Restaurant News

Openings and Closings: B.B. Italia Sugar Land, Goode Co. K&C Heights

The Hot Chili Oil pizza uses B.B. Italia's signature chili oil.
The Hot Chili Oil pizza uses B.B. Italia's signature chili oil. Photo by Kirsten Gilliam

B.B. Italia Bistro & Bar, 16250 City Walk, opened November 8 in Sugar Land. Benjamin Berg, owner and founder of Berg Hospitality is on a roll, having just recently opened his speakeasy bar, Emilia's Havana, next to another Berg concept, The Annie Cafe and Bar on Post Oak Boulevard.

For the first week, the Italian restaurant will be open for dinner only with lunch and to-go service launching November 15. Its location in Sugar Land Towne Square will bring a  New York City vibe to the area. Berg himself grew up in Manhattan where the Italian-American restaurants inspired some of the dishes at B.B. Italia as well as the overall design. He tapped restaurateur Sam Governale, an Operating Partner at Berg Hospitality, and local architect Isaac Preminger to design the 6,770 square-foot space.
click to enlarge
Italy meets NYC in the heart of Sugar Land.
Photo by Kirsten Gilliam
The vision of an Italian bistro comes to life with the reclaimed brick and Italian red checkerboard concrete floor meant to look as if it's been there for years. There are brasserie-style banquettes and a mix of tables for seating 200 guests plus a horseshoe-shaped bar with seating for 18, four high-top tables and a baby grand piano. There's also a 40-seat covered patio covered by a pergola.
click to enlarge
Fried calamari gets a kick from peppers.
Photo by Kirsten Gilliam
The team for the new concept includes Executive Chef Marcelo Mintz who has over 20 years experience in the culinary world, and Berg Hospitality's Corporate Chef Brian Sutton, who helped to update the menu and do some consulting. Guests can start with old school starters like Clams Casino, Meatballs and Mussels fra Diavolo or opt for the Focaccia Service with whipped ricotta, avocado cream, stracciatella di mozzarella and spicy aglio e olio. Pasta choices include Vodka Sauce, Carbonara and Sunday Ragu and there are hearty entrees such as Eggplant Parmesan, 20 Layer Lasagna and Veal Chop Parmigiana. A Hot Antipasto Tower is filled with items and serves 4 to 6 guests for $128. There are also pizzas from the stone deck pizza oven and a variety of cheese and charcuterie boards.

Stuart Roy, Berg Hospitality's Vice President of Beverage Operations, has curated the wine list to feature approachable Italian and Californian wines. The cocktail menu was created by James Beard award-winning mixologist Alba Heurta.
click to enlarge
Goode Co. Kitchen & Cantina has tacos for your Tuesday or any other day.
Photo by Caroline Fontenot


Goode Co. Kitchen & Cantina, 1801 Yale, opened November 8 in the Heights. This is the third location for the Tex-Mex concept from the Goode Co. family of restaurants.

The menu offers signature dishes including its Made-to-Order Guacamole, famous Campechana and Pork & Green Chile Empanadas. Classics like Pork Tamales and hand-rolled Enchiladas are on the menu along with Mesquite-grilled Fajitas, available by the half-pound or pound. For a larger crowd, there's the sizzling Family-style Parrillada that serves 4-6 people.
click to enlarge
A long bar is paired with a long communal table for plenty of seating options.
Photo by Caroline Fontenot
Folks looking for lots of flavor will find it in the Carnitas, a dish of marinated, braised and crisped pork that takes three days to prepare from start to finish. There is also Texas Quail, grilled over mesquite and the Tex-Mex perennial favorite Tampiquena, a mesquite-grilled carne asada steak which gets a cheese enchilada as a bonus.

Meat isn't the only protein on offer. Guests can also enjoy Redfish on the Half Shell or Gulf Shrimp stuffed with jalapeño and cheese, wrapped with bacon and slow-roasted over mesquite embers.
click to enlarge
The new Goode Co. Kitchen & Cantina blends Texas rustic with Mexican flair.
Photo by Caroline Fontenot
For dessert there's Tres Leches,  Churros and Sopapillas. There's also the Tex-Mex Sundae, two scoops of Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream with cajeta and candied pecans. If you can pass up the Goode Co.’s famous Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie, you have more willpower than we do.

Tex-Mex dishes always get a boost from margaritas and Goode Co.'s Damn Goode Margarita is made with fresh juices and tequila. There's also cold beer.
click to enlarge
Horseshoe-shaped booths make for easy conversation.
Photo by Caroline Fontenot
The dining room is naturally lit by tall windows with handcrafted Mexican pendant lights adding atmosphere in the evenings. Reclaimed wood tables and leather chairs provide cozy seating as does a couple of oversized booths for family and friends.  The exposed white brick walls are adorned with hand-selected Texana pieces from the Goode family collection.
click to enlarge
Lukkaew Srasrisuwan is planning a second restaurant in Houston.
Photo by Makiin

MaKiin, 2651 Kipling, is shooting to open in Spring 2023. The new upscale Thai concept comes from Lukkaew Srasrisuwan, co-owner of Kin Dee, another Thai restaurant which opened in the Heights two years ago. MaKiin will be located on the ground floor of the luxury high rise Hanover River Oaks. It will join a number of upcoming restaurants along the Kirby Corridor including Seven, First Watch and Duo.

