This fall, Houston will welcome a number of diverse new dining options around the city, from smoking hot barbecue outposts to exciting new chef-driven bistros to the resurrection of a lunchtime institution. Here's what we're looking forward to most in the coming months. And if these aren't enough to get you excited, just remember that Briarmeadow will also be getting H-Town's first In-N-Out sometime in the not-too-distant future as well.
BCK: Kitchen & Cocktail Adventures
Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, a popular spot for pub grub and whiskey in River Oaks, will expand to the Heights in the former Glass Wall space, 933 Studewood, with a wild concept: The menu will be built around kitschy comfort food from the '80s and '90s. Does this mean toaster streudel for brunch and boozy Hi-C Ecto Coolers for all?
Blood Bros. Barbecue
Brothers Robin and Terry Wong and partner Quy Hoang, pitmasters and proprietors of one of the most underrated barbecue pop-ups in the city, will open their debut brick and mortar at 5425 Bellaire. Expect great slow and low meats (Felix Florez of Black Hill Meats and Ritual and Ryan Echiverri of NettBar are both consulting and are minor stakeholders) and unique sides with Asian flavor. Or get a taste at Midtown karaoke spot Glitter, where numerous fans line up for their weekly Wednesday night steak night.
When this beloved cafeteria at 3606 Bissonett burned to the ground just before Mother’s Day in 2016, the landmark was 70-years-old, and the city of Houston was left heartbroken. Thankfully, Cleburne Cafeteria is on track to return in September 2017, as it recently shared with Facebook followers, complete with more space, and new beer, wine and steak service.
Critically-acclaimed steakhouse Doris Metropolitan is slated to take over the former Triniti space at 2815 South Shepherd by end of year. The restaurant is known for its in-house butchery, dry aged meats and Israeli-inspired side items. Partners Itai Ben Eli, Dori Rebi Chia and Itamar Levy opened the first location in Israel in 2003 under the name Doris Katzavim (Doris Butchers). Today there are locations in San Jose, Costa Rica and in the French Quarter of New Orleans, where the steakhouse is highly regarded as one of the finest in town.
This new trattoria from restaurateur Sam Governale and team will open at 3210 West Dallas in River Oaks (in the former Teala's space) in September, hoping to draw morning, noon, night and late night crowds with all-day menu by chef Dimitri Voustinas (formerly of NY's Bar Boulud, Motorino Pizza and La Gamelle) that draws upon European and Mediterranean influences including charbroiled oysters, Fontina fondue, shareable plates, tea sandwiches and 'Backyard Wedding Cake' for dessert, along with coffee and cocktails in a lush and loungey setting from creative director Ashley Putman.
New Orleans-based celebrity chef John Besh brings his empire to Houston with a new Louisiana-inspired brasserie in River Oaks at 3737 Buffalo Speedway, next to Kiran's on the edge of the newly revamped Levy Park. The restaurant will be helmed by Houston transplant and former chef of Besh's beloved brasserie Lüke, Drake Leonards. He's also a partner in the new restaurant, and told the Press earlier this summer that a great oyster happy hour, such as the one offered at Luke in New Orleans, will be on hand at his new Greenway Plaza restaurant.
Gus' Fried Chicken
It's taking a little bit of time to get the ball rolling on this opening, but Memphis' famous hot chicken eatery turned franchise empire is still heading to Houston, at 1815 Washington to be exact, which is across the street from B&B Butcher's. Renowned for its crispy, spicy fried bird and sides including macaroni and cheese, collards, fried okra and more comfort fare, this spot is worth the wait. But if you can't wait, well, the Austin and Fort Worth outposts are worth a trip to see what this little soul food diner is all about.
By early 2018, chef Ryan Pera and partner Morgan Weber of Agricole Hospitality of Coltivare, Revival Market and Eight Row Flint, will switch their attention to East Downtown, where they will open three new restaurants at 1201 St. Emanuel (at Dallas), starting with Indianola, a 3,000-square-foot all-day neighborhood eatery that draws upon American food and its diversity. Miss Carousel, a 5,000-square-foot bar named after a Townes Van Zandt song will feature 25 to 30 original and classic cocktails, and there will also be an adjacent fast-casual pizzeria, Vinny's.
Jones on Main
A potential Mala location could be awesome for the Downtown lunch crowd if all goes as planned for this upcoming food hall opening on the ground floor of 37-floor Gulf Oil/JPMorgan Chase Building, 712 Main, which is currently being connected to an adjacent historic property at 708 Main. The building's developers, Midway and Lionstone Investments, are partnering with operators Oz Rey LLC to bring 20,000-square-feet of "elevated culinary experiences" to life by 2018, and that may include the Sichuan eatery and more big Houston names.
Katy Asian Town
This new 16-acre, three-building Asian shopping and dining compound will open at the northeast corner of Grand Parkway TX-99 and Interstate10, at 23119 Colonial Parkway, with some of Chinatown's biggest names already on board including H-Mart, Mala Sichuan, ShareTea and Gong Cha; and restaurants Soju 101, Haus 92 and Atami Japanese Restaurant as well. There is also a chance that 85°C Bakery Cafe, the "Starbucks of Taiwan" and egg custard tart hotspot, will also open in the compound, but reps haven't confirmed it yet.
