It's only been open since July of this year, but already Camerata is on the map.
Eater National's map, that is.
It's already received a glowing review from our wine writer, Jeremy Parzen, who also put it on his list of the best destinations for wine in Houston. Prior to that, we named it our favorite wine bar in Houston in a separate list of the best wine bars (not to be confused with restaurants that happen to have great wine lists).
And now, Eater is recognizing Camerata's greatness as well. On Thursday, Eater editor Paula Forbes put it on her list of "The 19 Hottest Wine Bars Across the Country Right Now," along with a number of fine, new-ish wine bars from New York, Chicago, L.A. and other locales that have been getting a lot of press.
"It's pretty fantastic," says David Keck, general manager and wine director at Camerata, who opened the spot along with owner Paul Petronella. "It's a huge honor."
Keck, an Advanced Sommelier who will sit for his Master Sommelier exam next year, has turned the space next to Paulie's into a spot where local sommeliers and wine novices alike come and hang out to enjoy a great mix of highly drinkable and somewhat unusual glasses of vino.
Back in October, Jeremy Parzen wrote of Camerata:
So much has changed in the Houston wine scene during the past five years, and Keck, perhaps more than any other of the city's wine directors, has embraced the availability of esoteric wines and Houstonians' newfound thirst for wine knowledge. And there is no other destination in town where the servers arrive tableside with such a wealth of knowledge about the wines they pour. In terms of education, with a bit of je ne sais quoi thrown in the mix, Camerata is at the top of the list.
"Any press is good press on the national level," Keck acknowledges, "But aside from a mention in a Wall Street Journal article when we first opened, this is the first real national press we've gotten, so I'm really excited."
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But Keck isn't willing to take much credit for the success of Camerata.
"I think it's a reflection of the bartenders and the hard work they put in here."
Though Keck says he knows many of the fellow sommeliers on Eater's list, he's been so busy with Camerata that he hasn't been able to get out of town and check out some of the newer places. He's hoping once the bar reaches the six-month mark, he'll be able to take some time off to see what's going on in the rest of the country.
"The company on that list is amazing," Keck says. "Being mentioned by Eater National is a huge deal to begin with, but being in the company of those other people on the list is a huge honor."