Restaurant News

Openings and Closings: King Ranch, Shoot the Moon Soon, Treebeards Memorial Now

The Plate.
The Plate. Photo by Fertitta Entertainment

King Ranch Texas Kitchen, 1605 Post Oak Boulevard, is slated to open before the holidays. The rustic, Western-style restaurant is a collaboration between prolific restaurateur and businessman Tilman Fertitta and  family and King Ranch, Inc., the privately-held agricultural production and resource management company which also owns the historic King Ranch in Kingsville, Texas. This will be the first King Ranch-branded restaurant to open. Needless to say, it will offer Texas cuisine.

The new restaurant will use beef from small-scale ranches and locally sourced produce from family farms. It will stick to its Texas theme by offering sustainably-caught Gulf seafood as well. Butcher block specials include meats such as USDA Prime Ribeye, New York Strip and The Beast, a five pound braised Texas Wagyu-X beef shank. That's a shareable if anyone needs to ask.

click to enlarge Cowboy up at King Ranch Texas Kitchen. - PHOTO BY FERTITTA ENTERTAINMENT
Cowboy up at King Ranch Texas Kitchen.
Photo by Fertitta Entertainment
Tex-Mex finds its way onto the menu with a build-your-own taco bar with corn tortillas, beans, queso blanco, guacamole and cotija cheese. Vaquero Tacos, King Ranch Nilgai and King Ranch Fried Quail are ranch favorites and a selection of slow-cooked smoked meats includes Heartbrand Akaushi Smoked Brisket and the  10 ounce Vande Rose Tomahawk Pork Chop. Guests can indulge in specials like  Slow-Smoked Brisket Queso or The Whole Red – a Cajun-spiced whole Gulf Coast Redfish.

King Ranch Texas Kitchen has brought in Carlos Rodriguez as executive chef. Rodriguez has been an influential figure for  Fertitta's Landry' s Signature Group as corporate chef and previously as executive chef at Vic and Anthony's, plus as Vice-President of Culinary at Saltgrass Steakhouse. Non-Fertitta experience includes a stint in the late  '90s and early 2000s as executive chef at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse.

The chef's experience in menu creation will show in the partnership. Rodriguez said in a press release "We worked diligently with King Ranch to translate their brand into a culinary experience unlike any other. As a legendary part of Texas history, we are thrilled to bring their vision for the first-ever King Ranch branded restaurant to life.”

click to enlarge Yee-haw! Let's rodeo. - PHOTO BY FERTITTA ENTERTAINMENT
Yee-haw! Let's rodeo.
Photo by Fertitta Entertainment
Guests can expect the decor to reflect the history of King Ranch, the largest ranch in the state of Texas with 825,000 acres stretching from Corpus Christi to Brownsville. Vintage leather saddles, hand-forged metal drum chandeliers and a curated collection of photos and memorabilia from the ranch will give an authentic taste of the Lone Star State. It could easily become a favorite place to take out of state visitors. At least ones you really, really like.

There will be several private dining areas including the Houston Rodeo Room, the Triple Crown and The Barn. There will also be an on-site retail store called The Saddle Shop, selling leather goods, housewares and food inspired by the King Ranch itself.

Treebeards opens in Memorial. - RENDERING BY MOODY NATIONAL
Treebeards opens in Memorial.
Rendering by Moody National

Treebeards, 9655 Katy Freeway, opened softly October 2 for lunch service, adding dinner service October 15. The Bunker Hill location is the fifth for the brand. It would be the sixth but the concept closed its storied Market Square restaurant this past June, as we reported in the Press. Located in the Village Towers office complex from Moody National, it joins restaurants Texadelphia and the upcoming Masraff's. The Memorial location is the first venture outside downtown Houston for the brand, owned by husband and wife, Charles and Jolie Stinneford. It is also the first of its restaurants to offer dinner service and a full bar area.

The restaurant serves a variety of Cajun, Creole and Southern classics including gumbo, red beans and rice, meatloaf and chicken fried chicken. With the new restaurant, the Stinnefords have brought in chef Matt Marcus to consult on the menu, according to Houston Food Finder.  Marcus has expanded the offerings with items like kale salad, roasted salmon and stuffed pork chop. He has also created a bar menu, which would be the first for Treebeards.

Its daily specials draw in the lunch crowd but the restaurant has also begun doing pop-ups around the Houston area due to the loss of some downtown employees who continue to work from home during the pandemic. It has been a longtime go-to lunch spot for downtown workers and residents but many have expressed disappointment for years that the restaurant was not open for dinner. That changes with the new Bunker Hill location.

click to enlarge Dax McAnear, Kevin Floyd and Jonas Herd are shooting for the moon. - PHOTO BY AMY SCOTT PHOTOGRAPHY
Dax McAnear, Kevin Floyd and Jonas Herd are shooting for the moon.
Photo by Amy Scott Photography

Shoot the Moon, 8155 Long Point, is currently seeking investors on the crowdfunding site NextSeed. The  innovative concept comes from STM Hospitality, founded by Executive Director Kevin Floyd along with Dax McAnear and Jonas Herd. The restaurant and bar is shooting for an opening in the next couple of months in a Spring Branch retail and dining complex which will also include Feges BBQ and Slowpokes Coffee.

