Houston Restaurant Weeks: Glass Wall

What they're up to for Restaurant Weeks: Glass Wall is on the higher end of pricing ($45 for dinner instead of the usual $35) for Houston Restaurant Weeks but it's a case of getting what you pay for. They are only open for dinner. There are optional (and astute) wine pairings by "Grape Alchemist" and co-owner Shepard Ross for the first and second courses at a very reasonable range of $7 to $13 per glass. Splurge on this and go "full tilt boogie" if you can.

Service/Atmosphere: Glass Wall is noisy, but it's lively, not obnoxious. Go when you're feeling convivial and festive. If you want it a little quieter, snag a booth if one is available. Service is warm and professional. Our server said he's worked with Ross since they were at Zula, which was several years ago. That really says something about the owners and staff.

Items that won't be on the regular menu: Special to the HRW menu are the Jumbo Blue Lump Crabcake, appetizer-sized lobster ravioli, hearty veal on risotto (as an appetizer!), a stunning local heirloom tomato salad and the Sweet Corn Crusted Gulf Red Snapper.

Don't Miss This Dish: I made a promise to myself to use HRW this year as an opportunity to check out places I'd never been. Why did I choose Glass Wall as the first place to explore? They posted a photo to Facebook of the complex, gorgeous and sophisticated Hereford Beef Tenderloin and I knew I had to have it. It's a symphony of beef, foie gras brulée topped with huckleberry jam, mashed potatoes with a luscious hit of mascarpone cheese, haricot verts and Cabernet sauce.

Don't Bother: Pass on the paella. The shrimp was good but the overcooked whitefish put this on the bottom of the list.

Final verdict: Glass Wall is a must-go destination for Houston Restaurant Weeks. Reservations are absolutely required and I recommend you make one now, even if you don't plan to go right away. Please don't just show up on their doorstep. Thanks, friend.

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