Foodie News

A restaurant to watch: GQ magazine cannot wait for Oxheart, a hot new "vegetarian" spot

A restaurant to watch: GQ magazine cannot wait for Oxheart, a hot new "vegetarian" spot

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Oxheart's logo
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Poached Gulf sea snails served with fermented daikon radish, mirin tapioca and smoked pork in a snail shell at Money Cat.   Photo by Ruthie Johnson Miller
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Justin Yu Photo by Ruthie Johnson Miller
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News_Justin Yu

It looks like Underbelly might have some competition for the most anticipated restaurant opening in Houston in 2012.

GQ has a new list of the five "hottest restaurant openings" around the country this year, and Houston's Oxheart came in second, described as "vegetarian for non-vegetarians."

Oxheart is the forthcoming project by Justin Yu, Karen Man and Justin Vann, who made a splash in Houston last year with their feverishly anticipated pop-up Money Cat brunches at Chinatown's Umai. Scheduled for a March debut, Oxheart is taking shape in the former Latin Bites space in the warehouse district on the north side of downtown.

And yes, despite the carnivorous-sounding name, Oxheart will have a veggie-friendly focus. Yu and his partners are planning to offer three tasting menus nightly: A four-course offering with meats, fish and vegetables, a vegetarian four-course menu and a seven-course tasting menu that's a combination of both.

As Alison Cook reported,

Oxheart is named for a carrot variety. And a tomato variety, and a cabbage variety, and the heart of a large animal. But anyone who has been fortunate enough to attend Yu's pop-up dinners over the course of the past year can guess that it's the carrot that is closest to Yu's own heart. Unusually for a Houston chef, he gives vegetables their own importance and refinement, weaving them seamlessly into meat and fish dishes, and thinking about them in really interesting ways."

Can Oxheart really match Underbelly for pre-opening excitement? Which restaurant are you dying to try?