Another view of the inside of Verde Garden at the new Houston development, Harlow District. (Photo by Dustyn Zenner)
Suizas Enchiladas made with a creamy green salsa, tomatillos, jalapeños and onion are a Verde Garden staple. (Photo by Dustyn Zenner)
The interior of the new Tex-Mex restaurant Verde Garden is a colorful retreat. (Photo by Dustyn Zenner)
There are more than a half dozen varieties of tacos at the new Verde Garden restaurant. (Photo by by Dustyn Zenner)
The first tenant in the Harlow District development is making itself at home amid quite a bit of ongoing construction at 1011 La Rue (off West Dallas) in Houston’s vibrant Montrose neighborhood. Verde Garden, the new Tex-Mex restaurant created by The Kirby Group, has been building a following in the former locale of Grappino di Nino, one of several buildings previously occupied by the trio of Vincent Mandola restaurants in a dining destination, which also included the former Vincent’s and Nino’s restaurants.
Verde Garden was the first restaurant to open in the over two-acre development, one reimagined by the Oxberry Group and TKG Capital Partners. It is owned by the Houston-based hospitality group which operates Heights Bier Garten, Bayou Heights Bier Garten and Diversion Cocktails to name just a few.
Residing in an 8,900-square-foot space (with 10,000 square feet outdoors on its covered patio), Verde Garden’s interiors are accented with exposed original and repurposed brick. Bathed in sunlight, its walls are adorned with a mural depicting a lush landscape filled with a grove of Texas citrus trees.
With a spirits menu longer than its food offerings, you’ll find a dozen specialty frozen margaritas, 20 made-to-order house-crafted cocktails care of The Kirby Group’s beverage director Joel Ramirez in categories like “Spirit Forward,” “Sour & Tart,” “Fruity & Sweet,” “Boozy Brunch,” “Refreshing & Spicy” and “Refreshing & Balanced.” In addition, there are 60 classic cocktails conjured from more than 250 agaves and Mexican imported liquors including mezcal, tequila, raicilla, sotol and rum. (Not to mention wine and a beer bar too.)
Now onto the food which includes standard Tex-Mex starters with a twist like a chips and salsa flight ($6) with a trio of red and green salsas), chicken skin ($7) crisped and sprinkled with chili powder, and queso blanco spiced with smoked Hatch chiles ($9). Ceviches are served with plantain and tortilla chips and include a scallop citrico ($16), a striped bass manguito ($18) and a shrimp aguachile ($13).
There are tacos and quesadillas too. From a Baja fish taco ($8) to quesadillas stuffed with mushroom al pastor ($13), as well as hearty enchilada plates like red chili tinga spiced with chipotle and Barranco mole.
Verde Garden is located at 1011 La Rue in Montrose. It is open Sundays through Thursdays from from 11 am to midnight and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am to 2 am.