When longtime sushi chef Shimao Ishikawa, who made a name for himself at Manhattan's Michelin-starred sushi bar Jewel Bako, secretly opened a new Japanese restaurant, Kukuri, on 1902 Washington on August 11, Houston took notice. It's in the same development as Tacodeli and Platypus Brewing and offers an omakase for $150, and, according to Houstonia, a $120 sushi and sashimi serving that features fish flown in from Tokyo's fame Tsukiji Market. Time to save up for a weekend splurge.
Laki Fish; Night Market
Mike Tran, who operates ramen favorite Tiger Den, soju pub Ohn Korean, and Chinese hub Mein, will expand his Bellaire empire with a new poke spot called Laki Fish, located next to Tiger Den in the busy Dun Huang shopping center, and his revamped Thai restaurant Night Market, 9630 Clarewood, which will both open soon in Chinatown. Night Market closed in late April to rebrand from Thai and Indian-influenced cuisine to just straight up Thai food. Not much is known about Laki Fish, other than they're currently hiring and should be opening any day, but the thought of Tran putting his chef's spin on poke is enough to get us out there pronto.
Maison Pucha Bistro
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 (former Stella Sola and Black & White restaurant space), where the Ecuadorian chef will incorporate South American flavors into an upscale French menu. It will be a family affair as Pucha's two brothers, a sommelier and a pastry chef respectively, will both move from New York to run the restaurant. Designer Erin Hicks, known for her work with the Helen team, will oversee the design and restaurateur Shepard Ross is also consulting on the opening. This is certain to be the most anticipated restaurant heading to the Heights this year.
One Fifth: Romance Languages
Though not much is known about the menu for Chris Shepherd's upcoming One Fifth: Romance Languages, opening on September 1, the Beard award winning chef and his chef de cuisine Nick Fine recently told CultureMap that there will be paella and a few dishes inspired by the teams' recent travels to Italy on the menu. The Press recently reported that the restaurant's sommelier Matthew Pridgen will be adding more neo-Latin wines that reflect the menu's pivot toward European and Mediterranean cuisine.
Chef Bryan Caswell and wife/partner Jennifer Caswell described the menu of their new Downtown eatery as "elevated bayou cuisine" in CultureMap, and on August 29, the new Gulf Coast and bayou-inspired restaurant will open inside Le Meridien in Downtown. Southern-inspired cocktails and a hip and approachable wine list are expected as well.
Pop + Pan
David and Alex Colby will resurrect their popular panini and popcorn outpost in the ReVive Development at 34th and Ella, where the restaurant will return as Pop + Pan this fall. Expect a menu that includes a great line-up of gourmet popcorn, including their signature family-recipe Lemon-D-Lite popcorn, along with lunch, dinner and brunch with seating for 50 including a shared outdoor space and a full bar. Menu items including specialty sandwiches, toast, and happy hour popcorn and beer pairings will likely be in store. The development will also house new locations of Aladdin and BB's.
State of Grace will welcome a sister eatery to town in early 2018 in the former Bernadine's space with the opening of upscale Tex Mex restaurant Superica from Texas native and award-winning Atlanta-based restaurateur Ford Fry. There are two Atlanta loctions of the restaurant already, where chef and fellow native Texan Kevin Maxey serves up a menu house-made flour tortillas, chips and salsas and mesquite-fueled cooking. There will also be plenty of agave spirits and a small fried chicken and roasted oyster eatery next door, inspired by the old San Jacinto Inn, which Fry loved as a child.
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Arizona-based Osio Culinary Group plans to bring SumoMaya Mexican Asian Kitchen to 4444 Westheimer, Suite C180, in the swanky River Oaks District by fall, with dishes that combine Asian, Mexican and Latin American flavors with an emphasis on high-quality ingredients and creative cocktails. This is certain to be a new spot for party people, as executive chef Eiji Takase and his kitchen staff specialize in shareable pates and live DJs will play on weekends.
When Beard award winning chef Justin Yu opens his new eatery this fall inside his former Oxheart space, you won't find a tasting menu, but more "carefree" dishes reminiscent of a modern bistro, according to what the chef told Eater earlier this month. Expect veggie-forward dining but with more meatier options than the Oxheart days, a focus on fermentation, and approachable menu items that draw influence from cuisines around the globe. Also expect a small bar, a bigger wine list, and seating for about 30 in a newly revamped space.
This popular and critically acclaimed Brenham-based barbecue spot from 29-year-old Houston native Leonard Botello IV, is opening a second location inside the Loop, at 110 S. Heights (at Washington) inside the former J. Black's Feel Good Kitchen & Lounge this year. The eatery is currently ranked No. 10 on Texas Monthly's Top 50 Barbecue Joints and will offer Central Texas barbecue from 11 a.m. until they run out every Tuesday to Sunday.