Local Spotlight

Don't Miss Houston’s Newest Fall Menus (UPDATED)

While the air has been getting slightly crisper, Houston restaurants have been working up new seasonal menus perfect for the changing weather. From a hearty mushroom stroganoff to rich pumpkin fudge, here is Houston's Fall 2015 Menu Roundup:

Anvil Bar & Refuge, 1424 Westheimer

Anvil has launched its most ambitious menu yet, featuring seven new season cocktails, in addition to seven Anvil classics and the 100 List, with a few revived classic cocktails added. Each menu is a collaboration. A bartender creates a new drink—inspired by a variety of factors like spirits, products, memories, places—and tests it until it's ready for fellow bartenders to taste.  The cocktail is then tasted by the entire team in Anvil’s weekly meeting, and the drink and its context on the menu are analyzed. Each menu has to have balance: multiple price points, presentation, garnish, target audience. Variety is key. The lineup includes drinks like the Don’t Call Me Shirley (from Terry Williams), made with Citadelle Dry Gin, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, Lemon, Cherry, Vanilla, and Lavender; or The Big East (from Jessey Qi), a concoction made with Lemongrass-Infused Flor de Cana 4 Year Gold Rum, Tamarind, Coconut, and Key Lime.

Backstreet Cafe, 1103 S Shepherd

Backstreet has updated their already stellar menu with new seasonal favorites – including a butternut squash and pumpernickel tartine; wild mushroom crostata; and duck confit flatbread.

Bernie's Burger Bus, 5407 Bellaire

Old School Awesome continues at Bernie's Burger Bus with October's Field Trip Burger: a bacon mac 'n' cheese burger topped with pepper jack and bourbon mustard on a pretzel bun ($11.95). As a side, try Bernie's Field Trip Fries topped with green chile cheese and crispy bacon (small $6.75, large $9.75). The restaurant's Field Trip Shake for October is a housemade vanilla ice cream blended with peanut butter cups and crushed Oreos, topped with whipped cream and more Oreos ($7).

Berryhill, all locations 

October’s taco of the month is taking the field October 1. The Tailgater taco is made with house-made chorizo and ground pork meatballs, braised cabbage, sautéed onions, cheese, cilantro and Berryhill’s own chipotle mustard, all wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla. Get it for $4.25 all month long.

Bovine & Barley, 416 Main 

Just in time for football season, this downtown hotspot added a brunch service, (Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Feast on Texas-size brunch specials, including a pecan-crusted stuffed French toast served with candied jalapeño bacon; or the Croisaffle, a croissant stuffed with grilled bologna and sharp cheddar that is pressed into a waffle, drizzled with queso and topped with fresh strawberry pico. Looks like it’s time to bulk up for winter.

Cloud 10 Creamery, 5216 Morningside 

In addition to new seasonal flavors like maple butter ice cream, butternut squash-rosemary sorbet, and chestnut ice cream with cranberry, this innovative creamery is offering a fall sundae, made with butter ice cream, apple pie filling, pumpkin seeds, whipped cream, rye crumble and a milk chocolate magic shell.

The Counter, 4601 Washington
The Woodlands, 9595 Six Pines Drive #1000

Get Southern Style Seasonal Specials at both locations through Sunday, November 15. The selections include a buttermilk-brined fried chicken sandwich and avocado-topped fried chicken salad, plus smothered garlic parmesan corn and a banana cream pie shake (which we can confirm is quite addicting).

Cureight by Hubbell & Hudson, 24 Waterway

This exquisite tasting tasting-menu only restaurant recently unveiled their new fall menu, which features 8 courses like octopus with squid ink, scallop ravioli and a saffron sea broth; Japanese wagyu beef with mushroom essence, fava bean, and potato; and olive oil cake with candied honeydew and fig ice cream.

