Restaurant Buzz

Houston Dining News for May 2012

Laurann Claridge
May 01, 2012

Latin Bites Café, the 10-table upstart downtown that gained quite a following, has moved to larger digs. Now named Latin Bites Cebiche & Pisco Bar, the charming Woodway location reflects the restaurant’s Peruvian slant in both food and drink. Chef Roberto Castre, his sister manager Rita Castre and brother-in-law beverage director Carlos Ramos — all Peruvian natives and former caterers — have taken over the Rockwood Room space and now seat 120 diners indoors and 60 outside … Meet the huge Mexican reality star in our midst, Aquiles Chavez, and his partner, manager Mirna Cox. The superstar chef with two reality shows on the Utilisima network shown throughout Latin America (and on Comcast here) has opened La Fisheria off Shepherd Drive near I-10. A native of Tabasco, Mexico, Chavez may be a cookbook author and spokesman for the avocado industry in Mexico with 145,000 Twitter followers, but he’s actually a humble man turning out remarkable Mexican fish-centered fare at this bright and fun spot … Check out LA Bar, the newest outgrowth of Rajin Cajun on Richmond. Named for Lake Arthur, Louisiana (the hometown of Joan Benoit Mandola, owner Luke Mandola Sr.’s wife), LA Bar is dressed up for an old-school New Orleans–style experience, with contemporary Creole cuisine and a 30-foot oyster bar … Word is that Brio Tuscan Grille will soon occupy the former Pesce space on Kirby Drive. The multi-unit concept debuted last year in CityCentre … Sprinkles Cupcakes in Highland Village plans to install its genius 24-hour cupcake ATM on the back end of the store next month. Soon you’ll be able to quell those cupcake cravings 24/7 … We’re keeping an eye on Hawthorn, the American/Mediterranean-style eatery opening any moment now in Dessert Gallery’s former space off Kirby Drive on Lake Street (most recently home to Dorsia). The chef is Riccardo Palazzo-Giorgio … May 9 through 22, Central Market hosts its annual Passport series, this time taking a direct flight to France. Enjoy patisseries, fromage, wines and foods of all sorts.