MaKiin (pronounced ma-kin) means "come to eat" in Thai and is an invitation that is considered an honor. Srasrisuwan wants to extend that honor to her guests by creating a welcoming ambiance that conveys a feeling of family. Srasrisuwan grew up in the south of Thailand in Nakhon Si Thmammarat on the Gulf in a family involved in the hospitality industry. The family operated well-regarded hotels and restaurants including The Khanom Golden Beach. Srasrisuwan worked in the family business from a young age, learning about customer service and management. She eventually worked all over the world for Schlumberger, landing in Houston in 2014. With plans to put down permanent roots in the Bayou City, she is ready to begin her newest venture.

She said in a press release that she is excited to share her love of authentic Thai cuisine with the city. "With Kin Dee we showed Houstonians Thai food could be fun and vibrant. MaKiin will deliver a more elevated experience that will celebrate the artistry of my homeland's authentic flavors, ingredients and techniques."

Zanti Cucina Italiana, 1958 W. Gray, opened November 7 in River Oaks. This is the second location for the concept which first opened in The Woodlands in June 2019. It's a family affair with one of its founders, Santiago Pelaez, operating the business with his brothers and Chef Stefano Ferrero, who hails from Piedmont, Italy.

The menu begins with antipasti like Burrata Caprese, Black Truffle Beef Tartare and Octopus Carpaccio. There's a small selection of salads that go beyond just greens like the Artichoke & Roasted Beet. There is a variety of Neapolitan-style pizzas, including a decadent and pricey lobster version. Italian favorites can be found like Branzino baked in sea salt and Braised Lamb Ossobuco plus steaks and fresh fish dishes. The homemade pasta dishes include Beef Ravioli, Black Truffle Taglioni and Pappardelle al Ragu di Ossobuco.

The dessert menu has Crostata al Limone, a Traditional Piemonte Tiramisu and a variety of gelato flavors.

There is a full bar with craft cocktails plus a wine list that leans heavily Italian with a few varietals from France, California, Argentina and New Zealand.
click to enlarge
Brad Pitre, Chuck Laughter, Keith Teague, Chris Kalinec and Sean Maloney get the brewery process underway.
Photo by Talyard Brewing Co.
Talyard Brewing Co., 1033 Imperial Boulevard, broke ground November 5 at the site of the historic Imperial Sugar Company along Oyster Creek near Highway 6 and Highway 90 alt in Sugar Land. Located on a 3.5 acre site, it will be the first brewery and beer garden for the Sugar Land community. Unfortunately, it will take a while for the brewery's construction and there are plans for an early 2024 opening.

The principals involved are Keith Teague and Chuck Laughter, two Sugar Land natives and longtime neighbors, who are bringing in two other Sugar Land locals for the hospitality and brewing side. Jason McCain will serve as Tap Room General Manager while Chef Brad Pitre will oversee culinary operations.

The idea had been brewing for years as Teague and Laughter talked about the idea of a craft brewery over beers in the backyard. The duo plan to brew bold American beer by combining old practices with new techniques. They've already begun pilot brewing operations in a nearby 2,500 square-foot warehouse.

Laughter, who is currently Vice President of Operations at Plug Power, a green hydrogen fuel company, says, "It will be interesting to see how our brew master's West Coast brewing background has been influenced by the Old World styles from his studies in Munich."

That Brew Master is Sean Maloney, who began his brewing career in downtown Houston before heading to the Pacific Northwest. He recently finished the World Brewing Academy's Master Brewer Program administered by the Siebel Institute in Chicago and the Doemens Academy in Munich, Germany.
click to enlarge
Riverhouse Houston provides food and drink for golfers, pickleball participants and guests who just want a great view.
Photo by East River 9
Riverhouse Houston, 65 Hirsch, is now open at the new East River 9 public nine-hole golf course and driving range from Houston-based Midway, a privately owned real estate investment and development firm. The destination for golf and other activities sits on the site of the 150-acre East River development in the historic Fifth Ward. It also features six pickleball courts for the legions of devoted players.

Riverhouse, a new concept with DKC Group, is situated in a repurposed industrial structure overlooking the golf course with views of Buffalo Bayou and the Houston skyline.. The family-friendly restaurant and patio bar serves fresh American fare like scratch-made guacamole and chips, chicken wings, burgers and tacos. The menu also offers steaks, porkchops and fresh-caught salmon.

