Brennan's of Houston
After a fire during Hurricane Ike caused extensive damage to Brennan's historic brownstone, the restaurant is back and possibly better than ever. With a new chef (Danny Trace, a vet of the Brennan's family of restaurants) to bring in modern creole and even Caribbean influences to the tried-and-true favorites. (Don't worry, the Turtle Soup and Bananas Foster aren't going anywhere). The building's rehab has been spectacular, with architects able to preserve over 75 percent of the original 1930 John Staub structure, and a renovation that uncovered some hidden architectural details, created new spaces (like the airy, fireplace-bedecked Staub room) and added some modern flair alongside the traditional Southern grace. Long live Brennan's!
The 40-year-old shade tree in the famed Brennan's courtyard was damaged in the hurricane, but has been replaced by a set of twin oak trees.