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. Don’t worry, however, because PaperCity’s Jailyn Marcel has you covered.
After much speculation, Simon Property Group (the Galleria’s parent company) confirms that New York-based burger empire Shake Shack will set up shop in the Galleria’s west wing. Prepare for Shake Shack’s famous all-natural Angus beef burgers, flat-top hot dogs, crinkle-cut fries, frozen custard, shakes and a selection of beer and wine. The new Houston locale is slated to open late this year.
Brothers Jeffrey and Michael Mastro are bringing Steak 48 to the burgeoning River Oaks District, and it’s slated to open this spring. Hoping to stand out in a steak-rich city, Steak 48 will eschew the traditional wood and leather steakhouse interior for contemporary ambience, and will serve responsibly farmed prime steaks that are hand-cut in-house and wet-aged for 28 days. A raw bar and seafood selection culled from sustainable fisheries will also be offered. Menu samples: Ahi poke and burrata with grilled stone fruit, double-baked truffle potatoes, asparagus fries and corn crème brûlée, plus the requisite wine and cocktail lists.
Additionally, two more restaurants are headed to River Oaks District. Dallas-transport The Porch serves down home food and uptown cocktails and is scheduled to open this spring. Arizona-based SumoMaya Mexican-Asian Kitchen, which serves tapas-style small plates that incorporate flavors of Latin America and the Far East, opens late 2016.
The shuttered Ruggles Café and Bakery space won’t be vacant much longer. Lee Ellis, Lance Fegen, Carl Eaves and Will Davis of F.E.E.D TX Restaurant Group open Little Liberty, a smaller version of its Liberty Kitchen concept, at 2365 Rice Boulevard in Rice Village.
New York-based food cart and restaurant Halal Guys is set to debuts its first Houston location on Saturday, January 30 at 3821 Farnham St. The brand began as a NYC hot dog stand before breaking into halal cuisine — chicken and gyro platters over rice with white and red sauces. Halal Guys currently has five carts and two restaurants in New York City, in addition to outposts in Costa Mesa and Chicago.
Developer Marvy Finger taps Brian Caswell — one of Houston’s first celebrity chefs — as executive chef of Brocca, the forthcoming Italian restaurant housed in the soon-to-open luxury, downtown mid-rise called 500 Crawford. The restaurant will be opened in partnership with Caswell’s longtime business partner, Bill Floyd, who also helped open Reef. 500 Crawford will also house an upscale diner and bar serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
After undergoing a swift name change and sweeping renovations, La Table (formerly known as TABLE on Post Oak) in BLVD. Place debuts its new in-house French bakery, Macarons. The bakery was only part of the restaurant’s remodel, which featured a redesigned interior by New York-based Dekar Design and a pristine Assouline book store. Not to be upstaged, Macarons is housed in a petite blue area reminiscent of French pâtisseries. Highlights include baguettes, chocolate-covered brioche, and, of course, macarons. The bakery sits adjacent to one of La Table’s other new features — Marché, a cushy bar and banquette that serves breakfast seven days a week from 7 to 11 am.
Partners Ryan Pera and Morgan Weber (Coltivare, Revival Market) add icehouse to their resume with the debut of Eight Row Flint. This modern take on an icehouse is in an unconventional setting: the old Citgo station at Yale and 11th Street in the Heights. And from whence does the name come? 8-Row Flint is a heritage corn that Native Americans shared with English settlers in New England. It was also the first corn distilled into whiskey in the U.S., so it’s appropriate that the establishment’s bar showcases proprietary barrels of bourbon (Weber just procured a few barrels from Kentucky and Colorado) that come complete with a spout for pouring.
A namesake food truck sits adjacent to the space, serving tacos, queso, salsa, guacamole and chips, all prepared in the Revival Market kitchen.
A piece of Italy has landed in Bellaire with the opening of Enoteca Rossa. Located at 4566 Bissonnet St., the restaurant serves up authentic Italian handmade pastries, paninis and wood-fired pizzas, and has a traditional wine bar, full-service coffee bar and a grab-and-go grocery.
Juiceland, the Austin-based juice bar from proprietor Matt Shook, is now open at 3206 White Oak Dr. The outpost, which is situated on The Heights Hike and Bike Trail, is the brand’s first Houston location.
Mexican seafood restaurant La Fisheria opens an expanded downtown location at 213 Milam St. At 5,000 square feet in size, the new locale is double the size of the former restaurant, at 4705 Inker St. Chef Vidal Elias Murillo heads the kitchen.