Restaurant News

Openings & Closings: The Proof Is In the... Rooftop

I've long said that Houston doesn't have enough cool rooftop spaces, especially close to downtown. That's finally changing with the opening of two fun new spots... The first opened several weeks ago at the Houston Pavilions: the reincarnation of Scott Gertner's Sky Bar on Montrose, which is now -- appropriately enough -- called Scott Gertner's at the Houston Pavilions. But be warned, guys (and gals): Scott Gertner's doesn't allow any "Polo boots, Timberlands,...ripped or soiled clothing,...hats or caps of any kind." I have no idea what Polo boots are, but I feel compelled to buy some now purely for sake of rebellion.

The second spot is Proof Bar + Patio, which recently opened in the space above Reef. In addition to the "custom cocktails" that Proof is shaking up (fresh juices included), you can also order appetizers from Reef downstairs. And when Reef closes at night, writes CultureMap, "food trucks will drive up the ramp and onto the patio to serve after-hours customers." Both spots should be ideal places to take in the fireworks on December 31 and ring in the New Year.

Meanwhile, two new meat meccas will be opening soon: an upscale steakhouse and a casual burger joint.

That steakhouse comes from none other than Tony Vallone, whose talented team from Tony's is hard at work bringing Vallone's to the new development across the street from Memorial City Mall, Gateway Memorial City on Gessner.

"A partnership among executive chef Grant Gordon of Tony's, general manager Scott Sulma of Tony's and Ciao Bello, and others is opening Vallone's," read a press release. "The new Houston restaurant, scheduled to open Fall 2013, will have a 'technique-driven approach to steak, fish, chops, and housemade pastas.' Tony Vallone is consulting on the venture in collaboration with his two young 'dynamos,' as he likes to call them."

Watch out, Taste of Texas. You may have an attractive block of Cheddar on your salad bar, but Tony Vallone is busting out the big guns...

And just down the street, CityCentre is getting a new tenant of its own: Grub Burger Bar, a College Station import that's opening early next year. Grub bakes its buns fresh each hour and grinds its own burgers -- a blend of brisket and chuck -- each morning. Vegetarian and/or gluten-free? Don't worry; Grub is also known for its chickpea-and-eggplant burger as well as its GF buns from Taylor Made Gluten Free Bakery in Taylor, Texas.

After being sold to father-and-son team Michael and Chris Shine back in July, the newly revamped Frank's Chop House is ready for action. Now called Frank's Americana Revival & White Star Bar, the restaurant "embraces classic dishes from regions across the country, while lending an eye toward the cuisines of the future," according to its website. If you're looking for former owners Frank Crapitto or Frank Butera, they can still be found at Crapitto's and Mancuso's Italian Table respectively.

Finally, the Eatsie Boys Cafe had its soft opening this morning. The cafe's initial hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and they're serving a full menu of breakfast and lunch. Check back later today for a full First Look at the place and its amazing matzah ball pho. You heard right. Matzah. Ball. Pho.

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Katharine Shilcutt