We’re down to the last few days of Houston Restaurant Weeks (for real this time), so this is your last chance to dine on some pretty stellar prix fixe menus for a great cause. After the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, the citywide fundraising event was extended through September 30. We can’t think of a better time to #supportlocal and help raise money for The Houston Food Bank.
250 West 19th, 713-864-2050
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to try out the new Alice Blue (formerly Shade) on 19th, the fact that it extended its HRW menu is it. The restaurant closed for a few days around the storm, helping its sister eatery Canopy prepare and provide meals to those in need. But it’s open now, and a $35 three-course dinner is waiting. Start with sherry-dressed greens spiked with herbs and breadcrumbs, garlic toast with whipped brandade (salt cod), or squash fritters with cilantro and sumac yogurt. The fresh flavors continue with course two: a tomato and burrata cavatelli pasta, salmon with tonnato and bok choy, and half roasted chicken au jus with oyster mushrooms and potato puree. For dessert, it’s adults-only marjolaine cake, seasonal fruit sorbet or citrus-chocolate mousse cake with toasted almonds.
908 Congress, 713-224-9500
You’ve never had Batanga like this before. Skip passing tapas around the table and try its Latin fusion HRW menu instead. Dinner is $35 per person for three courses, beginning with mushroom and chorizo queso flameado; organic spinach and wild quinoa salad with toasted cumin and currants; or a gooey, barbacoa-loaded gouda and cheddar mac’ and cheese. Next, it’s your choice of brown butter cod over wilted spinach and manchego grits; Shiner-braised short rib and Yukon mash; or a half roasted adobo chicken with herbed bomba rice. The meal ends on a sweet note, with options including bay leaf ice cream, traditional flan, or tres leches kicked up with Thai tea ganache. Bonus points: It’s patio season, and Batanga has one of the most charming outdoor spaces in town. Double bonus points: Batanga is one of the many amazing restaurants that stepped up to help throughout the storm, offering its kitchen up to help prep meals for shelters.
Beaver’s on Westheimer
6025 Westheimer, 713-714-4111
After dishing out free meals for first responders, Beaver’s on Westheimer also hosted a Harvey relief benefit party and extended its HRW menu. The neighborhood haunt is offering brunch, lunch and dinner. Lunch is $20 per person for two courses. Start with panko-fried deviled eggs, Texas beef empanadas or citrus ponzu Brussels sprouts; then move onto the two meat barbecue platter, smoked salmon cobb or chipotle mayo-smothered chicken sandwich alongside your choice of sides like hand-cut Kennebec fries, beer-battered onion rings and Mexican street corn. At dinner, $35 will get you a three-course feast, with options including chicken-fried quail knots, blackened salmon, CFS with bacon-shroom gravy, and croissant bread pudding. The week ends with brunch, offered for $22 and featuring two-courses. Get a bucket of biscuits, empanadas or "knocked up" queso, then move onto stellar choices like the colossal Beaver-rito and Cap’n Crunch french toast.
2521 Bagby, 713-521-7231
If you’re looking for steak this HRW, go outside the box and into this Eastern European stunner, hidden away in a Midtown strip mall. An eight-ounce Angus hanger steak au poivre and frites is part of the $35 three-course dinner menu, as are entrees like the manchego-stuffed chicken Charivari, crab-topped dover sole and vegan, gluten-free organic tofu in sherry coconut-cream sauce. Starters include a butternut squash and lobster bisque, black forest-style escargot and bleu cheese-studded butter lettuce salad. Finish with apple strudel, peach cobbler with housemade bourbon vanilla ice cream, or a caramelized three-layer cheesecake. Lunch is also offered and is $20 for three courses. First up, Transylvanian garlic cream soup, a colorful salad bouquet or octopus carpaccio. Next, enjoy Scottish salmon, grilled jumbo shrimp Provencal or wiener schnitzel (it is Oktoberfest, after all) ; and end with refreshing scratchmade sorbet.
Ginger & Fork Restaurant
4705 Inker, 713-861-8883
Patio weather means it’s the perfect time to check out this Heights treasure. At lunch, $20 will get you a three-course meal worth lingering over. Enjoy chilled wood ear mushrooms, spicy cabbage or Cantonese nine-herb soup as starters; then move on to beef chow fun, stir-fried Chinese greens, or curried rice plump with shrimp, chicken and pork. Dessert is parfait-style ginger cheesecake, goji berry gelatin or Asian pear bread pudding. Dinner ($45 for four courses) is equally luxurious, with starters including steamed dumplings, spicy fried tofu and chilled wood ear ‘shrooms. Follow it with your choice of soup before chowing down on stir-fried filet, yellow curry chicken or a vegetarian friendly Buddha’s delight; then finish with the sweet stuff. On Saturday, brunch ($22 for three courses) means you can dig into everything from Cantonese shrimp dumpling and steamed pork bun to sticky rice wrapped in lotus and Hong Kong-style fluffy eggs with shrimp. Check out the full menu online.
