A veteran operator of prominent Midtown bars and restaurants is bringing two family-friendly concepts to Lake Houston area. Michael Collins, best known for places like The Fish and South Bank Seafood Bar, is opening Wholesome Pies and Wholesome Kitchen in the Generation Park mixed-use complex.
Wholesome Pies, a Neapolitan pizza concept built around a wood-fired oven, has been quietly open since the beginning of May. Wholesome Kitchen, a more eclectic restaurant with a globally inspired menu, will officially debut on June 6, the restaurant announced. Collectively, they’re the first projects from Collins’ new company, Wholesome Restaurant Group.
“We are excited and proud to provide two new unique restaurant concepts serving quality food and beverages in a comfortable environment,” Collins said in a statement.
Executive chef Theyen Hoang leads both kitchens. A graduate of Houston’s Culinary Institute LeNôtre, Hoang credits stints at both Cafe Annie and in Brooklyn for giving him the tools to create both a comfort food menu and a pizzeria.
“Both concepts offer something for every taste,” Hoang added. “From citrus kale salad to beet hummus or my personal favorite, bone-in ribeye at Wholesome Kitchen, our concepts are focused on bringing people together for any occasion.”
As Hoang’s statement implies, both concepts attempt to bring a mix of current dining trends to northeast Houston. In addition to beet hummus and a bone-in ribeye, diners at Wholesome Kitchen will find starters options that include ceviche and tuna poke as well as entree choices that range from spaghetti carbonara to salmon with seasonal vegetables and skirt steak with chimichurri. The cocktail menu checks similar boxes with staples like the Moscow Mule, Old Fashioned, and paloma alongside riffs like a pineapple-jalapeno margarita and a passion fruit mojito.
Similarly, Wholesome Pies pizza offerings range from classics like pepperoni and margherita to more adventurous choices like the Mr. Green Jeans (seasonal greens with lemon ricotta, mozzarella, and shaved parmesan) and an elotes pizza topped with roasted corn, queso fresco, and chile de árbol. Like its sister concept, look for a diverse range of beverage options, including affordable wines, local craft beer, and cocktails.
With 180 seats at Wholesome Kitchen and 80 at the pizzeria, both concepts have plenty of room to draw a diverse crowd. Specifically, Wholesome Kitchen touts itself as being equally as adept for adult outings like happy hour and brunch as it is for family gatherings and Little League lunches.
To celebrate its grand opening on June 6, Wholesome Pies will offer half off of both pizzas and appetizers. Both restaurants will offer drink specials.
Collins has owned a diverse set of establishments over the years. In addition to The Fish and South Bank, his projects include cocktail bar Rose Gold and the HTX Fan Tavern. If Collins can bring a little of that inner loop flair to the suburbs, it should bode well for the success of his new ventures.