The Durham House, 1200 Durham 

Formerly the Woodrow’s Heights, The Durham House is opening October 9 with a menu full of seasonally inspired Cajun dishes. You can expect plates like boudin noir with caramelized apples and goat cheese, black truffle duck fat fries, and braised rabbit with smoked spätzle. The restaurant will be open for brunch, lunch and dinner.

Fogo de Chao, 8250 Westheimer

Fogo de Chao is rolling out a new gaucho lunch menu at its Houston location. The new menu will provide guests with convenient, craveable lunch options. For only $15, guests can enjoy the gourmet Market Table and Feijoada Bar, which includes extensive selections of salads, soups, and authentic Brazilian side dishes.

Harold’s Restaurant & Bar, 350 W. 19th

While guest favorites, like K.G.’s double brined fried chicken and shrimp & grits, remain on the menu, chef Antonio Ware has crafted several new dishes inspired by his Southern Creole roots. Get shrimp creole étouffée balls, blue crab ravioli, and a beet and yogurt salad, which has smoked and roasted local beets, house-made yogurt and edible flowers. New entrées include a seared duck breast served with Anson Mills Sea Island red pea hoppin’ john, duck confit and local vegetable giardiniera, and a grilled pork chop from Black Hill ranch, accompanied with a sweet potato cake, wilted kale and crispy pickled onion.

Hotel Derek’s Revolve Kitchen + Bar, 2525 West Loop South

Hotel Derek's sleek restaurant and bar has updated its menu with dishes like Smoked Chicken Wings with habanero bourbon honey; Chicken Fried Quail with buttermilk sage biscuit, sweet potato, and truffle honey; and Banana Pudding worth drooling over.

JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers, 3501 W Holcombe
Woodlands: 1335 Lake Woodlands 

Both locations have launched the Divine Burger and the Divine Salad ($10 each). The burger comes in the form of angus beef or grilled chicken topped with crumbled smoked bacon, cranberry and caramelized onion compote, goat cheese, arugula, and roasted garlic & honey aoili. The salad is a kale and spring mix laded with pumpkin seeds, goat cheese crumbles, dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes and apples served with housemade honey vinaigrette.

Julep, 1919 Washington

Julep’s reinvigorated menu is inspired by the coast – the Saltwater South. Covering port cities like Charleston, New Orleans, Galveston and Savannah, the menu boasts drinks like the Merchant Shandy, made with beer combined with barley and Madeira; or the Cape Fear Cooler, in which Laphroaig 10 year Islay Single Malt Scotch is the main spirit.

Kata Robata, 3600 Kirby

For at least the rest of October, Chef Manabu Horiuchi (better known and ‘Hori’) will be testing several dishes featuring the many varieties of mushrooms found in Japan. Look for specials like Uni Pasta made with chanterelle, oyster mushroom, yuzu and topped with parmigiano reggiano or Pan Seared Mixed Mushrooms with chanterelle, matsutake, cauliflower , butternut squash, foie gras sauce and bell peppers. Dishes will change weekly (and some daily), so there’s always something new.

L’Olivier, 240 Westheimer 

This French-American bistro has kept the favorites you love, but you may find some new favorites in its new autumn menu, featuring dishes like bone marrow persillade, seared shrimp with curried tagliatelle, and king salmon aux lentils.

Ooh La La Dessert Boutique, multiple locations

Fall at Ooh La La brings new flavors and spices. The bakery's macaron selection is growing with the introduction of Maple Walnut macarons, available through the month of October. Come November, Ooh La La will offer pie-inspired macarons in Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and Apple Pie flavors. $2.25 each or $27 per dozen. And the October Cupcake of the Month is also Maple Walnut, a rich walnut cake topped with creamy maple buttercream, finished with walnut pieces. $3.50 each or $38 per dozen. Available at all three locations. 

Paul’s Kitchen
,  2502 Algerian

PK’s new autumn menu features a king trumpet mushroom stroganoff, pan-seared chicken with cinnamon and sweet potato ragù, and duck confit cassoulet, among other seasonal delights.

