Seasonal Greek restaurant Helen Greek Food and Wine in Rice Village met with instant accolades and success with its first endeavor, including a nod as a James Beard semifinalist for Best New Restaurant. Now, the team hopes to make diners fall just as much in love with their new endeavor, Arthur Ave Italian American in The Heights.
The 3,300-square-foot restaurant will be located at 1111 Studewood, in the former Piatto space just down the street from Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar. Helen co-owner Sharif Al-Amin said that while the current restaurant showcases sommelier Evan Turner's love affair with Greek food, Arthur Ave will be an outlet for chef William Wright’s long-held passion for Italian-American cuisine. Al-Amin and the other principal in Helen, Tim Faiola, are in charge of developing Arthur Ave. Turner will put his considerable expertise to use in overseeing the wine program.
Arthur Ave also reunites Al-Amin with fellow Prohibition Supperclub & Bar alumna Lainey Collum. She was the initial beverage director at Prohibition at the same time Al-Amin was the opening general manager. At Arthur Ave, Collum will be the beverage consultant in charge of developing the cocktail program.
Promised for the menu are rustic, hearty dishes inspired by the Italians who emigrated to northeastern cities in the U.S., including New York City, Philadelphia and Boston. Of course, that means some dishes will feature classic, tomato-y red sauce. Family-style dining will be encouraged.
Erin Hicks, who did Helen’s design, will put her skills to work on the Arthur Ave concept as well. The restaurant is named after the famous street in the Bronx area of New York City that was once the heart of Little Italy.
Arthur Ave is slated to open this summer for both lunch and dinner. Hours of business will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.
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.