Austin Favorite Drives Into Town
Austin-based beer garden Doc’s Motorworks drives onto “restaurant row” with its first-ever Houston location. Parked at 1303 Westheimer, the neighborhood bar and grill opened its signature garage doors on November 20 with seating for more than 200, a dog-friendly patio and 20-plus TVs (perfect for sports enthusiasts). The Tex-Mex-inspired cuisine includes more than 16 burgers and sandwiches, chicken-fried avocado, fajita street tacos and much more. Of course, what’s a beer garden without beer? The full bar will showcase a majority of Texas brews, including Houston labels Karbach, St Arnold, 8th Wonder, Buffalo Bayou, Fort Bend, Lone Pint and No Label Brewing Co., as well as specialty cocktails such as the namesake Doc’s Sundown —a hybrid frozen margarita with a beer.
Feast on This
Local produce shines at the newly opened Urban Eats Bistro + Bar + Market at 3414 Washington Avenue. Embracing the notion of “make your own feast,” chef Jason Grigar‘s dishes can be ordered as feast or share portions to encourage community dining. The upstairs bistro and bar also offers a unique selection of beer and wine with a side of live jazz and blues every Friday and Saturday after 9 pm. Complete your visit with a trip downstairs to the specialty market for fresh baked breads, carefully sourced cheeses, cured meats and an array of epicurean products.
The Proof is in the Pizza
Pizza pies are springing up all around Houston. Chicago-based Gino’s East has opened in the Woodlands, bringing Chicago’s famed deep-dish pizza to its first Texas location. Pie Five Pizza, which promises personalized pizzas in just five minutes, has opened in Spring, and Washington-based Mod Pizza has an outpost at 5777 San Felipe, with the promise of two more Houston-area locations to open in Memorial and Pearland.
First Annual Houston Truffle Chef of the Year Challenge
Start the New Year at Roederer USA‘s first-ever Houston Truffle Chef of the Year Challenge on January 12. The event will feature 15 to 20 of Houston’s top culinary professionals in a heated battle, using fresh truffles imported from Spain. The event will benefit Les Dames d’Escoffier Scholarship Program to support students in the culinary arts via Le Notre Culinary Institute and Houston Art Institute Culinary Arts Program. Click here for more information.
Gulf Coast Gladiators
The year 2015 rings in a slew of new restaurants, starting with the return of James Beard Award semifinalist Randy Rucker (chef/owner of Bootsie’s) to the Houston restaurant scene with his long-awaited Bramble, expected to open this month, with business partner Eoghan Dillman. Located at 2231 South Voss (previously Mancuso’s Italian Table), Rucker will highlight his signature Gulf Coast cuisine with a nightly changing menu featuring locally sourced ingredients … Restaurateur Shepard Ross (Glass Wall, Brooklyn Athletic Club (BAC) has announced the opening of The Del, in partnership with Studewood Hospitality Group, at 6565 Del Monte Drive (formerly Taste of Lebanon) and is pushing for a Spring 2015 reveal. Ross says it will be “a hybridized concept — both casual and special occasion” serving Gulf Coast seafood and steaks, burgers and lobster wraps.
New Kids on the Block
Clark Cooper Concepts’ Charles Clark and Grant Cooper — the brains behind Coppa Osteria, Brasserie 19, Punk’s Simple Southern Food, Ibiza and The Dunlavy — have announced Salt Air Seafood Kitchen at the corner of West Alabama and Kirby (previously Pesce), scheduled to open Summer 2015 … Chris Cusak, Benjy Mason and Joey Treadway, the guys behind Down House and D&T Drive Inn, are launching their next project, Hunky Dory at 1819 N. Shepherd in the Heights. The whiskey tavern/restaurant, centered around a 85-year-old oak tree, opens spring/summer … Lee Ellis and F.E.E.D TX Restaurant Group will open a new iteration of Liberty Kitchen at the Treehouse in Memorial City, a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly office and meeting space in late 2015 … The highly anticipated River Oaks District has announced a slew of new restaurants, including Dallas-based Taverna and Toulouse Café and Bar, owned by Lombardi Family Concepts; Thirteen Pies (wood-fire pizza) and American Food & Beverage, owned by Dallas-based Consilient Hospitality; and Jean Denoyer’s Le Colonial (La Gouylue, Orsay and Brasserie Ruhlmann, among others).