This is a Tribute

Iconic hotel's new restaurant pays tribute to Houston's culinary heritage

Legendary hotel's new restaurant pays tribute to Houston's food scene

Houstonian Hotel Tribute restaurant rendering
A rendering of Tribute. Courtesy photo
Houstonian Executive Chef Neal Cox
Executive chef Neal Cox. Courtesy photo
Houstonian Hotel Tribute restaurant Redfish on the Half Shell
Redfish on the half shell with creamed greens and oyster croutons. Courtesy photo
Houstonian Sommelier Vanessa Boyd
Sommelier Vanessa Trevino Boyd. Courtesy photo
Houstonian Hotel Tribute restaurant Texas Cabrito sopes
Texas cabrito sopes with queso fresco and pickled red cabbage. Courtesy photo
Houstonian Hotel Tribute restaurant rendering
Houstonian Executive Chef Neal Cox
Houstonian Hotel Tribute restaurant Redfish on the Half Shell
Houstonian Sommelier Vanessa Boyd
Houstonian Hotel Tribute restaurant Texas Cabrito sopes

One of Houston's most well-regarded luxury hotels has revealed the details of its revamped bar and restaurant concept. The Houstonian hotel will soon transform the recently-shuttered Olivette into a new concept called Tribute that's slated to open this fall (or, in the p.r.-speak of a press release, the all-caps TRIBUTE, but we aren't ones for shouting). 

Rather than an ode to the greatest song in the world, this tribute is to Houston's culinary heritage. Houstonian executive chef Neal Cox's menu will include elements of Texas, Louisiana, and Mexico cooking. Think everything from classics like grilled ribeyes and roasted oysters to braised cabrito, smoked wagyu short ribs, and redfish on the half shell.

“People in Houston know the nuances and what they like about true Texas food, Louisiana creole versus Cajun, Tex-Mex, and ingredients from south of the border,” Cox said in a statement. “It’s about the quality of the ingredients and, more importantly, it’s about taste. At Tribute, we will faithfully create what we love about the kitchens from our neighbors and our own backyard. Our roots are here and the flavors and experiences are established.” 

Overseeing the wine program is veteran sommelier Vanessa Treviño Boyd, who earned praise for her work at Philippe and 60 Degrees Mastercrafted. She's spent the last couple of years at Lakeside Country Club, but her new post should keep her busy. Plans call for a wine room with a 3,500 bottle capacity. 

The hotel has the local office of design and architectural firm Gensler to create the revamped space. Design elements include rose gold and stone countertops for the new bar area with "onyx finishes and emerald tones" in the restaurant. Other luxury elements include "plush banquettes" and lots of natural light. 

Given its status as a premier destination — the hotel's Manor House restaurant once served as the Houston residence of President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush and still serves Mrs. Bush's chocolate chip cookie recipe — the Houstonian could provide the only taste of Houston for visiting dignitaries. Representing the city well is an obligation it takes seriously.

“The Houstonian has been serving guests from all over the world, in addition to our loyal club members and community for a long time,” said hotel general manager Steve Fronterhouse. “They want an authentic experience. We want to honor the chefs, food ,and cultures that make our city great and show the world that Houston is a proud and friendly place."