Floyd is best known for his partnership with chef Chris Shepherd in opening acclaimed restaurants such as Underbelly, Hay Merchant and UB Preserv and  Anvil Bar and Refuge with Bobby Huegel. McAnear, who will be the Culinary Director for Shoot the Moon, brings experience from working with chefs such as Shepherd, Monica Pope and Ryan Pera. Herd is the Development Director and has helped in the development and design of restaurants and bars such as One Fifth, Dish Society and Nancy's Hustle.

click to enlarge The tap wall at Shoot the Moon will offer over 80 options. - RENDERING BY COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS
The tap wall at Shoot the Moon will offer over 80 options.
Rendering by Collaborative Projects
The concept revolves around a self-serve tap system which allows guests to pour their own craft beer, wine, cocktails and spirits from the 80 plus taps lining the wall. They can choose between small tastes and full pours. Customers check in and order food at the counter prior to choosing a table. By eliminating the bartender and server, guests have less contact with staff. While the concept was already in development before the current pandemic, its subsequent benefits are even more relative. The appropriate sanitization measures will be in place and there will be a staff member in charge of cleaning the taps area.

A recent press release from NextSeed did not offer much insight into the from-scratch menu but booze-friendly appetizers, pizzas and a selection of healthy options will come from the chef-driven kitchen.

click to enlarge Martinis and magic  happen at Warren's. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
Martinis and magic happen at Warren's.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero

Warren's Inn, 307 Travis, reopened October 12.  As some restrictions on bars in Texas were lifted recently by Governor Abbott, more businesses are finally opening their doors again, hopefully for good. Warren's had briefly reopened in May, then again September 20 as the restrictions fluctuated along with the pandemic's resurgence. It had to close again three days later. Now, its red interior and classic jukebox awaits.

Its decades-loyal regulars, hipster beards, professional Millenials and rockabilly throwbacks can all mingle together in harmony once more. We all have that friend who knew about Warren's before it was cool. Well, it's been cool for nearly four decades with a jukebox that repeatedly gets voted the best in the city by this publication. The house wine may make your lips curl but the old school cocktails hit the mark booze-wise. It's a game of Russian roulette as far as staff goes but its ambiance cannot be beaten. The worn, vintage cocktail bar elements and shabby glamour give it a hint of seediness and elegance all at the same time, much like a Bourbon Street dive in New Orleans.

Warren's is owned by Caroline Wenglar who also owns La Carafe across the square. While Warren's has a 1970s lounge vibe, La Carafe is like a Victorian time-warp. La Carafe is currently closed and we are told that it is in the process of working with TABC to reopen.

Del Vista, 6565 Del Monte, has very softly opened this week. It is a partnership between The Del Restaurant and Bar and Chef Greg Gordon, the former owner of La Vista. According to Tim Jones, one of the owners of Del Monte Restaurant Group, the collaboration means that the neighborhood hangout and brunch spot will be offering some of Gordon's best dishes from La Vista. For now, it is open Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. but once it kicks into high gear with an official opening, it will bring back its popular brunch. 

We will have more on this next week. So stay tuned. Same Press time, same Press channel.

Krazy Katsu and Udon, 4747 FM 1463, had a grand opening October 10 after softly opening October 7. This is the third location for the Korean katsu restaurant. It has two other locations at 8401 Westheimer and 10011 Long Point. It serves the fried dish fresh and made to order in its open kitchen. The katsu options include pork, chicken, beef, fish, tofu and cheese. The katsu can be ordered with an udon or curry set for an additional cost.

There are soy and curry udon plates plus salad and bulgogi rice. The katsu is also available in sandwiches and wraps. The fast-casual restaurant only serves soft drinks. It also has several delivery platforms including UberEats and DoorDash.

click to enlarge The West Coast Arnold is one of several Benedicts at The Toasted Yolk. - PHOTO BY BUBBLE UP
The West Coast Arnold is one of several Benedicts at The Toasted Yolk.
Photo by Bubble Up

The Toasted Yolk has signed leases for two new restaurants to add to its ever-expanding portfolio. The first is for 2535 Gulf Freeway in League City planned for December 2020. The Pinncale Park store will be the 15th for the brand. Bellaire residents will get a location at 5103 Bellaire Boulevard in March 2021.

Hungry Like the Wolf, 920 Studemont, is expected to open in December 2020, as reported by Houston Food Finder. The '80s themed diner will offer diner foods like burgers and meatloaf.  For those who still have a sad, lonely rhinestone glove hidden away in a drawer as a precious keepsake of their Michael Jackson fan days or a lace corset once worn to a Madonna concert, the retro New Wave decor by Viviana Velasco, along with some bitchin' '80s tunes should transport Generation X back to the days of New Romantics and Hair Metal bands.

