Weapons Grade: Read this post even if you don't read any of the others this week. This one illustrates everything right with Houston's young culinary scene right now. "Houston is the city that taught me everything I know about wine and service," writes Justin Vann of his decision to leave Central Market and join the team at Oxheart. "I suppose I could have taken that experience to San Francisco or Chicago or New York and done ok. However, I am beaming with pride to say that I am helping open a restaurant in my hometown. I would rather fight for the future of Houston than join the already established culture of SF or NY." We would rather fight for the future of Houston over any other city, too. Welcome to the battlefield; it's delicious.
Sterling Minor: Sterling Minor's annual list of his Top 20 Houston Restaurants for Wine makes for interesting reading even if you aren't a wine connoisseur, simply because of its impressive attention to detail and careful composition. The 2012 edition gives nods to newcomer Coppa at the same time as it calls out other noteworthy restaurants for fixable flaws.
29-95: Blogging over at 29-95, Chris Reid discusses the history of the not-so-Italian spaghetti and meatballs dish we all grew up on, and guides readers toward its more authentic (and more delicious) counterpart at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino -- tagliatelle alla Bolognese.
CultureMap: Sarah Rufca's been mobile lately, hitting five of the city's newest food trucks, including The Rice Box (read Nick Hall's take here) and four that we haven't tried at all: Pi Pizza Truck, Stick It Truck, LadyBird and PadthaiBox. Today's lovely weather calls for hitting at least one of these at lunch...
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The Loop Scoop: Roost is getting a lot of good press lately, and not just from us. Tea Jones enjoyed the cozy newcomer, predicting that "Roost won't be going anywhere any time soon, because a restaurant that packs that kind of character punch will certainly claim a perch at the top."
Barley Vine: In all the excitement of the new craft breweries and brewpubs that seem to be popping up in Houston every other day, Ted wants to remind us that an equally exciting event has occurred, too: Rochefort is back. After many years of being unavailable in Texas, all three of the Belgian Trappist brews are finally on shelves again.