Velvet Taco Comes to Houston • New Icehouse in the Heights • Arturo’s Closes, Añejo Opens
8-Row Flint Icehouse & Tacos
Partners Ryan Pera and Morgan Weber (Coltivare, Revival Market) add icehouse to their résumé with their third concept, 8-Row Flint Icehouse & Tacos. This modern take on an icehouse will be housed in a classic but unconventional setting: the old Citgo station at Yale and 11th Street in the Heights. Read more.
Arrivederci, Arturo’s. Ciao, Sud Italia. Buenas dias, Anejo.
Arturo’s Uptown Italiano has closed after nine years in Uptown Park. In its stead, Lasco Enterprises (The Tasting Room, Max’s Wine Dive, Flow Juice Bar) opens Añejo, an elevated Tex-Mex restaurant under the realm of long-time chef Michael Pellegrino (Max’s Wine Dive), slated to have opened by the time you read this at 1180-1 Uptown Park Blvd. Under Pellegrino’s tutelage, fine Mexican fare will be served up with a hundred tequilas and mazcals, and cocktails mixed with Mexican sodas and cold pressed juices. Former Arturo’s GM Shanon Scott opens his own Italian concept, Sud Italia Ristorante, in Rice Village at 2347 University Boulevard (formerly Bistro des Amis) mid-April. The bungalow-style restaurant will focus on fresh, authentic Italian fare and serve purely Italian wines. Many of the Arturo’s staff, including former chef Seles Romero, join Scott at the new locale.
Moving in … Moving Out
Texas-based Velvet Taco opens its first Houston outpost at 4819 Washington Avenue (formerly The Rig) late this year. Expect a worldly menu of cripsy tikka chicken (buttered basmati rice, raita crema and thai basil), roasted pork banh mi (cucumber, spicy pickled vegetables, Asian barbecue sauce and thai-basil avocado crema) and falafel … James Beard Award-nominated Pondicheri expands to the East Coast with a New York City location on the ground level of 15 West 27th Street in the Flatiron district.
Phillipe Verpiand, chef/owner of Étoile Cuisine et Bar, has been named a Master Chef of France — a prestigious honor given to only two other chefs in Texas, Philippe Schmit (2012) and Frédéric Perrier (2015). He will be inducted Monday, March 16, in Biarritz, France, with eight other North American chefs including Frédéric Perrier of Aura Brasserie.