Culture / Restaurants

Houston Restaurant Buzz: Hot Openings, Cool Festivals and Interesting Hires

BY // 08.19.15

[special-blockquote]OPENING UPDATES
Tarakaan, a much-anticipated pan-Asian restaurant and lounge inspired by New York’s Buddakan and stationed in the heart of Midtown, opens Wednesday, September 16. Located at 2301 Main Street (previously the Knoll Furniture Showroom designed in 1983 to much acclaim by Stanley Tigerman), executive chef Micah Rideout rolls out a rotating menu; his prior gigs include Uchi and Songkran Thai Kitchen in Uptown Park.

James Beard Award-winning chef Bradley Ogden’s long-awaited concept Pour Society (947 North Gessner Road) debuts dinner service Tuesday, September 1; lunch and happy hour launch Tuesday, September 8, followed by brunch Wednesday, September 16. The gastropub blends fine food and fun, pairing revamped Southern favorites with a refined sports-bar atmosphere. Chefs Greg Lowry (Tony’s, Triniti) and Matthew Lovelace (Triniti) lead the kitchen.

In CityCentre, restaurateur Nash D’Amico opens his newest eatery, Fellini Gelato & Caffé, Thursday, September 10. The locale is inspired by Italian sidewalk cafes. Look for freshly brewed coffee drinks, smoothies, Italian spritz cocktails, paninis, Italian pastries and, of course, gelato.

The Durham House Cajun and Craft replaces the former Woodrows Heights space at 1200 Durham Drive. Opening Thursday, September 24 (soft opening September 17), the restaurant showcases Louisiana and South Texas cuisine, including steak, duck, scallops, fish, crawfish and alligator from the Gulf of Mexico. Chef Don Schoenburg (Gastro Punk Food Truck) leads the kitchen.

Ohio-based Italian eatery Piada brings its casual street-food concept to Houston. Expect quick Italian-inspired dishes such as hand-rolled Piadas (a wrap using thin house-made crust dough), pasta bowls and chopped salads. Piada opens two Houston-area locations this fall — at 5801 Memorial Drive on Friday, October 2 and 1930 Highway 6 in Sugarland — on Friday, October 23.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will soon welcome the MFACafe, which takes over the former Cafe Express space on the lower level of the Audrey Jones Beck Building. Work on the namesake eatery is in full swing after the closure of Cafe Express on August 1. The cafe, which opens this fall, will be run by co-creators Paolo Fronza and Matteo Alessandri (Fellini Caffè) and showcase northern Italian-inspired fare as well as a European-style coffee bar. Find out more details here.

Charles Bishop (Cottonwood, Liberty Station) and Lyle Bento (former sous chef at Underbelly) have opened Southern Goods at 632 West 19th Street in the Heights. The southern comfort food eatery serves up southern comfort classics such as fried quail and braised greens with buttermilk biscuits, plus barbecue, banana bread pudding and bourbon balls.

While many food trucks are transitioning to brick-and-mortar locations, Gr8 Plate Hospitality’s Paul Miller, whose restaurants include Paul’s Kitchen, The Union Kitchen and Jax, has unleashed a new food truck, The Rollin’ Kitchen, onto Houston streets. See more on the newly unveiled mobile kitchen here.

Chef Mike McElroy in front of the newly opened Rollin’ Kitchen.

Houston Restaurant Weeks is underway. The annual fundraiser, which ends September 7, benefits Houston Food Bank; the benefit is now five weeks long, with more than 200 restaurants participating. Find out more here.

Celebrate heirloom tomato season at Cru Food and Wine Bar’s Heirloom Tomato Festival, through August 31. The restaurant offers three special menu items showcasing heirloom tomatoes in peak season layered with jumbo lump crab and English cucumber, arugula, and mint; rustic garlic bruschetta topped with heirloom tomatoes, warm burrata cheese, Hawaiian sea salt and white balsamic glaze; and Humboldt Fog goat cheese with heirloom tomatoes, baby artichokes, crispy shallots, lemon-basil oil and warm herb lavash. The menu is offered at Cru’s Woodlands (9595 Six Pines Drive) and Cru at West Ave (2800 Kirby Drive) locations.

F.E.E.D TX Restaurant Group welcomes Jim Mills, former Houstonian Hotel executive chef and general manager, as F.E.E.D.’s new vice president of operations where he oversees daily operations at all F.E.E.D restaurants.

Discover Weber Pellet Grill at Bering's

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