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Where to eat right now: 10 must-try restaurants for May

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News_Ruthie_where to eat right now_May 2012_Oxheart_Poached Egg Yolk
Oxheart consistently serves up creative dishes, like this poached egg yolk with fava beans and braised leeks. Photo by Ruthie Johnson Miller
News_Ruthie_where to eat right now_May 2012_Uchi_sushi_chef
Uchi's line of sushi chefs puts on a delicious performance.  Photo by Ruthie Johnson Miller
News_Ruthie_where to eat right now_May 2012_La Fisheria_Octopus Taco
We're captivated by everything at La Fisheria, including this delicious octopus taco. Photo by Ruthie Johnson Miller
News_Ruthie_where to eat right now_May 2012_Boomtown Coffee_Sign
The serene Boomtown Coffee is open for business on 19th in the Heights. Stop by for your daily Joe. Photo by Ruthie Johnson Miller
News_Ruthie_where to eat right now_May 2012_Hay Merchant_Menu
Hay Merchant is ready to wow you with a fantastic selection of craft beers.  Photo by Ruthie Johnson Miller
News_Ruthie_where to eat right now_May 2012_Hay Merchant_Crispy Pig Ears
The salty-n-sweet crispy pig ears at Hay Merchant are a great (and oddly addictive) nibble. Photo by Ruthie Johnson Miller
News_Ruthie_where to eat right now_May 2012_Oxheart_Poached Egg Yolk
News_Ruthie_where to eat right now_May 2012_Uchi_sushi_chef
News_Ruthie_where to eat right now_May 2012_La Fisheria_Octopus Taco
News_Ruthie_where to eat right now_May 2012_Boomtown Coffee_Sign
News_Ruthie_where to eat right now_May 2012_Hay Merchant_Menu
News_Ruthie_where to eat right now_May 2012_Hay Merchant_Crispy Pig Ears
News_Ruthie Johnson Miller_head shot_column mug

2012 has been a money year for Houston restaurants thus far, with so many fantastic openings that it’s often hard to keep up. Need a lunch or dinner recommendation?

Here are 10 hot, new places to try in May.

 

La Fisheria
Though service can be uneven, I love the food at La Fisheria, a Mexican seafood restaurant on Shepherd just south of I-10. Ceviches are top notch, but equally as good are the shrimp tortilla soup, octopus tacos, and dos leches dessert.

But even beyond the vittles, La Fisheria is gripping. Maybe it’s the whimsical space, maybe it’s the wistful patio — whatever it is makes this a super fun meal out.

Roots Bistro
Taking over the former So Vino spot on Westheimer is Roots Bistro, a new farm-to-table restaurant. And lest you think “farm-to-table” concepts have jumped the shark, this one’s got a twist: The chef is vegan.

Vegetable dishes set hearts on fire — but don’t discount the rest of the menu. The steaks, fish and even macaroni and cheese are just as praiseworthy.

Oxheart
This new offering from chef Justin Yu, chef Karen Man and sommelier Justin Vann has already garnered plenty of attention for its contemporary cuisine and creative space. Because I’m tied to Oxheart, you shouldn't just trust my opinion, so I offer these links to local and national media for you to decide whether or not to venture over.

L’Olivier
Affordable French cuisine? It’s here thanks to the new L’Olivier. Housed in a former adult DVD shop (only in H-Town, y’all) on lower Westheimer in Montrose, the restaurant offers a raw bar, a range of French favorites and even a separate bar menu. Don’t pass up the chocolate mousse.

Katsuya
Katsuya, a Hollywood import, offers high-end Japanese food in a bold, clubby West Ave space. Sushi is all the rage, but the warm robata dishes offer more in terms of originality and flavor.

It’s not light on the pocketbook, but the people-watching aspect alone makes it worth the [occasional] splurge.

Boomtown Coffee
Taking over the Heights-Ashbury spot in the Heights is Boomtown Coffee. In addition to the regular lineup of coffeehouse drinks, Boomtown offers specialty lattes (like salted caramel and honey-vanilla) and the “Cow Bell,” two shots of espresso with a scoop of Amy's Mexican vanilla ice cream.

They’ve also got breakfast tacos, quiches and pastries, with more food planned for the coming months.

Hay Merchant
Beer lovers are professing their eternal love for Hay Merchant (on Westheimer at Waugh). Belly up to take advantage of a truly outstanding list of craft brews, plus a clever menu that’s well executed by chef Antoine Ware. Start out with the crispy pig ears (a $6 app that’s strangely addictive) and perhaps follow it up with a soft pretzel, steamed mussels, or fried chicken livers and waffles.

Uchi
Now that the Uchi buzz is in check — and the painful waits for reservations common in the first few weeks of service are under control — diners are free to revel in the spot’s creative Japanese food. Sushi combinations are creative and worthy, but so are the menu’s hot dishes, like the Avo Bake, the Jar Jar Duck and even the Brussels sprouts.

Sorrel Urban Bistro
Haven’t tried Sorrel Urban Bistro yet? Perhaps now’s the time.

With local ingredients and a menu that changes daily, this seasonal spot has certainly made an impression: Sorrel recently earned a spot on Gayot’s list of the top 10 new restaurants. Give it a whirl to see what the buzz is about.

Underbelly
Expectations are a fother-mucker — but Underbelly has truly lived up to the hype. The wine bar (which also offers cheese, charcuterie and small bites) opened at the end of February to high praise, and the restaurant followed suit in early March.

Well prepared meats are where this place really shines. I like the lamb with sauerkraut.

Need more recs? Try our lists from previous months:

AugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecemberJanuaryMarch

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