Houston Restaurant Weeks runs through Labor Day, and diners across the city are deciding which restaurants to patronize. While most of the menus appear on July 15, organizer Cleverley Stone has added a number of additional options during the last two weeks.
As with all HRW participants, the restaurant will make a donation to the Houston Food Bank for each menu sold: $3 for every $20 lunch or brunch; $5 for every $35 dinner; and $7 for every $45. Those donations added up to more than $2.4 million in 2017.
Some of these late additions are from returning participants like Peli Peli and The Palm steakhouse, but several are from first-time participants, including one restaurant that only opened in the last few weeks. These eight restaurants are all new (or new-ish) places that diners should be particularly excited to visit for the first time or offer exceptional value. Don’t let August slip by without trying at least one.
CultureMap’s pick for the best new restaurant of 2017 has just signed on to HRW. The three-course, $45 dinner menu starts with a choice of watermelon salad, fried rice with shrimp and chinese sausage, or tempura cauliflower. Entree choices include the signature hanger steak with cheddar and potato pierogi and fish with bacon tomato consomme. Of the three dessert options, the sticky toffee pudding with foie gras torchon is the most delicious, but a chocolate ice box cake with malted milk ice cream sounds pretty good, too. 1927 Fairview St.; 832-831-9109
Sample some of the newest offerings at this upscale dim sum restaurant with its three-course, $45 dinner menu. Starters include scallop shu mai, edamame truffle dumpling, and a spicy pork wonton. For an entree, choose from steamed chili prawns, stir-fried beef tenderloin, or truffle pork belly rib. We can never say no to the elegant raspberry delice dessert, but two other options are also available. 5045 Westheimer Rd.; 713-357-7588
Pappas Delta Blues Smokehouse
This Clear Lake restaurant offers some of the best deals for meat lovers in all of HRW. The entree choices on the three-course, $35 dinner menu include a two-meat barbecue plate, chicken fried ribeye, a 10-ounce filet, and a 16-ounce dry-aged ribeye. Upgrade to 16-ounce USDA Prime, dry-aged New York strip or a massive 26-ounce Prime, dry-aged porterhouse for only $10 more. When the entrees are that appealing, do the appetizer or dessert choices even matter? 19901 Gulf Freeway; 281-332-0024
Get a three-course sample of this tasting menu restaurant’s usual five-course offering for only $45 during HRW. Start with tuna belly with black sesame béarnaise, cauliflower panna cotta, or country-style sweetbread pate. Chef-owners Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan’s creative cooking is on display in entree choices that include short rib dumplings, burrata raviolo, or shrimp-stuffed corn on the cob. For dessert, choose from lime curd with grilled pineapple, chocolate ganache with chocolate puffed rice, or honey-whipped cheese cannoli. 807 Taft St.; 713-628-9020
Oporto Fooding House & Wine
Use HRW as an opportunity to revisit one of Houston’s most underrated restaurants by sampling its three-course, $35 dinner menu. Starters include baked goat cheese, rocket salad with prosciutto, or crab and avocado crostini. For an entree, choose a wood-grilled hanger steak with fried egg, seafood curry with house-baked naan, or wood-grilled octopus with mustard seed shaak potatoes. Dessert choices include madeira bread pudding and espresso chocolate torte. 125 West Gray Ave.; 713-528-0115
Chapman & Kirby
Known for its hopping nightlife scene, this EaDo hotspot is earning raves for its food, too. The three-course, $35 dinner menu starts with salmon croquettes, tuna tiradito, or burrata salad with peach and pear. Entree options include classic boef bourguignon, chicken over mushroom risotto, and blackened mahi mahi with garlic chickpea puree. A diner could choose grilled peaches or a sorbet trio, but we’re betting the build-your-own s’mores will be the most popular dessert option. 2118 Lamar St.; 713-636-9615
El Big Bad
The downtown taco and tequila bar delivers great value with a four-course, $35 dinner menu. Start with queso, guacamole, or salsa. Continue with one of four veggie options. For an entree, choose from chicken, beef, or mushroom fajitas or veggie enchiladas. Finish up with bread pudding, tres leches, or fruit salad. 419 Travis St.; 713-229-8181
La Villa Saint Tropez
Houston’s newest French restaurant is offering a three-course, $45 dinner menu. Starter choices include arugula salad and herb-buttered scallops. Entree choices include a six-ounce duck breast with mushroom polenta and a Riviera bouillabaisse with saffron potatoes. Finish the meal with chocolate lava cake, fruit salad, or strawberry banoffee pie. 4315 Montrose Blvd.; 713-524-0070