Houston’s restaurateurs joined winemakers from around the world at this year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Roundup and Best Bites competition. Rodeo Uncorked!, which drew about 5,500 people (it was sold out) to the NRG Center on Sunday, kicks off what is essentially the rodeo season in Houston; the HLSR begins on March 1 and runs through the 20th.
There’s a good chance you’ve never seen more cowboy hats and fringe skirts — not to mention Western boots — under one roof, and the crowd was lively and diverse. More than 450 wines were poured, vintages from Texas and France and Italy and everywhere in between. The organizers put on a fine show, though it would be great to have more trash receptacles next year, so that tabletops do not become refuse areas.
Here are this year’s food winners:
Grazia Italian Kitchen — Best Entree, for smoked beef short ribs over pancetta risotto topped with a cilantro molasses glaze. The restaurant also picked up the Best Bites Rookie Award
Max’s Wine Dive — Best Bites Trail Blazin’ Appetizer, for fried oysters on wonton crisps
Trentino Gelato — Best Bites Two Steppin’ Dessert Award, for a frozen goat milk cajeta gelato pop
Royers Round Top Cafe — Popular Choice Award
Davis Street at Hermann Park — Outstanding Showmanship Award. The restaurant also won the Trail Blazin’ award last year.