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 Gotham Bar & Grill in New York. Gotham Bar & Grill pioneered the casual, cocktail-centric tavern style of fine dining 25 years ago in New York.
According to a press release I received, Branch Water Tavern was supposed to open mid-October, so I headed over. I was not impressed by the cooking -- in fact, there wasn't even a kitchen. And I was more than a little disappointed by the décor of the new restaurant as well. But that's probably only because the walls aren't up yet. The entranceway leaves a lot to be desired too.
Once upon a time, newspaper restaurant critics waited a month or so for a new restaurant to work the bugs out before writing a review -- not anymore. A restaurant that's been open a month is ancient history these days. Houston food bloggers camp out in front of a new restaurant in the hours before it is scheduled to open like gamers waiting in line at Best Buy to get the latest version of Halo.
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Looks like for once I beat the bloggers. Maybe I ought to start writing regularly about restaurants before they even open. Looks like Branch Water Tavern will be open around Christmas.