It's a cold January morning, and I am feeling seasick. The bartender at St. Pete's Dancing Marlin [300 Main Street, (713)227-1511] offers to make me a Bloody Mary to calm my nerves. Behind him, a billfish the size of a small car hangs from the ceilin...

    by Robb Walsh on January 11, 2001
  • Article

    On the Waterfront - Lunch with Rory Miggins

    The only heater in The Point Bar and Restaurant is a welded steel contraption that looks more like a barbecue smoker than a device designed to warm up a room. The makeshift fireplace is in the middle of the joint, and that's where Rory Miggins and I ...

    by Robb Walsh on January 4, 2001
  • Article

    Mussel-bound - Farrago

    Deciding on an appetizer can be a heavyweight decision at Farrago [318 West Gray, (713)523-6404]. Specializing in fusion cuisine, the Midtown restaurant offers such title contenders as chili-cured tenderloin, Asian barbecue duck and jerk chicken wing...

    by Melanie Knight on January 4, 2001
  • Article

    Stirred and Shaken - Saba's lemongrass margarita

    The glowing blue wall casts a cool hue over the dark-haired woman sitting alone in the back of Saba Bluewater Cafe [416 Main, (713)228-7222]. The austere lines of the sleek modern restaurant are pleasantly interrupted by splashes of bright color. Hug...

    by Robb Walsh on January 4, 2001
  • Article

    Uncorking a Bargain - A champagne buyer's guide

    Reims, the Disneyland of bubbly, is the capital of the French Champagne district. Under the streets of this ancient metropolis, miles upon miles of multilevel passageways have been bored through the chalk. They lead to underground caverns filled with...

    by Robb Walsh on December 28, 2000
  • Article

    Butter Yourself Up - Looking for food-related New Year's resolutions? Start by swearing off margarine.

    Even the most lackluster year-end party calls for that annual ritual known as New Year's resolutions. These secular vows are taken as a show of faith in the middle-class ideal of perpetual self-improvement. The New Year's Day of a new century and mil...

    by George Alexander on December 28, 2000
  • Article

    Some Sugars Added - Speaking off the toque: Richard Hazzard

    Speaking off the toque: Richard Hazzard, bartender at Maggiano's Little Italy [2019 South Post Oak Boulevard, (713) 961-2700]. Q. As creator of the award-winning classic dry gin cocktail, the "Inner-and-Outer" martini, and a longtime observer of th...

    by George Alexander on December 28, 2000
  • Article

    Well, Blow Me Down - Garson

    A number of adults still cling to the childhood habit of shunning spinach, no matter how many trendy chefs stuff it into cheesy enchiladas. And who can blame us? When improperly cooked, spinach leaves can be so soggy and bitter that even Popeye would...

    by Brenda Tavakoli on December 28, 2000
  • Article

    Stirred and Shaken - Cafe Perrier's Pernod martini

    The copper bar is tucked into the corner of the front room at Cafe Perrier [4304 Westheimer, (713)355-4455]. There is a large framed photo of an older Cafe Perrier hanging on the wall behind it. The bartender tells us that chef and owner Frdric Per...

    by Robb Walsh on December 28, 2000
  • Article

    Brave Nuevo World - Last in a six-part series

    A Six-Part History of Tex-Mex In the good old days, Texans went to "Mexican restaurants" and ate "Mexican food." Then in 1972 The Cuisines of Mexico, an influential cookbook by food authority Diana Kennedy, drew the line between authentic interior M...

    by Robb Walsh on December 21, 2000
  • Article

    Cold Comfort - Though their usefulness melted away long ago, icehouses continue to float to the surface

    As far as icehouses go, scholarship suggests the Chinese got there first. As early as the eighth century B.C.E., they stored ice in caves or pits, using the evaporation from the surface to keep the rest of the mass frozen. In Britain, the first reco...

    by George Alexander on December 21, 2000
  • Article

    Economic Fasting - Speaking off the toque: Sam Said

    Speaking off the toque: Sam Said, owner and general manager of Cedars Mediterranean Cafe [4703 Richmond Avenue, (713)572-9445]. This December, while Christians celebrate Christmas and Jews celebrate Hanukkah, Muslims celebrate the most important hol...

    by George Alexander on December 21, 2000
  • Article

    Cajun Choice - Boudreaux's Cajun Kitchen

    Many diners hate decisions. Sometimes we sit there and numbly stare at menus that have too much to offer, as paralyzed as a deer in the path of an oncoming 18-wheeler. Thank heavens for the combo touffe platter ($10.95) at Boudreaux's Cajun Kitchen...

    by Paul Galvani on December 21, 2000
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