Houston Restaurant Weeks has almost reached its halfway point, and diners all over the city are flocking to the participating restaurants. That’s a very good thing, since every meal sold raises money for the Houston Food Bank.
Since the initial lineup release on July 15, organizer Cleverley Stone has added a number of restaurants to the event, including the 2016 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Restaurant of the Year. For those who made their reservations early and haven’t checked the HRW website in awhile, here are five late additions that people won’t want to miss.
Rather than follow the typical HRW format of offering a three-course meal with three (or more) choices per course, this intimate Montrose restaurant offers a five-course prix fixe that includes some of chef Adam Dorris’s most popular dishes like smoked beef tartare and nine-spiced brisket. Thankfully, the $45 price offers a $5 discount over the meal’s regular price. It’s a great way to discover why Pax Americana earned the title of CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Restaurant of the Year.
Speaking of Tastemakers winners, Rising Star Chef of the Year Graham Laborde’s Gulf Coast restaurant is another late addition to HRW. The three-course, $35 menu contains many of the dishes that have earned the Heights spot such acclaim, including starters like chargrilled oysters and smoked ribs with sorghum “popcorn.” For pork lovers, the cochon de lait is the must order entree, but the fried catfish is a strong option, too. Finish up with rice beignets or oeufs a la neige, a version of the legendary floating island dessert.
Hubbell & Hudson Bistro
The best restaurant in the Woodlands is a first-time HRW participant. The three-course, $45 menu offers lots of tempting choices. Starters include a seasonally-appropriate heirloom tomato and watermelon salad and an inventive riff on shrimp toast on a housemade baguette. Entree options include a dry-aged, Texas wagyu sirloin flap, Alaskan halibut, and black truffle pasta ($5 supplement). The black out sponge cake would be my dessert choice, but all of pastry chef Erika Lucio’s desserts are winners.
This Italian restaurant has been a welcome addition to Bellaire, and its three-course, $35 menu offers some solid values. Starters options include salad, a cheese plate, and a selection of charcuterie. Asparagus risotto and tagliatelle with sausage lead the five entree choices. For dessert, it’s hard to pass on tiramisu.
With the departure of chef Kris Jakobs, now the owner of Brasserie 1895 in Friendswood, the Culinary Institute LeNôtre has rebranded its in-house restaurant as Le Bistro. Thankfully, it’s still serving classic French fare prepared by the Institute’s students. Starter choices on the three-course, $45 menu include a crab and avocado salad and an heirloom tomato and goat cheese tarte. Both the sweet tea-brined pork chop and chicken chasseur are tempting entree options, but vegetarians will appreciate the Israeli couscous with portabello mushroom. A seven-layer opera cake looks like the top dessert choice, but creme brulee duo is also available.