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Bramble - CLOSED

Bramble is chef Randy Rucker’s long­awaited return to a permanent restaurant in Houston. It is no Bootsie’s, where Rucker made his name nationally with his highly creative dishes, but Bramble has its own merits. It is very approachable and has plenty of fare anyone will recognize and understand. Bramble excels in “real food”: beautifully roasted chicken; whole, freshly caught fish; and diner­style, six­layer cakes. There’s a faint echo of the foraging aspect that Rucker became widely known for, such as when red­stemmed Malabar spinach grown in outdoor containers makes its way into the dishes, but there’s no cloying preciousness about the ingredients here. Occasionally, food comes out underseasoned or in scanty portions, but that’s the exception, and the former can be fixed pretty easily with a dash of salt. The by­the­glass wine list is also scanty (only five choices available on our visit) but the bottles are often competively priced. (An Internet search before committing is recommended, as some bottles are more highly marked- up than others.)Price range: $$­ - $$$ Attire is Business Casual. Full bar available. Outdoor seating available. Reservations requested for parties of six or more only.