À Bouzy, 2300 Westheimer
This new champagne-focused restaurant from bubbly enthusiast Sean Virene — formerly of Brasserie 19 — brings more than 250 champagnes and sparkling wines in $12 to $2,000 range to River Oaks with a menu that includes Prime steaks, salads and seasonal small plates created to pair with bubbly. And oh, yeah, brunch too (hello, champagne buttermilk fried chicken). The wine list features 1,000 labels from around the world and more than 50 wines by the glass, and Virene has managed to keep wine prices at astoundingly low markups, meaning the deals here are palpable for champagne lovers of both humble and extravagant means. Cheers.
Weekend hours: Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Hughie's Tavern & Vietnamese Grill (Heights), 4721 North Main
Heights residents now have a great option for affordable pho, bo luc lac, vermicelli bowls and banh mi with the soft opening (full opening happening on August 14) of Hughie's in the former Foreign Correspondents space. The restaurant's neighboring speakeasy, One Armed Scissor, isn't open yet, but will debut mid-August. Have no fear, though, Hughie's itself offers about 37 beers on tap, according to CultureMap.
Weekend Hours: Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Bernie's Burger Bus, 2200 Yale
From breakfast sliders and chilaquiles to giant, juicy brisket-and-chuck burgers and truffle fries, there's a lot for families and friends to enjoy at the newest (third) outpost of Houston favorite Bernie's Burger Bus. Kids will revel in the fun coloring-book-style menu and the big, bright school bus kitchen, and parents can sample from the new drinks on the full bar, featuring craft and frozen drinks — try the ancho chile Pimm's cup or the frozen blackberry Bramble — along with boozy milkshakes and beer, though honestly, a regular housemade lemonade does the trick every time.
Weekend Hours: Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Blonde Biscotti, 1000 West Gray
Note to all waffle fans: The new soft-baked-biscotti and coffee hub Blonde Biscotti, from mother-daughter team Toni Cordasco and Lisa Richardson, just opened in the former TCBY space at West Gray and Montrose. The sleek new spot offers coffee flights, an array of baked biscotti-based treats and brunch, including a Liège waffle, which our resident sweets fanatic and contributor Erika Kwee calls satisfying and "subtly sweet on its own," though it comes with a side of honey, for $6.50. More weekend brunch offerings include a jumbo French toast or cinnamon roll muffins, and a crepe bowl, and there's an array of espresso drinks as well.
Weekend Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Brunch served until 1 p.m.
South Bank Seafood Bar, 702 West Dallas
Now softly open on the edge of downtown, this new eatery from the owners of Rose Gold and Bovine & Barley is located in the former Refinery Burgers & Whiskey space, and has been making waves with food-crazed Internet humanoids over the past couple of weeks. There are local beers and cocktails on tap, and the menu features seafood boils, baskets and po-boys along with lobster rolls, clam chowder fries, turkey neck gumbo, hushpuppies and more. A dog-friendly patio and a view of Houston’s skyline are also perks, as are late-night weekend hours and daily happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m. that includes $3 beer, $4 snacks and $5 cocktails and wine.
Weekend hours: Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.