Restaurant Buzz

Houston Dining News for October

Laurann Claridge
October 01, 2012

The Pass & Provisions is opening as we go to press, in the former Gravitas spot on Taft. Chef/owners Terrence Gallivan and Seth Siegel-Gardner’s great-looking eatery with an industrial edge is two concepts in one. The Pass serves forth a fine-dining experience with a tasting menu (only), while Provisions is the casual side of this buzzed-about eatery, a community-centered space built around a glowing wood-fired oven. There’s dining inside and out, with craft cocktails, too. More next month … Ryan Pera and Morgan Weber, co-owners of Revival Market, are opening a rustic Italian eatery around the corner in the Heights. Colivare continues the guys’ commitment to seasonal regional ingredients and will have a 3,000-square-foot garden to provide vegetable provisions to both the market and their new eatery set to debut in Spring 2013 … Chef Ryan Hildebrande, who opened Triniti earlier this year to great acclaim, is working on his next concept that’s due to debut fall 2013. MC2 architects is working to tear down the former Ruggles Grill in the Montrose and build Brande, set in a contemporary building with a rustic farmhouse vibe where Hildebrande will bake breads and pastries, craft charcuterie and dry-age his own meats. The American fare–focused eatery will have a decidedly masculine edge, with chef de cuisine Dax McAnear manning the range … Chef David Guerrero, who ran the kitchen of the recently shuttered Samba Grille, is hanging another shingle. Besides his recently opened Alma (a Peruvian restaurant on Eldridge Parkway), he’s debuting EVO in the Montrose next month — an incubator where he can let his creativity soar, developing small plates as well as four-, six- and nine-course tasting menus reflecting his Latin heritage … Chef Chris Williams has unveiled his new Southern-style restaurant, Lucille’s, in a 1923 mission-style house in the Museum District. Grounded in European cooking techniques, Williams named the eatery after his great-grandmother, who was something of a food maverick in Fort Worth. Besides serving lunch and dinner, Lucille’s also caters … Calling all chocolate connoisseurs: Locally churned Trentino Gelato has released a new line of single-source cocoa-bean flavors — seven in all, plucked from growing regions the world over. Is your palate discerning enough to distinguish Brazilian 80 percent bittersweet chocolate (with notes of berry fruit and toasted nuts) from an Ecuadorian or Venezuelan bean, the latter with a hint of toffee on the finish? Buy them at Spec’s downtown, with Central Market and Whole Foods Market soon to follow …
The InterContinental Houston in the Galleria area has quietly morphed into The Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston. This AAA-approved, four-diamond hotel with nearly 500 rooms is the only Sonesta property in Texas. (We’ve also spotted signs in the Sage area that InterContinental’s more casual chain, Hotel Indigo, is transitioning into a Sonesta brand as well.) Sonesta is known for embracing the spirit of the city where their properties are situated, so look for some renovations to the RSHH in the coming months … Katie Barnhart Adair and Nick Adair have opened Adair Kitchen on San Felipe at Sage. The siblings — their father is Gary Adair, who started Skeeter’s Hamburgers — are serving up American cuisine via counter service at their new breakfast, lunch and dinner joint that’s reminiscent of the food they grew up eating. Their parents’ love for precious piglets — they also owned the Flying Pig restaurant — has rubbed off on the duo, as they’ve erected a 10-foot sheet-metal pig among the booths in the two-story space … It’s confirmed that Del Frisco’s Grille is opening early 2013 in the former space of Ava Kitchen & Whiskey Bar space on the first floor of West Ave. The Grille concept is a smaller more casual cousin of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Stay tuned for more details … To clarify a misnomer, Killen’s Steakhouse in Pearland isn’t moving to the Heights as some believe. Chef/owner Ronnie Killen is actually still searching for the ideal space for his steak-house concept. But meanwhile, this Le Cordon Bleu–trained chef is going back to this barbecue roots and transforming the current Killen’s Steakhouse into Killen’s Kountry BBQ … The aroma of artisan NY-style pizzas baking will soon be wafting down Shepherd. Owner Cara Cox is opening Volare in November, a casual pizza joint open seven days a week for lunch and dinner … Etoile Cuisine et Bar will soon take up residence in the former space of Andre’s in Uptown Park. San Diego–area star chef Philippe Verpiand (whose resume boasts Cavaillon Restaurant and Tapenade) and his wife Monica Bui will serve up authentic fare français in the 90-seat space when it debuts later this month. Hail, Caesar! The 28th annual Caesar Salad Competition, a benefit that raises money for the Food and Beverage Managers Association’s educational endowment, takes place Friday, October 5, at the Four Seasons Hotel. For tickets and all the Caesar salad you can consume, go to