Saks Fifth Avenue's revamped 5115 Restaurant will debut with a new menu and chef. (Courtesy photo)
Editor’s note: 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, we have you covered.
Houston Astros legend Craig Biggio is breaking into the restaurant scene with a sports bar of his own. Named Biggio’s, the two-story bar will open inside the Marriot Marquis hotel downtown in November. On display will be an array of memorabilia from the baseball Hall of Famer. TVs and craft beer will be available in excess just in time for the 2017 Super Bowl.
The team behind Helen Greek Food & Wine is going for restaurant number two with Arthur Ave, a Heights eatery that will specialize in Italian-American cuisine. The Arthur Ave lineup includes Helen’s executive chef, William Wright, who will be manning the kitchen; director of operations and partner Sharif Al-Amin alongside managing partner Tim Faiola — the duo who helped open Helen; Helen owner and sommelier Evan Turner, who will assemble the wine offerings; and Lainey Collum (Prohibition, The Hay Merchant, The Pass & Provisions), serving as beverage director. Designer Erin Hicks, who brought Helen’s interior to life, will oversee Arthur Ave’s design. The restaurant is scheduled to open this summer at 1111 Studewood St.
Saks Fifth Avenue’s retail space isn’t the store’s only offering receiving a major upgrade. Restaurant 5115 will move into an expanded 9,800-square-foot space within the remodeled 200,000 square-foot store, which will debut on April 28. In addition to a revamped design, the restaurant will have a new menu created by chef Stefon Rishel, who previously worked with Max’s Wine Dive in Fort Worth. The restaurant will also operate a satellite bar on Saks’ first floor.
It’s lucky number three for Dish Society. The restaurant will open its third location in the Memorial Green mixed-use development at 12525 Memorial Dr. in spring 2017. The new location boasts a spacious floor plan complete with a patio and larger kitchen for the company’s evolving catering business. Dish Society’s two current locations are in Tanglewood and Katy.
News broke earlier this year that New York-based burger chain Shake Shack would open its first Houston location in the Galleria later this year. Now, Houstonians can brace for twice the Shack sauce, because the popular eatery is also coming to Rice Village. Slated for a 2017 premiere, the outpost will occupy the space that is currently a La Madeleine, at 6206 Kirby Dr.
Popular Eado café and bakery Tout Suite will expand its offerings to Memorial City Mall this summer. The new freestanding space spans 2,216 square-feet and will offer Tout Suite staples like fresh juices, coffee, sandwiches and macarons. Tout Suite’s original location sits at 2001 Commerce St.
Chef Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught have expanded their culinary reach to Mexico as the new co-owners of Origen restaurant, located in Oaxaca. The restaurant, which is led by chef Rodolfo Castellano, specializes in modern Oaxacan cuisine.
Kirby Ice House is officially open for business. The 6,500-square-foot venue, modeled after Dallas’ Katy Trail Ice House, includes two bars, 50 beers on tap, a one-acre outdoor seating area (with space for games and food trucks) and a lounge. Owner Danny Evans plans to add a third bar in the near future. Evans also owns the Little Woodrows conglomerate.
Treadsack restaurant group’s seventh concept, Canard, is now open at 4721 N. Main St. Manned by Leslie Ross, the bar, which is named for the French word for duck, features cocktails as well as pre-made batch drinks for easy serving. Ross plans to partner with Foreign Correspondents (another Treadsack restaurant) chef PJ Stoops for a special bar menu.
Chinese cuisine meets craft cocktails with the opening of Ginger and Fork at 4705 Inker St. Owned by Tony Mandola’s veteran Mary Li, the restaurant specializes in Hong Kong-style Cantonese cuisine, pairing native Chinese ingredients with recipes Li developed. Ginger and Fork also offers an expansive wine and cocktail list.
River Oaks District’s first restaurant, Toulouse Café & Bar, is open. The Parisian-style café from Dallas-based Lombardi Concepts is serving up French classics — everything from onion soup to frog legs à la Provençal to escargot Toulouse. Lombardi Concepts’ Italian eatery Taverna will open later this month in River Oaks District.
After abandoning food service in February to focus on the night-club sector, Midtown lounge Tarakaan is suddenly back in the restaurant business. The eatery returns food to the equation with a Japanese-centric menu created by chef Rob Frias. Frias, who previously worked with chef Donald Chang at Uptown Sushi, will oversee the kitchen.
Heights eatery Black & White is expanding its offerings with the debut of Gray Bar, which will feature select bottles of wines as well as a light-bites menu.