In Houston these days, rebranding and revamping are just about as common as seasonal menu changes. Chalk it up to keeping pace with what the customer wants and dealing with ever-increasing competition. That being said, two of Houston's highly regarded eateries have just announced some pretty big changes to their menus.
This comes at a time when a handful of restaurants have either just shuttered to rebrand or just reopened as revamped concepts, including big names such as Helen in the Heights (previously the short-lived Italian joint Arthur Ave) and Peska, which went from a seafood restaurant to a steakhouse (or Tex-Mex steakhouse?).
While expanding or slimming down a menu isn't anything new to restaurants, it is rather representative of fickle market trends and the concerns that all restaurants face.
Only time will tell how all of Houston's restaurants adjust to the demands of customers' needs and increased competition with summer on the horizon. But here are two major menu revamps to be aware of. Both do seem quite indicative of the shift toward more casual dining of late.
Harold's Tap Room
The first-floor taproom at Harold’s in the Heights will launch a new morning menu featuring coffee drinks, coffee cocktails and breakfast items alongside the taproom's mainstays — salads and pizza — on Thursday, June 8.
Expect handcrafted coffee drinks, including boozy coffee, along with scones, muffins and croissants provided by Cake & Bacon, as well as house-made veggie quiche and ham and cheese biscuits. Regular bar bites, cocktails, wine and beer on tap will be available as well.
Booth seating and free Wi-Fi are two main draws for those hoping to perch and get some work done. The breakfast hours will run Tuesday to Sunday, starting at 9 a.m.
The Pass & Provisions
Chefs Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan are switching up The Pass's tasting menu to accommodate their guests' requests for a "more approachable, fluid dining experience," according to a press release. A new five-course set tasting menu ($65 per person, $105 with pairings) will replace the current nine-course affair.
A vegetarian tasting menu will still be offered, as well as a choice of wine and cocktail pairings.
The menu includes a taco course, which according to Siegel-Gardner "represents the flavors and textures we love — crunchy seaweed, the umami of uni, avocado in the place of guacamole," along with lamb belly and rabbit.
A supplemental menu will also be available and theme-driven, and currently features organic meats sourced from Jason and Lynsey Kramer of Yonder Way Farm in Fayetteville. There will also be the option for a reserve pairing featuring exclusive, high-end wines.
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.