Sud Italia, 2347 University. Dining at this cozy Italian restaurant is almost like eating dinner in someone’s home. There are two reasons for that. First, it is located in a home. Second, restaurateur Shannon Scott and his staff provide attentive service the whole night through. Be sure and ask about a shot of the homemade limoncello after dinner.
Rainbow Lodge, 2011 Ella. Diners probably don't make a lot of noise here because they're too busy gazing at one of the most opulent log cabins they've ever seen. Between the excellent menu, which often features wild game, and an ambitious but friendly wine program helmed by sommelier Marc Borel, Rainbow Lodge is a wonderful place for date night.
Kris Bistro, 7070 Allensby. Houston’s best-kept secret in French restaurants is nestled inside of Culinary Institute LeNôtre. It’s a lovely space staffed with a mix of professionals and students. Look for both classic and nouveau dishes, and don’t forget to check out the reasonably priced wine and beer list.
Artisans, 3201 Louisiana. Chef Jacques Fox is always conjuring special prix fixe menus and wine dinners, so a quiet meal here can be both enjoyable and interesting. Artisans’ proximity to downtown makes it especially suitable for business lunches — and you can actually hear the business proposals.
Cuchara, 214 Fairview. It’s almost possible to guarantee there will be no screaming children interrupting a diner’s culinary tour of Mexico City. It’s not that kids aren’t welcome here. It’s just that they’re expected to behave. Since, unfortunately, many parents can’t be relied on to make sure their little darlings aren’t “expressing themselves” in public, Cuchara has a handy little postcard to remind them. That’s good news for their fellow diners.
What are your favorite hideouts for when you want to dine in peace? Leave them in the comments below.