Need a lunch or dinner recommendation? Here are ten hot places to try in February! Some are new restaurants entirely, while others are seasoned venues with new offerings, but all are worth a visit.
Marco Wiles — head of the culinary triumvirate of Da Marco, Dolce Vita, and Poscol — recently expanded his lot OTL with a second location of Dolce Vita in The Woodlands. Yup, they’ve got the same delicious small plates and bubbly, thin-crust pizzas you’ve loved for years at the flagship Montrose location.
Few restaurants embody Houston’s Gulf Coast ties like Beaver’s, and recently the place has stepped up its game with Speakeasy Mondays. Though the kitchen is closed on Mondays, the bar (with its fantastic list of specialty cocktails and beers) is open — and chef Jonathan Jones invites various mobile vendors to set up in the parking lot. Good times!
Have you been to the Dairymaids’ open warehouse yet? You’ll certainly want to stop by now that they’re offering fantastically gooey samples of grilled cheese sandwiches. They’ve also got an extra-special cheese-n-beer event with St. Arnold’s coming up on Thursday, and they’ll have a booth at the City Hall farmers’ market starting Wednesday, February 9.
Ninfa’s on Navigation
Not much changes at Houston’s famous fajita stalwart… Until now. The original Ninfa’s recently unveiled its new patio bar! The bar features a menu of small plates — like crispy taquitos, ribs, and empanadas de pibil — plus an updated cocktail list from Anvil’s mix-master extraordinaire, Bobby Heugel.
For years the City of Brotherly Love has kept its famous cheese steaks within a baseball toss of the Liberty Bell, but Houston recently got its own authentic version. Pretty simple, really: Pappa Geno’s fills its texturiffic bread with crazy-thin slices of steak, and then smoothers the thing with the cheese of your choice — Whiz or provolone. Messy? For sure. But isn’t that part of the fun?
Agora was badly damaged by fire last Halloween, but the beloved Montrose coffee house has risen from the ashes, looking as good as new. Or… as good as it did before the fire, at least. The artsy crowd is back, sipping the wonderful coffees and snacking on muffins and Greek pastries. And perhaps best of all, the Eatsie Boys are now perched right outside in the parking lot.
Bernie’s Burger Bus
At Bernie’s you’ll find the burgers of your youth: classic, old-fashioned ones made completely from scratch. The burger menu is plenty enticing, but don’t forget the Bleu cheese fries topped with applewood smoked bacon and green onions. Yowzah! Check the website or follow them on Twitter for the most current location information.
Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen
Tony Mandola’s was a seafood staple in the fancy-pants River Oaks Shopping Center for more than 20 years before deciding to move. But an unexpected gap between the old building’s lease and the new building’s construction, meant the venerable restaurant would be homeless… until it found a foster home in the old FINS location on Westheimer! Indeed the new location is both a miracle and a blessing.
One of the best and most creative restaurants in the city, Feast continues to step up its game. The lunch special (two courses for $13.95 or three courses for $17.95) has been in place for a while, but did you know there’s also a nine-course tasting menu for $53? And a weekday happy hour with half-priced beer, wine, and cocktails? It’s time to give those friendly Feast folks another go.
Philippe Restaurant and Lounge
After more than two years of serious planning, chef Philippe Schmit officially opened his namesake restaurant this week. The affable Schmit, whom some refer to as “The French Cowboy,” previously made a name for himself with his classic French dishes at Bistro Moderne. Let’s hope his new Galleria home serves him just as well.