Jonathan’s the Rub
9061 Gaylord, 713-465-8200
You can support local relief efforts during both lunch and dinner at this new American kitchen. Lunch is an incredible deal at $20 for three courses, starting with options like chicken and sausage gumbo and cheesy pierogi and ending with white chocolate mousse, Nutella cheesecake or mango-raspberry sorbet. In between, there are options from slow-braised short rib over brioche to sesame-crusted tuna in pomegranate sauce. Dinner offers a three-course affair for $45, with highlights including mushroom ravioli, rainbow trout Pontchatrain, Mediterranean lamb rack, short rib with black Bordeaux reduction and Snickers pie.
1800 Post Oak, 713-439-1000
Along with Invest Hospitality, this incredible French eatery helped to form Hospitality for Houston, a platform for hospitality professionals across the country to contribute to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The fund has raised over $200,000 for three local organizations: the Houston Food Bank, Kids’ Meals, and Recipe for Success. Continue to celebrate charity alongside the restaurant with its HRW menu, offered at lunch ($20 for two courses, with a $5 dessert supplement), weekend brunch ($22 for two courses, with a $5 dessert supplement) and dinner ($45 for three courses). Highlights include caramelized cheese soufflé, sweat pea ravioli and roasted salmon with asparagus risotto at lunch; cherry tomato gazpacho with jalapeño brioche, avocado toast and traditional eggs Benedict with jambon de Paris ham at brunch; and supplements like the colossal lump crab salad, eight-ounce Hudson Valley duck breast and Valrhona “guanaja” chocolate soufflé at dinner.
5512 La Branch, 713-568-2505
This modern Southern kitchen celebrated five years last week, hosting a series of festivities benefiting hurricane relief efforts in addition to its HRW menu. During the last days of HRW, Lucille’s will be offering lunch ($20 for two courses), dinner ($35 for three courses) and Saturday brunch ($22 for three courses). At lunch, choose from a tarragon Caesar salad with cornbread croutons, rich man's gumbo with chicken and lump crab, or cornmeal-crusted fried green tomatoes. A taste of the new American South continues with slow-fried yardbird, smoked mash and collards; a seared tuna sandwich with avocado mousse and tomato confit; and Gulf shrimp and grits in sherry tomato broth. Dinner offers starters like rich man's gumbo, fresh field pea hummus, and roasted butternut squash with spiced soy yogurt. The main event is a crispy Berkshire pork belly hoppin’ John, whole fried snapper with sweet basil maque choux, or slow-fried yardbird with smoked mash and collards. Finish with croissant bread pudding or red velvet cake. Brunch is another three-course affair, beginning with watermelon salad, chili biscuits or fried green tomatoes; moving on to chicken-fried eggs benny, croissant french toast or shrimp and grits; and ending with panna cotta, red velvet cake or croissant bread pudding.
110 Vintage Park, 281-257-9500
23501 Cinco Ranch, 281-257-9500
5085 Westheimer, Suite B2515
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The team at Peli Peli stepped up in the hurricane aftermath, preparing food for shelters, offering gratis eats to first responders and helping their employees get back on their feet. The love continues with its Houston Restaurant Weeks menus, offered at all three locations for lunch ($20 for two courses), Saturday brunch ($22 for two courses) and dinner ($45 for three courses). Get to know South African flavors through dishes such as bobotie, masala curry chicken potjie pots, South African kinglip and scallop, and Chilean seabass stuffed mushrooms with peli peli sauce, all options at lunch. Dinner offers the bobotie and mushrooms in addition to fire-roasted oysters, short rib surf and turf, blackened salmon in butter cream sauce and sticky toffee pudding. At brunch, indulge in guava-brushed bacon-wrapped chicken; brioche french toast with cream cheese, passion fruit and berries; and South African-style eggs benny with filet medallions and your choice of sauce.
800 Sorella, 713-827-3545
Radio Milano is another top-notch local spot that got down with the relief efforts, as chef Jose Hernandez teamed up with Amalfi Restaurant’s Giancarlo Ferrara and Victor Pucha of the forthcoming Maison Pucha Bistro to host a post-hurricane feast, with 100 percent of the proceeds to flood relief. And since Italian food is best enjoyed in courses, this modern Italian HRW menu is a real winner. Lunch offers three courses for $20, beginning with eggplant parmigiana, house Caesar or chilled melon soup. Next, indulge in bucatini fra diavolo, English pea tortellini, salmon with pearled couscous or chicken Milanese before finishing up with tiramisu, pistachio crème brûlée or a bright and refreshing Texas peach sundae. At dinner, three courses are offered for $35. First-course options include zucchini soup with crème fraîche, housemade burrata with heirloom tomato and black truffle, or house Caesar. For the entrées, choices include tenderloin marsala and smoked fingerlings, cherry duck breast, English pea tortellini and bucatini fra diavolo. To finish, it’s creamy chocolate and hazelnut nougatine with saffron ice cream, the Texas peach sundae, or a cherry crostata with pistachio ice cream and whipped crème fraîche.