Culture / Restaurants

Helen Greek Food and Wine To Open in July • Snooze Comes to Houston

BY // 06.19.15

Trés Chic Greek

After five years of planning and an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign, local sommelier and oenophile Evan Turner has partnered with Sharif Al-Amin (former GM at Prohibition Supperclub & Bar, Radio Milano and Philippe) and Al-Amin’s business partner Tim Faiola to open the modern Greek tavern Helen. The restaurant takes over the former home of Kahn’s Deli at 2429 Rice Boulevard — a 1,700-square-foot space that’s been redesigned by Erin Hicks. Executive chef William Wright, who served as sous chef at Philippe Restaurant before working with Turner at Table on Post Oak, dishes out classic Greek cuisine made with Texas ingredients and Gulf seafood. The seasonal menu, which changes daily, is divided into three sections: Taste (small plates), Share (medium) and Family (large), packed with fish, chicken, pork, wild game and veggie-focused dishes. Evan Turner created the beverage program, with Houston’s first-ever all-Greek wine list (no bottle priced above $100), as well as Greek and Texan craft beer. Coming soon: cocktails inspired by the Greek isles. Helen will open in early July.

Morning Pick-Me-Up

This fall, Denver-based brunch bistro Snooze brings seasonal comfort food to the Westmont Building at 2317 Montrose Boulevard. The 3,800-square-foot space is awash with the concept’s signature bold colors, with tilt-a-whirl-themed booths, a unique open-air dining option and roll-up glass garage doors. The menu brings a twist to breakfast classics, including pineapple upside down pancakes, OMG French toast, six eggs Benedict variations and brunch cocktails, all prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Also known for its community involvement, Snooze will also open an Austin location by year’s end.

Calabash lamb burger with cou cou fries at Calabash Island Eats.
Calabash lamb burger with cou cou fries at Calabash Island Eats.

Island Eats

Calabash Island Eats opens this month, bringing traditional Caribbean dishes to downtown Houston. Located at 1515 Pease Street, the restaurant and bar showcases the diverse flavor profile of the Caribbean and will serve dishes such as seasoned shark kebobs, whole fried fish with rice and peas and Calabash lamb burger paired with traditional cou cou fries. Proprietor Gen Barclay, a native of Grenada, cultivated the menu items from recipes his family cooked in their island kitchen. The Caribbean spirit can also be seen in the Rhum bar, where patrons can indulge in tropical cocktails, an extensive rum list and tap beers, and the Calabash stage, home to live calypso and reggae music.

Twisted Tacos

Prepare for a culinary adventure. On Monday June 22, Fork It Over Restaurants opens its award-winning concept Velvet Taco at 4819 Washington Avenue (formerly The Rig). Expect a worldly menu of tacos filled with chicken tikka marsala, crispy soft-shell crawfish, roasted pork bahn mi and falafel.

What’s Brewing for Dessert Gallery?

If you didn’t make it to Dessert Gallery’s Desserts of the Month Kick Off Party last month, you’re in luck. The bakery is continuing its partnership with local breweries by hosting events each month that will show off featured dessert-and-brew pairings. This month highlights the cherry vanilla red velvet stout sheet cake made with beer from Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. Head to Buffalo Bayou Saturday, June 27, 1 to 3 pm, to taste the dessert of the month and enjoy a few brews. See the full event schedule here.

Dessert Gallery's Dessert of the Month featuring Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co.
Dessert Gallery’s September Dessert of the Month — Figaro Figaro Figaro Fiiigaaaro Chocolate Torte featuring Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co.

New Additions

Heights favorite Revival Market has expanded its hours to include daily dinner service (excluding Mondays). Now you can pick up artisan foods as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner. See the full menu hereUrban Eats has launched Sunday brunch. Menu items include cowboy sliders, beignets with honey, baked goat cheese salad and three-pig mac and cheese. See the full menu here.


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