The 10 Hottest Restaurants In Houston For August 2016

This month, our list of Houston’s hottest new restaurants has some interesting dynamics. Many of the entries sit on one extreme side of the dining spectrum or the other: very casual or very fancy. Also, recent accolades from a national food publication have propelled a restaurant that dropped off the list a few months ago back into the spotlight. From Asian fine dining to the best trashy pizza we’ve tasted lately (that’s a compliment), here are the newest eateries that Houstonians just can’t wait to get into.

Arthur Ave, 1111 Studewood. This Italian restaurant by way of Brooklyn comes from the team behind Helen Greek Food & Wine but that’s where the similarity ends. As described in our recent First Look, the fledgling eatery is already producing a memorable Sunday gravy chock full of meat doused in rich tomato sauce. (Thank goodness it’s available every day, not just Sundays.) Of course, there’s a great selection of red wine to pair with it. Diners also rave about the eggplant Parmesan and caprese salad with housemade mozzarella.

Brasserie 1895, 607 South Friendswood, #11. Chef Kris Jakob, the former namesake of Kris Bistro at Culinary Institute LeNôtre (now renamed as “Le Bistro”) brings his years of experience to bear on his new restaurant in Friendswood. That experience is in many areas, not just French food, so the menu is delightfully eclectic, sporting Indian and Italian dishes right alongside Texas-by-way-of-France fare like delicate cutlets of chicken fried steak. The wine by the bottle is so affordable, it seems silly to not buy one for the table. Check out our First Look at the restaurant and its dishes.

Foreign Correspondents, 4721 North Main. Welcome back to the hot list, Foreign Correspondents! Houston’s most interesting Thai restaurant got some well-deserved props from Bon Appétit early this month when it was named one of only 50 semifinalists across America for the “Hot 10” list of best new restaurants. It didn’t get picked for the top 10 but just last week, Southern Living also named it (along with Helen Greek Food & Wine) as one of their best new restaurant picks for 2016. Among the draws: ingredients rarely seen outside of Thailand (but grown locally), silky curries that cannot be simplistically described with color names (“green,” “red” and “yellow” just don’t cut it here) and food-friendly cocktails.

Le Colonial
, 4444 Westheimer. Once again, there’s the opportunity to answer the question of whether Houstonians are ready to accept Asian fine dining. We’re spoiled by one of the most diverse and affordable group of casual eateries in the International District, but as we mused in our review of Ginger & Fork, isn’t there room for some upscale places, too? Le Colonial is helmed by chef and author Nicole Routhier and is widely praised for its stunning setting. Classic Vietnamese dishes served French-style include cha gio (fried spring rolls), ga nuong xa (roasted lemongrass chicken) and vit quay (marinated and roasted duck). It’s one of two restaurants in this month’s hot list located in the swanky River Oaks District shopping center. Watch for our First Look at Le Colonial later this week.

Love Buzz, 408 Westheimer. Taking a dive from fine French-Vietnamese colonial dining now to a pizza joint (and we do mean "dive"): Love Buzz revels in ‘90s subculture and is adorned with pop culture memorabilia, including a Pee-Wee Herman doll, a big Marge Simpson statue, a neon Kool cigarette sign and, of course, a Nirvana album. It’s from the team behind Moon Tower Inn and does for pizzas what its predecessor does for hot dogs—it makes them fun, irreverent and delicious. Pizzas include Kosher As Christmas with all the pork-meats—pepperoni, salami, ham and Italian sausage—and Stank Nuggets with goat cheese, mozzarella, smoked provolone, roasted garlic, “tiny salty anchovies” and caramelized onion.

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Phaedra Cook
Contact: Phaedra Cook