Restaurants / Lists

Where to Eat in Houston Right Now: 10 Hot Restaurants for a Chilly November

BY // 11.14.18

Editor’s note: The Houston restaurant scene is constantly changing, with new hotspots, must-try places and major food events coming along on a daily basis. Even the most dedicated foodie can have trouble keeping up. Don’t worry, PaperCity has you covered.

With the weather strangely cool, it’s time to check out these hot, must-eat Houston restaurants for November.

Georgia James

Chris Shepherd has done it again. It may seem like sacrilege to house any other restaurant in the former Underbelly digs, but this not-so-typical steakhouse isn’t getting any complaints. Just kudos.

Named for the culinary king’s parents, Georgia James is all about steak the way the chef personally eats it at home. Plus, of course, some foodie flair — like the popular beef fat candle.

Come to the carnivore’s paradise for the 100-day dry-aged longbone ribeye, stay for the wood-roasted Alaskan King crab legs. If you want something simple, straightforward and delicious, this one’s for you.

Georgia James
Georgia James is all about the steak. (Photo by Julie Soefer.)

Bisou

Chef Frédéric Perrier deserves a kiss on each cheek for this one. The new River Oaks District hotspot just debuted, and the Wednesday night parties are already in full force. Think of them like Thursdays at Armando’s, with a French-American twist.

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Perrier challenges the typical creamy conception of French food with dishes on the lighter side, made with infused olive oils, pesto and chimichurri. Imagine lobster bisque made with coconut milk and tarragon.

Bisou is a prime destination for the hip crowd — thanks, in no small part, to the owners of Bisou also owning Cle and Spire. You’d better believe it’s not just Wednesday. It’s Sunday Funday every week.

The Rustic

Lone Star State country music legend Pat Green partnered up with Houston-born restaurateur Kyle Noonan for The Rustic, a mammoth triple-threat restaurant, bar and music venue. You can expect free live music seven days a week and an unbeatable “happy hourly.”

While the vibe can’t be beat, the food is more than enough reason to check out this sprawling downtown spot. The regional menu is heavy with meats, beers and produce from local purveyors. It’s as authentic as it is tasty.

Think molasses-brined Bandera quail, beer can chicken with jalapeno spoon bread, Texas cheesesteak with shaved ribeye, wild boar meatballs and more. Wash it all down with a frozen drink, boozy Sangria popsicle included.

Indianola

Chef Lewis went for a winning global-meets-local culinary approach at Indianola, a spot that celebrates the country’s diversity in the most appetizing of ways. It gets its name from the historic Texas port of entry, and with its range of dishes, Indianola is as Houston, Texas as it gets.

To the British-born chef, that means a Texas Wagyu burger on a cheddar-jalapeno bun, wood-grilled half chicken with Spanish rice and Fresno chili and wood-grilled Santa Maria steak with green tomatillo escabeche and corn puree.

Early favorites include the lamb neck with gnocchi Parisian and peas and the perfected crispy, stick duck wings like you’ve never ever had them before.

Miss Carousel

What do you get when you take a passion for craft cocktails, a love for cozy leather couches and a dash of Townes Van Zandt? Why, Miss Carousel, of course. This Agricole Hospitality concept, cohabitating with Indianola and Vinny’s, is bringing the booze.

The drink menu is divvied up into eight distinct categories, many of them recognizable — Bitter, Sours, Highballs — and the not-so-standard Extremely Interesting, Non-Conforming. The Rule of Saint Benedict, made with San Pancho 8-year rum, amaro meletti and more, falls into the latter category.

While the mixologists are essentially maestros, you won’t have to wait long at the sleek bar that’s center stage. Many of the ingredients are pre-batched, making for an experience as smooth as the beverage itself.

Vinny’s

Agricole Hospitality is coming in hot at this new EaDo pizzeria. Vinny’s is big into pizza pies — the bigger, the better. The hefty cheesy squares weigh in at a whopping 52 ounces. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

You can trust that the chorizo and Italian sausage toppings are lovingly handcrafted. All ingredients are fresh, save for the requisite but delightful canned tomatoes. You can snack on Vinny’s pizzas by the pie or by the slice.

And there’s something to satisfy everyone, with salads and sandwiches. Don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth. The guilty pleasure dessert menu proffers chocolate crunch cake with cashew butter and malted double chocolate chip cookies.

Shun Japanese Kitchen

Chef Naoki Yoshida entered the scene with a lot of street cred. The Japanese cuisine guru’s family runs Nippon. Yoshida learned to cook in that very restaurant before bringing a mix of authentic Japanese eats and food with a more fusion vibe to Shun.

Shun stands out for a few reasons, chief among them the revolutionary DIY sushi bar. You can roll with it in a group of four. Called the Samurai Warrior, this $150 deal lets you customize your very own hand roll with both fresh and raw ingredients.

The most surprising element is the Texan twist on some classics, like the Tako Dogs — octopus sausage wrapped up in a corn dog, essentially — and carnitas gyozo dumplings.

Sing

This Lowell Street Market spot bills itself as the go-to place for next generation eaters. And it’s got just the inventive dishes to back it up. It’s inspired by the melting pot that is Singapore, with a profusion of recipes from China, India, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Sing puts a spin on the Singaporean classic chili crab with its Singapore chili crab Rangoon, crispy wontons full of crab slathered in the signature sauce.

This time of year you can’t go wrong with any of their soups, including the Laska, a sort of curry soup of Malaysia that just might make you think of gumbo, or Bak Kut Teh, a noddle soup with savory pork rib.

Tris

Hubbel & Hudson Bistro has taken on new life as Tris, with a two-in-one restaurant experience. There’s the traditional Tris, a 60-seat bistro with a solid a la carte menu. And then there’s Cureight, a cozy tasting menu option with a chef’s table that seats up to 30.

These two new foodie destinations brighten up The Woodlands dining scene with their bounty of offerings. Tris has a wide range, with everything from Spanish octopus a la plancha and bone marrow to start, to miso-grilled tempeh for a main.

Meanwhile, the chef-driven Cureight serves eight seasonal courses with vibrant and fresh veggies and proteins. Think Maine lobster with miso and trout roe, a salad of arctic char, turnip and labneh and Texas venison with balsalmic — and that’s only the beginning.

tris woodforest steak board
Tris boasts quite the steak board.

The Toasted Yolk Café

Move over, Snooze. The title for Bayou City’s best brunch just may be scooped up by The Toasted Yolk. This breakfast chain was born in Spring and just opened a location in The Galleria area, promising to start your morning off right.

It’s not about the most important meal of the day at The Toasted Yolk. It’s the epic meal of the day, with made-from-scratch, chef-inspired omelettes, pancakes and egg specialties.

Consider the signature Toasted Yolk, with a savory sandwich of sourdough and egg, or the hearty pork chop breakfast with a fluffy buttermilk biscuit and hashbrown casserole. Or if you’re big into carbo-loading, an extra-deep Belgian waffle with whipped butter.

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Tommy Kanarellis
tommyk@compass.com  970.452.9661
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