Restaurant News

Openings and Closings: Pop a Cork With A'Bouzy

Poppin' off at A'Bouzy.
Poppin' off at A'Bouzy. Photo courtesy of A'Bouzy

Houston’s first ever champagne-centric restaurant, A’ Bouzy, 2300 Westheimer, opened on August 2 in River Oaks. Owner Shawn Virene’s wine list of more than 1,000 labels includes 250 champagnes and sparkling wines ranging from $12 to $2,000. The business promises the lowest markups on champagne in the city and a menu designed to pair well with it, including seasonal seafood, salads, prime meats, and a large raw bar. Expect a large patio for sipping tiny bubbles in fair weather and an elegant interior as well. 

For those who like a more meat-centric dining experience, Avenida Brazil Churrascaria Steakhouse had its soft opening on July 26, at 1400 Research Forest, in the Woodlands/Shenandoah area. This is the third Houston area location.

click to enlarge Avenida Brazil Churrascaria Steakhouse is a carnivore's delight. - PHOTO BY CAPTIVCREATIVE
Avenida Brazil Churrascaria Steakhouse is a carnivore's delight.
photo by CaptivCreative
Another churrasqueria (How many ways is this word spelled?), Fogao Brazilian Churrasqueria, opened at 4412 Montrose, taking over the space which was previously occupied by Nelore Churrascaria. It describes itself as fast casual Brazilian churrascaria-style dining with a market-style system of ordering— customers can simply pick the number of dishes, meats, and salads they wish for dine-in or take-out.

If you want to do some good while indulging your carnivorous cravings, Texas de Brazil, 822 Town and Country, Suite 100, will offer diners the opportunity to make donations on their guest checks, of any dollar amount, to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital during the month of August. Those donating five or more dollars will receive a matching value gift certificate for the restaurant, up to $50 for a future visit. Texas de Brazil plans to match all donations up to $25,000.

And for beer drinkers looking to enjoy a new brew for a good cause, Saint Arnold’s Brewing Co. will be debuting a limited edition beer, Gordon’s TerraForm, on August 9 at The Hay Merchant starting at 3 p.m. Hay Merchant’s chef/owner Chris Shepherd will also offer “smoked beer can chicken” and Saint Arnold’s chef, Ryan Savoie, will make a special housemade Amber Ale bratwurst.

All of the proceeds will go to the Grant Gordon Foundation, named for acclaimed Houston chef, Grant Gordon, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2014 and passed away later that year.The foundation was started to educate patients and families on the chemical effects of MS on the brain and increased risk of suicide.

The smoked meat at Truth BBQ is some of the best in Texas. - PHOTO BY ROBERT JACOB LERMA
The smoked meat at Truth BBQ is some of the best in Texas.
photo by Robert Jacob Lerma

As the Houston Press reported last month, 29-year-old pitmaster and Houston native Leonard Botello IV and business partner Johnny Carrabba, are soon bringing Truth BBQ to the Bayou City. The Brenham barbecue joint was ranked tenth in the state by Texas Monthly in 2017, and CultureMap now reports that it will take over the former J. Black’s space on Washington Avenue. No word yet on an opening date.

While Truth BBQ is still in the works, you can get your smokey fix at the newest location of Goode Company BBQ, 8865 Six Pines, in The Woodlands. The fourth outpost of the popular family-owned BBQ restaurant is having its soft opening on August 1 and will share the location with the family’s newest venture, inspired by their Mexican roots, Goode Company Kitchen and Cantina, which will open in late-August.

Miss Saigon
will be leaving Rice Village after 22 years and opening a new location at 1421 Richmond, as reported by CultureMap. Its owner, Mai Ho, plans to have the new location opened by August 15.

Meanwhile, a less traditional Vietnamese restaurant, Lua Viet Kitchen, plans to open at Mandell and West Alabama in a new development by end of year. The owners Nick Nguyen and Mardi Do want to create a fast casual restaurant that uses no MSG and only fresh, organic ingredients.

