Restaurants / Bars

Texas Winery’s New Restaurant and Tasting Bar Creates a Grand Parkway Destination

A Closer Look at Messina Hof Harvest Green Winery & Kitchen — a Family Tradition Grows

BY // 04.02.21

If we were endowed with the gift of granting coveted Michelin stars, we would have to award Messina Hof Harvest Green Winery & Kitchen a celestial kudo for our recent lunch at the watering hole on the edge of Richmond, Texas. Our personal salute would christen the recently-opened kitchen and the tiny accompanying winery as worth the trip.

Of course, this would be heresy in the Michelin realm, but we’re talking Texas. So for those who get nosebleed when venturing west of the Beltway, the winery and kitchen surely merit the faster-than-expected jaunt down the Westpark Tollway.

In fact, we are thinking of hiring a party bus, gathering a few friends and taking over one of the private tasting rooms for a personalized feast prepared by Chef Cory Bowers, each course prepared with and accompanied by a Messina Hof wine.

Those who live in the area already know what the Kitchen & Winery is in the fast-growing development just south of Grand Parkway.

This latest addition to the Messina Hof family is an integral component of Harvest Green, a 1,300-acre master planned community by Houston-based Johnson Development Corp. At its center is a community-based farm and adjacent Messina Hof.

The fourth outpost of Bryan-based Messina Hof opened in late February. The expansive Kitchen & Winery welcomes visitors to the tasting room with an 83-foot long wine bar, to a family-friendly, full service very casual restaurant with two private tasting rooms, a gift shop, wine lockers for Messina Hof wine club members and a barrel room. Bonus is the 2,600 square foot patio for dining al fresco.

We were welcomed on our visit by Messina Hof second-generation owners Karen and winemaker Paul M. Bonarrigo, who opened this fourth in the Messina Hof stable. The winery carries 50 of the house’s 90 wines including three wines created especially for Harvest Green.

Visitors might sample Vitality, a crisp and dry white blend; Emblaze, a sweet red; and Abounding, a deep earthy red. All three created especially for Harvest Green.

Messina Hof Harvest Green Winery & Kitchen
Gulf Fritto Misto from chef Cory Bowers of Messina Hof Harvest Green Winery & Kitchen

Back to the feast. We sampled only four dishes from the impressive kitchen and each was simply delicious. The stuffed mushroom caps filled with a blend of cheeses, spinach, breadcrumbs and a sauvignon blanc bianco sauce were luscious. We loved the Gulf Fritto Misto, a lightly fried combo of Gulf shrimp and calamari with a merlot marinara sauce. The prosciutto and wild mushroom pizza was worth every calorie. And a special dish prepared by Chef Bowers just for visitors was a perfect Cajun scallop served atop a confluence of creamed corn, sage-truffle essence, crisp sweet potato, and port dust.

You might visit for the wine but you will certainly stay for the food, merely reading the menu a temptation.

Despite the heavy influence on wine, the establishment is very kid-friendly including a special children’s menu with dishes prepared sans wine. The Bonarrigos have two children and consider Messina Hof a family affair. Youngsters are welcome.

Messina Hof Harvest Green Winery & Kitchen’s  restaurant and tasting room are open for brunch, lunch and dinner Mondays and Tuesdays from 4 to 9 pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 am to 9 pm, Fridays from 11 am to 10 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 10 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm. Reservations are recommended; call (346) 292-9463.

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