Culture / Restaurants

Downtown Houston Preps for a Restaurant Explosion

The City’s New Foodie Hotspots Emerge

BY // 08.02.16

The Houston restaurant scene is constantly changing, with new hotspots, must-try places, and major culinary events coming along on a daily basis. Even the most dedicated eater can have trouble keeping up, but don’t worry, PaperCity has you covered.

Downtown dining is in store for a major reboot. Ten restaurants will anchor Avenida Houston, a destination comprised of Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center, George R. Brown Convention Center, BBVA Compass Stadium, Four Seasons, Hilton Americas, and the to-be-constructed Marriot Marquis.

The George R. Brown Convention Center will be the site of four new restaurants — Landry’s Italian concept GrottoBud’s Pitmaster BBQ, which boasts an on-site smokehouse; Kulture, a culinary trip through the African diaspora courtesy Breakfast Klub proprietor Marcus Davis; and sandwich eatery McAlister’s Deli.

The Marriot Marquis hotel will house the remaining six restaurants, including Xochi, from beloved culinary duo Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught; the hotel’s signature restaurant, B&B, which specializes in healthy Texas-inspired fare; American eatery High Dive; a wine bar called Cueva; and Texas T, a cafe. All of the restaurants are expected to open by the 2017 Super Bowl.

Triniti Restaurant’s chef, Ryan Hildebrand, adds FM Burger to Houston’s thriving burger scene this fall. Drawing inspiration from iconic Texas burger stands and icehouses, FM Burger will specialize in back yard-style burgers, including the signature FM Burger, the Salisbury steak burger, and a Frito pie burger. Non-beef options (chicken pot pie sandwich, griddle peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fries, and tater tots) are also available. Milkshakes and homemade hand pies round out the menu, courtesy of Triniti pastry chef Caroline Ramirez.

Who can resist a Frito pie, especially when it’s piled high on a burger? (Photo by Robert Westeen)

Popular French bakery Flo Paris expands to Rice Village this month. The new location, at 5407 Morningside Drive, replaces grocery store and coffee shop Mercantile. Expect an expanded menu of brunch and dinner offerings.

Holiday Gifting

  • Oscar De La Renta - Earrings
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Bond No 9 - Perfume
  • Bond No 9 - Candle
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Cle Du Peau - Nail Polish
  • Casa di Lino
  • Cle Du Peau - Lip Gloss
  • Loeffler Randall - Shoes
  • Nocturne Studio
  • Oscar De La Renta - Clutch
  • Loeffler Randall - Clutch

French-Vietnamese restaurant Le Colonial opens this week in River Oaks District. Inspired by 1920s French-colonial Southeast Asia, the 100-seat restaurant takes guests on a culinary journey with dishes like Ca Chien Saigon (Vietnamese crisp-seared whole red snapper in a light spicy and sour sauce); Chao Tom (grilled shrimp wrapped around sugar cane with angel hair noodles, lettuce, mint and dipping peanut sauce); and Banh Out (grilled sesame beef over flat rice noodles, cucumber and fresh herbs).

One of the most famous Japanese restaurants in the world is opening in Houston. While an official debut date has yet to be revealed (late 2017 is expected), Nobu Houston is set to open in The Galleria as part of the mall’s $250 million expansion plan. Expect dishes such as Chef Matushisa’s signature miso black cod, langoustines with red chili shiso salsa, spicy salmon skewers, sea urchin tempura, and a bevy of sushi.

Say goodbye to River Oaks eatery Relish Fine Foods. Proprietor Addie D’Agostino is taking the brand to new heights with Relish Restaurant & Bar, her first foray into the full-service dining scene. She and her husband, Relish executive chef Dustin Teague, debut the expanded eatery in the space vacated by The Bird & Bear Restaurant, at 2810 Westheimer Road near Kirby, this month, serving a fusion of Mediterranean and American cuisine with dishes such as burrata and peach salad, crispy fried chicken, Greek yogurt with granola and berries, and glazed carrots topped with crème fraîche.

You can experience a slice of Little Italy with the debut of Heights restaurant Arthur Ave., located at 1111 Studewood Street. The brainchild of the team behind Helen Greek Food and Wine, Arthur Ave. specializes in authentic Italian cuisine, tapping traditional recipes popularized by immigrants from the Old World. On the menu: regional staples including caprese salad crafted with hand-pulled mozzarella, chicken and eggplant parmesan, handmade gnocchi, Sunday Gravy, and New York-style pizza.

Upscale bowling rolls into CityCentre with Dallas-based concept Bowl & Barrel. The new outpost is Texas’ third location and features 14 lanes of world-class bowling, a diverse food and drink menu, and a beer hall.

Whimsical breakfast eatery Snooze debuted in July at 3217 Montrose Boulevard. Nearly 30 entrees fill the menu, featuring everything from breakfast pot pie and a prosciutto and cream cheese hollandaise-topped Benedict to pineapple upside down pancakes and morning cocktails.

The breakfast pot pie is a Snooze signature. (Photo by Ashley Davis Photography)
The breakfast pot pie is a Snooze signature. (Photo by Ashley Davis Photography)

Ronnie Killen may be famous for his barbecue, but the restaurateur is tackling a new culinary challenge: burgers. His namesake burger eatery, Killen’s Burgers, is now open at 2804 South Main Street in Pearland, serving, among other items, the #99 — two 10-ounce patties dressed with Nueske bacon and Wisconsin cheddar — named for Houston Texans star J.J. Watt

Alabama-based Steel City Pops is selling Mexican paletas-style ice pops at its first Houston location, at 420 East 20th Street. Creamy and fruity flavors are on sale, including blueberry basil, pineapple jalapeño, peanut butter, strawberry lemonade, and chai latte.

Toulouse welcomes a new member to its Houston team: Corrado Mutton has signed on as general manager of the River Oaks District location. Mutton’s arrival follows the recent addition of a new executive chef, Laurent Dubourg.

Hungry’s proprietor Fred Sharifi has acquired Montrose restaurant Baba Yega Café from owner Sidney Hakim. Hungry’s and Baba Yega both made their debut nearly 40 years ago.


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