A fire destroyed a much loved Dickinson seafood eatery, Fish Place, on July 26. Owner Sean McMahon plans to restore the restaurant and reopen the original location at 2702 22nd by November or December 2017. We certainly wish the business a quick recovery.

Fun bar swings hang in Benson's Bar inside of Marais. - PHOTO BY JENNIFER FULLER
Fun bar swings hang in Benson's Bar inside of Marais.
Photo by Jennifer Fuller
It seems that Ladies Night is making a comeback. Marais, 2015 FM 517 East in Dickinson, now has a GNO ( girls’ night out) on Tuesdays with $3 martinis, cosmos and lemon drops along with some wine specials from 4 p.m. to close. There is also a ladies night at d’Vine Wine Bar, 25202 Northwest Freeway, in Cypress on Thursday nights with live music and half-price champagne.

For day drinkers, Stone’s Throw, 1417 Westheimer, launched a new Sunday special called “Scone’s Throw.” Order one of the new brunch cocktails and get a scone, made by Common Bond, for $1.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop opened a new restaurant at 2015 West Gray in late July, serving Baja-style Mexican cuisine. Originally started in Fort Worth in 2003, there are more than 100 locations nationwide. The River Oaks location also has a ‘flaming’ hammerhead shark on the wall and a separate dog-friendly bar and patio for dogs who like tacos and booze.

If it’s too hot for regular coffee, there’s the option of a nitrogen-infused cold brew at Third Gen Coffee, 25136 Grogans Park.This sleek coffee shop in The Woodlands opened in June and serves English sausage rolls and more pastries. Now open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Sundays.

Manuel Pucha, formerly the executive chef of French fine dining favorite La Table in the Galleria area, is opening his own restaurant called Maison Pucha Bistro at 1001 Studewood in the Heights, the Houston Chronicle first reported. The Ecuadorian chef will incorporate South American flavors into an upscale French menu.

A new Asian shopping center, Katy Asian Town, is being constructed at 23119 Colonial Parkway and it sounds like it will be quite the destination. The huge multi-use complex will have a Super H Mart (Houston’s third) and a number of restaurants including Gong Cha, and Sharetea, according to Community Impact.

Eater Houston also reported that there will be a second outpost of the 85C Bakery Cafe in the large development. Katy Asian Town will also house the third location of Mala Sichuan, the restaurant of chef Jianyun Ye, a James Beard semifinalist. Look for the new location to open in late 2017 or early 2018.

Fans will be happy that Hughie's specialty pho will be available all year round at the new outpost. - PHOTO COURTESY OF HUGHIE'S
Fans will be happy that Hughie's specialty pho will be available all year round at the new outpost.
Photo courtesy of Hughie's
Hughie’s Tavern and Vietnamese Grill softly opened its second location on July 28 at 4721 N. Main in the Heights, according to CultureMap. There are a mix of Vietnamese favorites like bahn mi and dumplings along with a few Texas classics such as country fried steak with sausage bacon gravy. Also to expect: 37 taps of craft beer, a Beer Lunch Special, and family-friendly dining including a kids menu for the tots.
Michael's Cookie Jar is a special treat - PHOTO BY MOLLY DUNN
Michael's Cookie Jar is a special treat
photo by Molly Dunn

Michael’s Cookie Jar is about to open its third Houston location at 1864 Fountainview. Pastry chef Michael Savino was trained at the Culinary Institute of America and worked for 13 years with Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts. The newest location will not only have his signature butter-made cookies and biscotti, but will also have a full coffee bar featuring Boomtown Coffee and ice cream from Fat Cat Creamery.

The grand opening is on Sunday, August 13, from 1 to 6 p.m., and benefits Kid’s Meals Houston, with 15 percent of the day’s proceeds going to the organization. In Houston, we like to eat well and do good.

That’s it for this week. If you have any additional openings or closings that we may have missed, hit us up in the comments or send us an email.

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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.