There is a full bar with beer, wine and spirits with frequent live musical entertainment. While grownups can enjoy a cool beverage watching the sunset, Riverhouse’s expansive terrace offers kids a playscape and outdoor games. Fire pits are set for the cooler weather. The structure's refined-industrial design melds with the aesthetic of the greater East River development which was designed to host corporate, social and charity events.

click to enlarge
These look so good, we're almost tempted to bypass the amazing steaks at Georgia James. Almost.
Photo by Norton Creative
Georgia James, 3503 W. Dallas, announced that Priscilla Trevino will be joining the steakhouse as pastry chef. Her resume includes stints at acclaimed Houston restaurants such as Bludorn, Rosalie Italian Soul and Rosie Cannonball. Trevino is a graduate of Houston's Culinary Institute LeNotre.

Her stamp on the new pastry program at the upscale steakhouse from Underbelly Hospitality includes seasonal fall-inspired treats like Honey Roasted Pecan Pie, Raspberry Lemonade Panna Cotta and Apple Monkey Bread.
click to enlarge
Pastry chef Priscilla Trevino has some autumn surprises at Georgia James.
Photo by Norton Creative
Trevino says of her new role, "I'm thrilled to join the team at Georgia James and have an opportunity to tap into my experiences to create a pastry program that embodies elevated simplicity. My approach to pastries stems from familiar flavors and is inspired by what I believe my family and friends would love."

Padre's Wine, 3522 White Oak, will open in early 2023. The neighborhood wine garden and shop comes from local resident and wine distributor, William Farley, and is a tribute to his late father, Mike Farley. Wine was a hobby for Farley at first and he shared the love of wine with his father and his mother growing up. It eventually became a passion that evolved into a wine distribution company.

With the upcoming Padre's Wine, Farley will shine a spotlight on the vibrant South American wine industry that some consider under-appreciated. Once the wine shop launches, it will offer 500 labels sourced from other small distributors with a strong South American selection of wines from boutique producers.

Taking over the space of the former Obsidian Theatre, Padre's Wine will be both wine bar and retail shop where guests can enjoy a bottle on site or choose from the 20 rotating wines by the glass. Inspired by West Texas, the wine bar will have 4,000 square feet of space for the retail side, wine bar and patio.  There will also be a tight food menu with charcuterie boards, paninis and other light bites to pair with the wines.
Customers can choose their spice level. We say all the way.
Photo by Blackbird Photography
Urban Bird Hot Chicken, 27120 Fulshear Bend, opened November 10 in Fulshear. It's the fourth location for the hot chicken concept and there are three more planned for Spring, Webster and Summerwood. The first opened in Katy in September 2020 so its expansion has been pretty rapid.

Serving made-to-order jumbo chicken tenders that are "hella hot, hella good", it puts those tenders to good use with Chicken & Waffles, Tenders Basket and its Chicken Tender Sando. The Urban Fries is a customer favorite.
click to enlarge
Deemo's popped up quickly in Cypress.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
Deemo's Steakhouse, 11702 Grant, opened last week, quickly taking over the spot which very recently housed a location of Simply Greek, which was still in operation in early October. Simply Greek opened in late September 2021 at the Grant location.

A look at the menu online show steaks, seafood, chicken dishes, a kids menu and a number of misspellings. We can guess what Fillet Mognon and Percan Pie are but we're stumped when it comes to the Alarmo Ice Cream. And some guy named Bernay has his own sauce.

It also serves wine and beer.
click to enlarge
Fall weather is the perfect time for a comforting bowl of Shrimp & Grits.
Photo by Chloe Weishausen/Messina Hof
Messina Hof Harvest Green Winery & Kitchen, 8921 Harlem, is launching a new fall menu November 18. dishes like Baked Goat Cheese, Shrimp and Grits, Brown Sugar Mustard Pork Chop, Bruschetta Trio, Root Vegetable Gnocchi and Tres Leches Bread Pudding will be added to the menu at the full service restaurant and tasting room, located in Richmond.
click to enlarge
Veterans get a free cheese pizza this Friday.
Photo by Dylan McEwan
7Pie Pizza, 2514 7th, opened November 8 in Bay City, Texas, making it the 5th Texas location for the pizza franchise from restaurateur David Davoudpour. The first of the concepts opened in August on Telephone Road, followed quickly by a store on Westheimer.

In addition to its inexpensive 12-inch pizzas, cut into 7 slices, there are jumbo wings, chicken tenders, an Italian sub sandwich, French fries, Caesar salad and hot fudge cake.

For Veterans Day, November 11, each U.S. military and active service member will receive a free loaded cheese pizza with a military ID. No additional purchase is necessary and the gift is available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
click to enlarge
Beck's Prime has free burgers for Veterans Day honorees.
Photo by Kirsten Gilliam
Beck's Prime will be giving a free burger to veterans and active military for Veterans Day. The deal is available at its Houston area locations except for the 2902 Kirby location, which is temporarily closed for renovations, and the Memorial Park restaurant which is closed Friday, November 11, due to the Houston Open. 
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.