Last week was quiet; this week has some talking to do -- starting with news that David Grossman will be closing out at Branch Water Tavern and taking the restaurant's name with him when he does. The restaurant itself will remain open under a new name and new ownership, reports Greg Morago at the Houston Chronicle, and Grossman hopes to reopen Branch Water Tavern in another venue at a later date.
"Grossman said Matt Brice, of Bistro Des Amis in Rice Village, is the new lessee of the Branch Water Tavern space," writes Morago. "It is not known what type of restaurant he will operate there or what it will be named."
Backstreet Cafe, meanwhile, has been temporarily closed for renovations since January 14 but will reopen this coming Wednesday, January 23. A source at the restaurant says that most of the changes were the sort of basic, behind-the-scenes repairs and upkeep required for a century-old house, so don't worry -- Backstreet will still look exactly the same.
It was announced back in September that chef John Sheely of Mockingbird Bistro would soon be opening a second restaurant near the Galleria, in the BBVA Compass building that's currently under construction. Mike Riccetti at the Examiner has the scoop on that new restaurant -- Osteria Mazzantini, named after Sheely's maternal family -- which will feature Italian classics in a 130-seat space with an 80-seat patio. Riccetti even has a sample menu, with intriguing dishes like calf's brain-filled ravioli on the list. Osteria Mazzantini is slated to open at 2200 Post Oak this April.
Another food truck is hitting the streets today, reports Eater Houston editor Eric Sandler: Craft Infusion, a mobile canteen from Troy Witherspoon -- the former chef at Petrol Station -- that will be serving more of Witherspoon's noted beer-based grub. Look for the truck today at Oak Forest Chill from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, then again from 5 to 8 p.m. for dinner.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.