The restaurant and bar comes from former Corkscrew owner, Andy Adams, Dr. Frank Morello and Anthony Hassen of  Evo Taco which closed in early 2018. Morello previously owned Radunare in The Woodlands which has closed in light of the pandemic.

The Parish Bistro, 815 Plantation, softly opened August 18. The casual Cajun/Creole restaurant comes from the team at OffBeat Eatz, the roaming food truck that sells its burgers and chicken dishes around Houston and Galveston. Now, the owners have brought some authentic Louisiana cuisine to Richmond.

The menu offers the usual suspects like fried boudin balls, crab cakes, grits, jambalaya and etouffee. There are several gumbos on offer like the seafood gumbo, shrimp and okra and chicken and sausage. There are po'boys and fish dishes such as the Redfish Pontchartrain. For dessert, Southern favorites such as bread pudding and pecan pie beckon and there's a patio for folks who want to linger over a Bloody Mary at Sunday brunch. There is a kids menu, too.

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, Wednesday through Sunday. There is a weekday happy hour, also.

Juanita's Mexican Restaurant, 29110 U.S. 290 Frontage Road, will open soon in the Fairfield area. The owners first opened Juanitas at TC Jester in 2000. They no longer own that location but opened Juanitas on Louetta in 2015 becoming a neighborhood favorite. The restaurant serves traditional dishes inspired by the Guanajuato region of Mexico. Guests will find the standard choices such as enchiladas, tacos, fajitas and flautas. The restaurant has a full bar but margaritas are the big seller.

click to enlarge Korean Fried Ribs are a late night snack. - PHOTO BY NICK WONG
Korean Fried Ribs are a late night snack.
Photo by Nick Wong

UB Preserv, 1609 Westheimer, is launching its UBP After Dark specials every Thursday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for industry workers and other late night diners and drinkers. It's a perfect way to relax, indoors or out, with like-minded folks and whinge about the clueless customers who still don't seem to get the whole mask-wearing thing.

Some of the late night munchies include Smoked McRib Buns ($12), Korean Fried Ribs ($18), Al Pastor Mushroom Queso ($12), Salt and Pepper Squid ($14) and Pretzel Bread with Pimiento Cheese ($6). Drink offerings include the Frozen Ca Phe Sua Da ($10), the Spicy Mezcal Rita and the Weekly Trash Can Punch ($8). There's also the special, Post Shift, which is Horseshoe Pilsner and a shot of Rum Fire or tequila for $10. There are also $5 shots of Rumplemintz, Jagermeister or Rum Fire. Save some money for an Uber.

click to enlarge Bistro 555 shows its Alsatian roots with a pork shank beauty. - PHOTO BY GENEVIEVE GUY
Bistro 555 shows its Alsatian roots with a pork shank beauty.
Photo by Genevieve Guy
Bistro 555, 13616 Memorial, has launched its Autumn in France menu for lunch and dinner. The cafe opened September 15, as we reported here in the Houston Press, as a rebranding of its former self, Bistro Provence. Owner Genevieve Guy has expanded the menu to reflect more regional dishes from France, including Alsace, where she grew up.

For lunch, which runs Monday through Friday, there are dishes like the Weinerschnitzel with Alsatian potato salad, Chicken Salad with blue cheese, tomato, avocado and bacon and Hanger Steak with shallot sauce. Dinner service goes from Monday through Saturday and new dishes include Pork Shank on a bed of sauerkraut, Atlantic Salmon with a white whine shallot sauce, Country Rabbit with tangy mustard and a traditional Duck in Orange Sauce.

There are desserts using fresh fruits, chocolate and pastry plus seasonal soups. The wine list is wholly French with some available by the glass.

click to enlarge Logan's Roadhouse is bringing back the Double Bacon Sirloin. - PHOTO BY MIKE RUTHERFORD
Logan's Roadhouse is bringing back the Double Bacon Sirloin.
Photo by Mike Rutherford
Logan's Roadhouse, 3160 Gulf Freeway S. and12950 Northwest Freeway, is bringing back some of its menu favorites including Bacon on a Stick, Double Bacon Sirloin, Carolina Shrimp and Piled High French Dip. It is also offering a new "Make It a Combo" deal which allows guests to add wood-grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp or crispy crab cakes to any entree for an additional cost. Logan's has also added Southern Fried Fish to its American Roadhouse Meals, an early-bird special that runs between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. daily. The meal deal special includes a choice of entree such as grilled meatloaf, chicken tenders, bbq pork chop and a six-ounce sirloin steak with two sides for a budget-friendly $8.99.

The restaurant has also added two new beverages for the fall that are very well-priced. The Tito's Black Cherry Electric Lemonade ($5) and the Black Cherry Bud Light Seltzer ($4) will quench your thirst without decimating your cash flow.
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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.