Radio Milano
, 800 Sorella

Pucker up for this fall bar menu spotlighting an array of cocktails with unique and bold flavors. Sip on an Italian Rye-Tai – made with rye, pineapple, Curaçao, averna molasses bitters and cherry tincture; or the Crossing Hitch – made with Blanco tequila, cinnamon-clove syrup and orange juice. To accompany the new cocktails, chef Jose Hernandez has added a few treats to the bar menu, including Sriracha-glazed pork belly, prosciutto and truffle cream pizza, and lobster risotto. Bar bites range from $6 to $32 and cocktails from $10 to $14.

Reserve 101, 1201 Caroline

The downtown whiskey bar has introduced a new fall cocktail menu with a variety of innovative offerings, like the Licking Our Wounds, with Hibiki Harmony Japanese whiskey and a proprietary house-made oloroso syrup. Other highlights include the Mama Tried, a riff on an Old Fashioned using Fireball – yes, Fireball – as the base spirit along with Aperol and maple syrup; and the Monkey Banana Sour, with Monkey Shoulder Scotch and a banana puree, pecan oil and egg white.

Salata, all locations

Houston-based Salata is paying homage to its home state with its new, limited-time-only ingredients and offerings available from now through October 31. The brand is partnering with local, Texas-based suppliers to provide new ingredients and offerings for its fall lineup. Seasonal additions include pecans sourced from San Saba Pecans in San Saba, Texas; goat cheese from Cheesemakers in Cleveland, Texas; a Texas-inspired dry rub barbecue chicken, handcrafted by Salata; and prickly pear limeade, inspired by the state plant of Texas.

, all locations

What was once considered a "secret menu item" across all 18 Houston locations, the popular Sin City burger (which is the signature burger in Las Vegas), will be available on menus for all to savor for a limited time now through October 31. The burger is an eclectic combination of American cheese, Smash Sauce, haystack onions, applewood smoked bacon and a fried egg served on an egg bun. Fans also have the chance to win a weekend getaway for two to Las Vegas. Just submit your most outrageous survival tips on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #SinCitySurvivalTips by 12 a.m. EST on October 20.

Sud Italia, 2347 University

This unique Menù Autunnale features the flavors of fall, including stuffed zucchini blossoms, fresh mushroom and pork bucatini, and butternut squash mezzaluna in saffron pistachio sauce.

Sullivan’s Steakhouse, 4608 Westheimer

This fall, Sullivan’s is rolling out three new bourbon cocktails, debuting on October 1. Sip and savor the apple cinnamon mule ($11), a Moscow mule made with Jim Beam Apple, Jim Beam Fire, Ginger Beer and fresh lime; the Brooklyn cocktail ($14), a rye martini garnished with a flamed lemon peel; and the peach old-fashioned ($12), muddled with peach puree, cherry, lemon and sugar cubes.

Ula's Tex-Mex Restaurant, 5555 Washington

On Saturday, October 3, the Washington location of Ula’s will begin serving weekend brunch (offered Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Get penny refills (one cent) on the restaurant's $9.95 mimosas alongside huevos con chorizo, condensed milk-smothered pancakes, and carne asada and eggs.

Urban Eats
, 3414 Washington 

Desserts get in on the mix, too. This season, the cool concept will be introducing several new desserts, including a pumpkin white chocolate mousse and ginger snap parfait ($6 – a white chocolate whipped cream folded together with pumpkin puree and traditional holiday spices, then layered with house-made gingersnap cookie crumble); and pumpkin fudge ($14/lb) – decadent marshmallow crème whipped with fresh pumpkin, white chocolate and pecans. In addition, Urban Eats will be featuring pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin praline biscotti and homemade banana pumpkin spice bread in the market, all of which will be available from October 1 through the end of the year. 
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Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
Contact: Brooke Viggiano