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New upscale Tex-Mex restaurant plots a Galleria area debut: Powerful restaurant group behind the move

New upscale Tex-Mex restaurant plots a powerful Galleria area debut

Arturo's Uptown Italiano, Exterior, June 2012
If the rumors are true, Arturo's Uptown Italiano may soon give way to a Tex-Mex concept from Lasco Enterprises.  Photo by Karen Burd
skirt steak cooked fajitas
How will Lasco differentiate itself in the world of fajitas and margaritas?  MusicBlog.WYEP.org
Arturo's Uptown Italiano, Exterior, June 2012
skirt steak cooked fajitas

A local restaurant group that knows a lot about wine and comfort food wants to demonstrate that it knows a thing or two about tequila and Tex-Mex too.

At least, that's what job postings from Lasco Enterprises, the company behind popular wine bar The Tasting Room and upscale comfort food restaurant Max's Wine Dive, suggest. 

In two ads posted online — one for a bar manager and one for servers, bartenders and line cooks — the company describes a new, unnamed concept. The description reads: "We will deliver premiere Tex-Mex food, classic, high-end drinks and an elevated service experience in a sleek and sophisticated environment. Located in the Galleria area, we will serve chef-driven, upscale Tex-Mex cuisine alongside the finest tequilas and mescals."

 If it comes up short, the negative publicity can be savage — as anyone who recalls the negatives reviews of places like Maggie Rita's and Vida Tex-Mex will acknowledge.  

Such a concept would put the company head to head with power players like El Tiempo and Cyclone Anaya's in the upscale Tex-Mex space. Of course, neither of those concepts are directly in the Galleria area, although they are nearby with El Tiempo in Upper Kirby and Cyclone Anaya's on Durham near the Katy Freeway.

More broadly, the restaurant has to execute in a cuisine that many Houstonians consider part of their culinary DNA. If it comes up short, the negative publicity can be savage — as anyone who recalls the negatives reviews of places like Maggie Rita's and Vida Tex-Mex will acknowledge. 

As for where in the "Galleria area" the company might locate the restaurant, My Table magazine posted a rumor to Facebook that the company has plans for the Arturo's Uptown Italiano space in Uptown Park. The still-open Italian restaurant has operated for almost four years without namesake chef Arturo Boada, but if the rumor is true it's time may be drawing to an end.

For now, Lasco chief brand officer Jonathan Horowitz is declining to comment. When that changes, look for details on the name, the branding and how Lasco plans to stand out from El Tiempo — and avoid becoming the next Maggie Rita's.

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