Indulge in oysters and crab fingers at Gulf Coast eatery Bernadine's. (Photo courtesy Bernadine's website)
Editor’s note: The Houston restaurant scene is constantly changing with new hotspots, must-try places, future reveals and major foodie events. Even the most dedicated eater can have trouble keeping up. Don’t worry, PaperCity’s Jailyn Marcel has you covered.
Chef Chris Williams (Lucille’s) expands his Southern comfort offerings with the recent opening of Scrappy Brown’s, a bar and grill concept at 4830 Almeda Road. Inspired by Houston icehouses, Scrappy Brown’s serves as Williams’ foray into a more laid-back dining environment.
You’ll find simple dishes with a Texas twist, including the Yardbird grilled cheese, an oxtail Philly cheesesteak (if these oxtails are anything like the ones at Lucille’s, count us in) and the best wings in Houston by the estimation of Scrappy Brown’s own Instagram page.
Craft cocktails honoring iconic neighborhood streets act as the star of the bar program, with options like Scrappy Brown’s signature drink, the Southmore — an iced tea cocktail with floral and fruit components served in a mason jar. The 3,800-square-foot space also features a covered outdoor patio and multiple TVs.
After recently opening British-American tavern Hunky Dory and farm-to-table Thai street-food concept Foreign Correspondents, Treadsack restaurant group debuts another long-awaited restaurant — Bernadine’s, which the group has dubbed its “love letter to the Gulf Coast.” Chef Graham Laborde, who has worked in New Orleans at The Commander’s Palace, Stella and Boucherie, heads the kitchen here. Southern favorites like oysters, crab claws and New Orleans-style BBQ Shrimp star, along with twists like brined and smoked fish dip with dill and pickled jalapeño, house-made ranch-dusted pork chicharrones, and Dr. Pepper-glazed duck confit with cabbage and buttered pecan wild rice.
Popular Vietnamese food truck Les’ Baget has ditched the wheels for a brick-and-mortar location. The eatery is known for its baguettes (hence the name Les’ Baget), on which all of its sandwiches are served. The menu includes traditional dishes like Vietnamese steak and eggs with pâté and a buttered baguette, a steamed rice crepe stuffed with pork and ham (bánh cuốn), seafood egg rolls, banh mì and six different types of pho. Read more.
Chef, cookbook author and MasterChef Season 4 winner Luca Manfé adds to Houston’s growing food truck scene with The Lucky Fig — a farm-to-street food truck concept specializing in fresh organic Italian cuisine. Learn more about the truck and get a closer look at The Lucky Fig’s scratch-made fare here.
Mouthwatering burgers, massive hot dogs and more than 40 varieties of beer make an appearance at Montrose’s newest eatery, The Burger Joint. The 150-seat restaurant sits at 2703 Montrose Blvd., which was previously home to burger outpost Little Bigs. The Burger Joint’s food truck is already known for dishing out a variety of burgers, but the new brick-and-mortar location offers an expanded menu. Find out all the details here.
Atlanta restaurateur and Houston native Ford Fry‘s newly opened restaurant State of Grace is arguably the hottest reservation in town. Nestled in the Lamar-River Oaks shopping center, the eatery marks Fry’s first Houston concept and features a diverse menu inspired by everything from his Southern roots to the flavors of Mexico and Asia. Get an in-depth look at State of Grace here.
Following months of renovations, The Durham House has made its debut in the former Woodrow’s Heights space at 1200 Durham Dr. The locale sports a new Southern attitude, focusing on local and Cajun cuisine with a seasonal menu (which will rotate at least four times a year) highlighting locally sourced ingredients. Dishes include duck salad, braised rabbit, coffee-crusted short ribs, day-boat scallops, beer-crusted grouper and Louisiana blue crabs. Get the full scoop on The Durham House here.
Good Dog Houston, the food truck turned brick-and-mortar restaurant known for it’s gourmet hot dogs, opens a second location in the former Brick and Spoon space at 1312 W Alabama Street. The opening is currently slated for March 2016.
Roka Akor, an upscale Japanese steak, seafood and sushi concept, will serve as the newest addition to the new 40-story luxury high-rise dubbed 2929 Weslayan. Roka Akor currently has restaurants in Scottsdale, Arizona, Chicago, San Francisco and Skokie, Illinois, but this marks its first-ever Texas location. See the plans for Roka Akor here.
Hakkasan Group, the brains behind well-known restaurant and nightlife concepts Hakkasan and 1 Oak Night Club, has tapped the Galleria as the location for its Michelin-starred restaurant Yauatcha. The addition marks Yauatcha’s U.S. debut (there are two outposts in London and four in India), with Houston and Honolulu serving as the restaurant’s first two American locations. Read more here.
Partners Ryan Pera and Morgan Weber (Coltivare, Revival Market) add icehouse to their résumé with their third concept, Eight Row Flint. This modern take on an icehouse will be housed in an unconventional setting: the old Citgo station at Yale and 11th Street in the Heights. And from whence does the name come? 8-Row Flint is a heritage corn that Native American Indians shared with English settlers in New England. It was also the first corn distilled into whiskey in the United States, so it’s only appropriate that 8-Row Flint’s bar showcases proprietary barrels of bourbon (Weber just procured a few barrels from Kentucky).
The bar also serves quick cocktails pre-batched for immediate serving. The drinks list includes draft swigs (pre-batched carbonated cocktails, such as a bourbon twist on a Moscow mule); bracers (pre-batched cocktails poured neat or on the rocks); and frozen cocktails (piña colada, margarita, hurricane and sweet tea punch). 8-Row Flint houses the requisite eight to 10 beers on tap and about 30 bottled.
Next up, Pera and Weber are installing a permanent food truck to serve tacos, queso, guacamole and chips, all prepared in the Revival Market kitchen. Slated to open late December.
After a successful inaugural event earlier this year, the annual truffle chef competition is back for its sophomore debut. Hosted by Diane Roederer‘s DR|Delicacy — an importer of fresh truffles from Spain and Italy — this year’s competition features 20 chefs from some of Houston’s top restaurants. Get the full lineup and more details here.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys (4520 San Felipe St & 2724 West T.C. Jester Blvd) and The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, at 2704 Navigation Blvd., are collecting new and gently used blankets, coats, hats and other cold-weather gear this holiday season. Guests can drop off donations through Friday, December 18. All items will benefit SEARCH Homeless Services.