So, while I was gone last week, chef Ryan Hildebrand and his investors announced plans to open yet another restaurant only four short months after Triniti opened on Shepherd. Brande, as the new restaurant will be called when it opens in late 2013, will occupy the old Ruggles space on Lower Westheimer (right across the street from Uchi).
Said a press release:
The new structure, described as "a contemporary building with a rustic farmhouse feel," will be designed by Houston's MC2 Architects, the same group that helped create Triniti. It will be located at 903 Westheimer, the former home of Ruggles Grill, and will offer an extensive selection of charcuterie, crafted breads, pastries and dry aged meats. On the beverage side, Brande will feature craft cocktails and an eclectic wine and beer list focusing on American producers.
Brande will also apparently lean toward a "masculine" aesthetic, with "richer, darker woods in a more casual setting." (Side note: Although I was previously unaware that restaurant interiors are inherently gender-biased, I was apparently wrong. Ladies don't like rich, dark woods. Pfft.) The sex of the dining room aside, one thing is perfectly clear: Lower Westheimer's gradual evolution into the city's restaurant mecca is moving faster every day, and there's not much we can do about it now.
And speaking of Montrose, get ready for two fun blind items...