Restaurant News

Openings and Closings: Rosalie Italian Soul is Coming, Squable is Open

Nonna's Sunday Gravy soothes the soul.
Nonna's Sunday Gravy soothes the soul. Photo by Catchlight Photography

Rosalie Italian Soul
, 400 Dallas, is slated for a September 2019 opening. The restaurant, located in the soon -to-open C. Baldwin Hotel, comes from chef and owner, Chris Cosentino and co-owner Oliver Wharton. This is not the first collaboration for the duo. Cosentino and Wharton also teamed together previously to open Cockscomb in San Francisco, Acacia House at Las Alcobas and Jackrabbit at The Duniway in Portland, Oregon. Both men have impressive resumes, with Wharton having been part of the team at Jean-Georges in New York and Director of Restaurant Operations for Michael Mina's Aqua Development Corporation among other high profile stints. Cosentino was the winner of Top Chef Masters Season 4 and has been a proponent of nose to tail cuisine, with his whole animal cooking from his 12-year tenure at Incanto and his 2017 cookbook Offal Good: Cooking From the Heart with Guts.

click to enlarge Chris Cosentino brings his Italian heart to Houston. - PHOTO BY MARK MEDIANA
Chris Cosentino brings his Italian heart to Houston.
Photo by Mark Mediana

Cosentino's Houston project is a personal one. The Rhode Island native's culinary career was influenced by his great-grandmother Rosalie, a first generation Italian immigrant. From handmade pasta to home-canned tomatoes, her personal touches inspired Cosentino's own approach to cooking. The menu is still being developed, but diners can expect Eggplant Parmesan with a twist and Italian dishes using the fresh seafood and local produce that the Greater Houston area and Gulf Coast has to offer.

And that access to local foods was what Cosentino focused on at a press conference with friends Chris Shepherd and Nick Wong. There's no more vocal advocate of Houston's culinary diversity and local producers than Shepherd and his enthusiasm is obviously contagious, because Cosentino sang Houston's praises and showed tremendous excitement for his H-Town venture when questioned about his decision to open a restaurant here. He was particularly thrilled with the Bayou City's multitude of pho restaurants.

click to enlarge Kate Rohrer and Lisa Hines add a lushness to mid-century style. - RENDERING BY ROHE CREATIVE
Kate Rohrer and Lisa Hines add a lushness to mid-century style.
Rendering by ROHE Creative
While the restaurant will be located in the luxury hotel complex of C. Baldwin, Cosentino plans to keep Rosalie approachable with Sunday Gravy dinners and a decor inspired by his grandmother's 1970s kitchen albeit with an elevated design. The restaurant will serve all the meals at the hotel for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner as well as room service and a take and go option.

Squable, 632 W. 19th, softly opened last weekend, according to Eater Houston. The European-style eatery comes from Bobby Heugel (Anvil) and Justin Yu (Theodore Rex) the powerhouse duo behind the wildly successful and critically adored, Better Luck Tomorrow. The restaurant was accepting walk-ins April 23 and will soon be taking reservations through Resy. The opening hours are Tuesday though Sunday, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The kitchen has Mark Clayton, a former Oxheart sous chef leading the team with Drew Gimma, formerly of Common Bond, heading up pastry and bread. Terry Williams will serve as General Manager and Justin Vann as Sommelier.

click to enlarge Chef Evelyn's Chu Che curry at Decatur Bar and Pop Up Factory. - PHOTO BY SHAWN CHIPPENDALE
Chef Evelyn's Chu Che curry at Decatur Bar and Pop Up Factory.
Photo by Shawn Chippendale
Decatur Bar and Pop-up Factory, 2310 Decatur, has announced via press release that Chef Evelyn Garcia, its first chef-in-residence, will now be offering a full menu to the public, beginning April 30. In addition, Garcia will remain chef-in-residence for the rest of 2019. Her successful weekend dinners and blending of southeast Asian and Latin cuisines have contributed to the young chef's popularity.Her expanded menu will be served Tuesday though Saturday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and will include creative dishes like massaman short ribs, coconut marinated chargrilled pork chops and shrimp, sour yellow and vegan green curries. She will also host a four- course dinner once a month, with the first occurring May 18. Cost is $65 per person or $100 with wine pairings.

click to enlarge Decatur's comfortable interior. - PHOTO BY TRISH BADGER
Decatur's comfortable interior.
Photo by Trish Badger
For a first taste of Chef Evelyn's dishes, Decatur is having a grand opening celebration April 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. starting with a crawfish boil hosted by Maker's Mark and prepared by Chef Evelyn and Willet Feng of Burger-Chan. The crawfish will be served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be complimentary bites from the new menu from 5 p.m to 7 p.m. There will be local vendors, reverse happy hour specials (10 p.m. to close) and live musical entertainment from Chad Wesselkamper Jazz Trio and DJ Jean-Paul Tiblier on the patio.

