The Houston dining and drinking scene has always been overwhelmingly large, but as of late has exploded into cosmic proportions. However, the increase in options doesn't mean an increase options for groups; a very specific niche in the Houston world of mixers, events, gatherings and the like.
Each corporate restaurant, each dive bar, each mom and pop diner, each sleekly designed 'chef-driven' place has its own area of expertise within Houston's ecosystem, but when it comes to group events (among other specialties), The Tasting Room at Uptown Park is truly one of the best in its class. Built to provide groups with plenty of space to gather, The Tasting Room's interior spans a whopping 7,600 square feet.
That expanse includes two private rooms and separate event spaces for occasions like corporate events, meetings or lectures where seclusion is essential. There are also spacious common areas near the bar furnished with large, community tables made of lovely dark wood with plenty of tabletop real estate, perfect for sharing bottles of wine and small plates. The open floor plan creates an ease of movement, allowing a group's guests to mingle with one another without feeling overcrowded or uncomfortable.
It also creates plenty of space for servers to zip in and out efficiently, taking orders, clearing away glasses and plates and not interfering with the integrity of the event. And because The Tasting Room is highly experienced in catering to groups of all sizes on a daily and nightly basis, the normal snafus with separate checks, inhospitable service, misunderstandings or otherwise are virtually nonexistent because the staff here has worked through it all before. Their experience is invaluable to any group event.
That 7,600 square feet inside? It doesn't even begin to cover the expansive outdoor options available. Several different areas outside the walls of Uptown Park include a patio reminiscent of a cozy Paris sidewalk cafe and verdant garden seating where groups can enjoy the open air and even less space restrictions. Depending on what atmosphere is right for the event, The Tasting Room is bursting at the seams with options, while not uncomfortably bursting at the seams with people.
The Tasting Room's location in Uptown Park near The Galleria and just off the 610 Loop makes for easy access from various parts of the city. Simply take Highway 290 to Loop 610 from areas in the northwest, I-10 from downtown as well as the west side, US-59 to 610 from Rice Village and Upper Kirby areas, and of course those in the already densely business-populated Galleria area won't have far to go at all.
Upon arrival, guests who've never been before will be delighted. Their elation can be summed up in a word: Parking. It's plentiful at the location, whether it's inside the adjacent parking lot or along Uptown Park Boulevard, and on those busy nights when only a few spots are available, The Tasting Room steps in to provide complimentary valet. There's no hassle, no circling around for hours, no parking meters, no overpriced parking garages, no sketchy street parking and absolutely no stress.
Also sans stress are the food, wine and beer options. Groups can plan ahead and have shareable bites strategically created to accompany The Tasting Room's massive assortment of wines and craft beer, making for a real party. Smaller, more informal groups can just as easily stop in, grab a community table, a few bottles of wine and order several plates to share.
Just a sampling of crowd pleasing options include items like cured meats and cheeses, locally made pretzels from Slow Dough Bakery served with a house-made chili con queso blanco, potato chip-wrapped chorizo and an array of pizzas suitable to even the pickiest of tastes.
While some groups might have picky patrons, The Tasting Room is just the opposite. Willing to work with any size group on any type of event, The Tasting Room does fill a very special niche within the Houston community, and they do it with lots of wine, lots of chef-created dishes, lots of space both inside and out, lots of overall options and most importantly, lots of experience.