A soft breeze rustles through the trellis overhead in Uptown Park at The Tasting Room's garden patio on a fall afternoon. This quiet oasis in the middle of the Galleria area's usually hectic lunch scene is a place of welcome respite for those looking for an alternative to the usual suspects.
Located along Uptown Park Boulevard, The Tasting Room is easily accessible from both the Galleria as well as other parts of the city. Hook a right from the 610 feeder road and it can be found on the edge of the development just after the curve.
No lights and very little traffic stand between commuters and a great lunch. Perhaps even better than the easy access are the ample parking spaces available in the lot or along the street right in front — no valet and no hassle.
Just a few steps from the car is one of the largest areas in the city for al fresco dining, ideal during this mild fall weather. Next to the restaurant itself are rows of tables protected by a large awning creating the comfortable vibe of a sidewalk cafe.
The outdoor seating extends beyond the awning and flows into a cleanly landscaped area with additional tables and benches, flanked by greenery and covered in part by a wooden trellis. In addition to its extensive outdoor seating are 7,600 square feet of open, airy and natural-light-filled space inside, should the Houston weather actually cooperate with cooler fall and winter temperatures.
With a casual, almost European feel, suits and blazers fit in as well as capris and sundresses. The Tasting Room's lunch beckons business folks, tourists or just friends catching up over a bite to eat — appropriate, given its proximity to the high-rises filled with offices and some of the best shopping in the country.
Lunchgoers at The Tasting Room at Uptown Park will find a menu of seasonal dishes using fresh produce. Salads, soups, pizzas and artisan sandwiches made with Slow Dough bread are popular choices, but the small plates like potato chip nachos, Thai lettuce wraps and oven-baked brie are alternatives for those seeking out something a little different.
Sitting under a beautiful blue sky, basking in the 70-degree weather underneath the trellis on the shadow-speckled patio, with a friend on the right, some arborial splendor on the left and a grilled vegetable panini and Champagne cobb salad on the table, there's only one thing missing to complete the perfect lunch.
Of course that would be a glass of wine, and at The Tasting Room the only difficult choice during lunchtime is what glass to order.