Maggie May's
, 726 W. 19th, had its grand opening March 22. The coffee shop is located in Black Dog Records, which was originally in Bellaire for seven years, according to The Leader News. Owner James Sherwood felt that the demographics weren't there for what he wanted to do next, so he moved the record store to the Heights and opened the cafe, which serves coffee drinks like nitro cold brew, iced lattes and frappes, plus smoothies and hand-crafted Italian sodas. Wine and craft beer may be in its future, but for now, coffee, tea and vinyl are the main draws. There are two listening stations, pastries from Kraftsmen Bakery and Puppycinnos for the pups.

click to enlarge Grilled chicken over a Brussels sprout and carrot salad at Watershed. - PHOTO BY RICK COSTELLO
Grilled chicken over a Brussels sprout and carrot salad at Watershed.
Photo by Rick Costello

, 4820 W. Bellfort, opened April 20. For now, the restaurant/bar is open only for dinner for the next several weeks to get the team up to snuff. However, reviews seem to lean toward the very positive, so it's off to a good start. There are 30 beers on tap, plus an inexpensive wine list and cocktails. Small plates include goulash and pretzel bites while the entree options range from burgers to schnitzel and fish and chips. The restaurant is Continental with a German accent and American touches. The smoked meats are done in-house.

Beer is available in 8 ounce and 16 ounce pours and reasonably priced, ranging from smaller $3 pours to larger $5 and $6 pints.

click to enlarge Houston, we have flamingos. - PHOTO BY RACHAEL WRIGHT
Houston, we have flamingos.
Photo by Rachael Wright
Present Company, 1318 Westheimer, is celebrating the grand opening of Party Doll, its Airstream trailer cum patio bar on wheels  April 27, beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday. There will be $7 Aperol Spritzes served in floatie flamingos, some Aperol swag and music from DJ Fredster. The weather promises to be perfect for enjoying the colorful and lush patios at Present Company.

What the world needs now, is pubs, sweet pubs. - PHOTO BY DAVID ROCHE
What the world needs now, is pubs, sweet pubs.
Photo by David Roche
Hugh O' Connor's,1127 Eldridge, has reached its financial goal on NextSeed, an investment recruiting platform. The first location at 7620 Katy Freeway in the Marq'E Entertainment Center opened in late December 2018. Now, the Irish businessmen are planning a second location of the Irish pub and restaurant for the Energy Corridor.

Strato 550, 1415 Louisiana, is expected to open later this spring on the 43rd floor of the building with skyline views of downtown Houston and beyond. The restaurant and conference center will serve Mediterranean-inspired food for power lunches from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and after work drinks and appetizers from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Besides the dining room, there are four AV-equipped conference rooms. Strato 550 recently announced it is bringing in Evan Parker as head chef, as reported by Eater Houston.

click to enlarge Nanyue Bistro offers a huge menu. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
Nanyue Bistro offers a huge menu.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
Nanyue Bistro, 12331 Jones, opened April 21. The extensive menu offers everything from boiled lamb in chili oil to to hot and sour fish in hot stone bowl to cumin beef. Peking Duck is also on the menu, half ($20.95) or whole ($38.95). For lunch, there are the more typical Chinese-American dishes including General Tso's and Kung Pao chicken.
click to enlarge The Pharmacy burger will cure what ails you late at night. - PHOTO BY RALPH SMITH
The Pharmacy burger will cure what ails you late at night.
Photo by Ralph Smith

La Lucha, 1801 N. Shepherd, is introducing a late night menu for Friday and Saturday, 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. It's being described as "drunk munchies gone gourmet" and the offerings sound perfect for soaking up the evening's indulgences. Forget IHOP, La Lucha will have piping hot griddle cakes with cane syrup and biscuits and gravy topped with two fried eggs. The good folks at La Lucha must have had me in mind when they decided to have crispy hashbrowns with chili and cheese for after hours dining. Its Pharmacy Burger will be available, as will $1 oysters. We're not sure how well oysters on the half shell work with a late night menu, but maybe they will help with much later night activities.

There are also special cocktails like the Javi Wallbanger made with tequila reposado, lime, Galliano, and orange Fanta.

Antone's roots are showing. - PHOTO BY BECCA WRIGHT
Antone's roots are showing.
Photo by Becca Wright
Antone's Famous Po'Boys, 2724 W. T.C. Jester and 4520 San Felipe, are rolling out new menu items to honor Antone's Mediterranean roots. There will be a traditional gyro, a falafel sandwich, fasolada (Greek bean soup) and a variety of flatbreads, including The Jalal, named for founder Jalal Antone. The Jalal will have the primary ingredients of Antone's Original Po'boy, including the chow-chow, except it will be served on flatbread. For now, the new menu items are only available at the West Loop and North Loop locations.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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.