Culture / Restaurants

Houston’s Hottest Restaurant Openings

6 New Spots to Try — 20-Seat Gem Included

BY // 09.30.15

After more than a year of anticipation, Hunky Dory, a reimagined pub concept led by chef Richard Knight, will open on Monday, October 5, at 1801 North Shepherd Drive, according to Treadsack, the restaurant group behind the new eatery. The restaurant, which specializes in British-American fare, is currently in soft opening and accepting reservations for Thursday through Saturday, October 1 through 3, 5 to 9 pm. Place your reservations by emailing events@treadsack.com or calling 713.864.2450. Owner Chris Cusak is also slated to open two more restaurants later this fall: Gulf Coast eatery Bernadine’s and Thai street-food concept Foreign Correspondents.

Coming on the heels of the opening of Tarakaan, Midtown gains another Asian restaurant concept with Saigon House, a casual Vietnamese cafe located at 3101 Main Street. Owned by Duc Dinh and chef Vu Tuan Anh (Wrap & Roll), Saigon House introduces chef Anh’s unique style of Vietnamese fusion to the area. Expect dishes such as spreggrolls (a hybrid of a crispy egg roll stuffed inside a fresh spring roll), shaken filet mignon lo mein and pineapple fried rice with shrimp, served in a pineapple bowl. Made-to-order options such as banh mi and spring rolls also allow guests to customize their meal. Freshly pressed juices, smoothies and Vietnamese coffee are also available. For now, Saigon House is open for lunch seven days a week, 11 am to 2 pm, and will soon extend its hours to include dinner service.

Vietnamese fries at Saigon House topped with chargrilled beef and chili sauce.

Following months of renovations, The Durham House debuts Friday, October 9, in the space formerly occupied by Woodrow’s Heights (1200 Durham Drive). Under the direction of chef Don Schoenburg, the locale sports a new Southern attitude, focusing on local and Cajun cuisine. A seasonal menu (which will rotate at least four times a year) highlights locally sourced ingredients and includes dishes such as duck salad, braised rabbit, coffee-crusted short ribs, day-boat scallops, beer-crusted grouper and Louisiana blue crabs.

In addition to the weekday menu, The Durham House offers special selections on the weekends, starting with a barbecue menu on Saturday. Meats and seafood are prepared on-site in an outdoor smoker. Expect pulled pork, gator andouille, grilled oysters and boiled Lake Tahoe crawfish. Round out the weekend with Sunday brunch, which includes Southern favorites boudin, biscuits and gravy, and pork chops and eggs.

Blue crab at The Durham House.

Frank Triola, a former private chef for the Houston Rockets, opens Chef Frank Triola’s Cafe Monday, October 5, at 5740 South Wayside Drive. The intimate 20-seat space features a daily list of blackboard Italian specials (everything made from scratch). If you don’t have a taste for what’s listed, Triola will make “whatever your heart desires” if he has the ingredients on hand. “Since everything is made from scratch, if I have it in the kitchen, I am able to make whatever my customers want,” he says. “I always tell them, ‘If you want a favorite dish, call ahead.’ I am more than happy to make whatever they want.” The cafe is currently in soft opening.

Ohio-based Italian eatery Piada brings its casual street-food concept to Houston. Expect quick Italian-inspired dishes such as hand-rolled Piadas (a wrap using thin house-made crust dough), pasta bowls and chopped salads. Piada will open two Houston-area eateries this fall: one at 5801 Memorial Drive on Friday, October 2, and another at 1930 Highway 6 in Sugar Land on Friday, October 23.

Shephard Ross may have departed from Studewood Hospitality Group, but plans for the highly anticipated eatery The Del are still on track. The restaurant is currently in soft opening, with hours from 5 to 10 pm, Monday through Thursday, 5 to 11 pm Friday and Saturday. Browse the new menu here.


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