Culture / Restaurants

Celeb Chef’s New Downtown Restaurant is a Drinker’s Super Delight

The Bourbon Baroness Awaits

BY Laurann Claridge // 01.27.17

Four years ago, when Bill Gates’ private investment arm purchased the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Houston, the Microsoft founder felt it was time to hit the refresh button. The luxury property, built in 1982, was looking its age. Now, the storied hotel is showing off a sparkling new lobby and adjoining restaurant and bar, Bayou & Bottle.

As the Super Bowl unfurls and the frenzy of boldfaced names check into their suites at 1300 Lamar Street, they’ll no doubt flock to celebrity restaurateur/ chef Richard Sandoval’s latest concept, lavished in a space designed by Meyer Davis, the award-winning design firm commissioned to fashion not only its surrounds but the Four Seasons’ exterior, as well. Chef Sandoval has developed more than 40 original restaurants over the past two decades, including Maya, Toro Toro, and Zengo, with locations across the United States and in cities as far-flung as Dubai and Tokyo.

Sandoval is known for his international take on contemporary Latin cuisine, and his plates — executed  by chef de cuisine Alejandro di Bello — will complement more than 70 varieties of bourbon at Bayou & Bottle.

The on-site Bourbon Baroness (aka Olgi Katona) offers suggestions on a pour, or flight of whiskey. Bar manager Judith Piotrowski brings to table decanter service — pitchers for the well-heeled. Deep-pocketed bourbon lovers can rent a bourbon locker and settle into a cozy chair to sip their selections from vintage barware in a cocoon of rich walnut and European gray oak, Carrara marble and smoky onyx, and gleaming brass.

And, did we mention the Top Golf Swing Suite? The first Top Golf-branded simulator was just installed at the Four Seasons — a physical and mental challenge best tackled before cocktail hour.

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