It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . .
Well, not at my house exactly. There’s a wreath on the window, holiday placemats on the table and a poinsettia on the pass, thanks to a lovely woman from the post office. Long story.
But nothing else. No tree. No stockings on the fireplace. OK, I’m a bit lazy about decorating. I mean putting it all up, taking it all down, finding somewhere to store all that stuff until next year. Sigh.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t love holiday decorations and I’ve found plenty of them at my home away from home, Houston restaurants.
There is the artistic elegance of the entryway at Tony’s, where dazzling ornaments and greenery greet you. Grab a seat in the bar area and watch the roaring fireplace, glassed in — there's no need to sweat in this warm Houston winter — and enjoy the added benefit of Alba truffle season. The truffle souffle and a glass of bubbly is a lovely way to celebrate.
The holiday season is one of the busiest times for local restaurants, second only to Houston Restaurant Weeks.
Over at Pax Americana (one of the best new restaurants of 2014) enjoy some Christmas cheer where the stockings were hung by the chimney bar with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. They also have a menorah for the season.
Oh, and the decorations are out in force at The Red Lion Pub which decorates for almost every holiday. Except for Boxing Day, the only day of the year this restaurant closes. Stop in for pint and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
And one of my favorite signs of the holidays is Miss Ruby, the red dress that hangs in Ouisie’s Table during the season. The festive attire was worn by owner Eloise Adams Jones’ sister to a Houston debutante ball in 1958 and makes its appearance every year before Thanksgiving.
Something else you don’t see everyday is the gorgeous towering tree made of poinsettias at Hugo’s.
“Putting up this poinsettia tree at Hugo’s has become a holiday tradition for us,” owner Tracy Vaught says. “Many people might not know this, but Poinsettias are indigenous to Mexico. There they are known as “noche buena” (or Flor de Noche Buena), and Mexicans love to decorate with them for the holiday, and create trees similar to the one we have at the restaurant.
Something else you don’t see everyday is the gorgeous towering tree made of poinsettias at Hugo's.
"We love watching customers take family holiday photos in front of it!”
And the Tasting Room bars and Max’s Wine Dives love to get into the spirit of the season as well.
“Decorating is always a great way for us to share in the holiday spirit with our guests,” says Curtis Bagnoli, wine sales manager at The Tasting Room Uptown Park. “The team loves coming together to create something that adds a little something special to the experience here at The Tasting Room.”
A New Year's Goodbye
There’s no tree or stockings at Sorrel Urban Bistro, but just look up and be filled with cheer at all the glistening ornaments hung from the ceiling. And don’t forget to enjoy the wonderful food before Sorrel ends its three-year run on New Year’s Eve and becomes . . . well, maybe a new pizza place.
And speaking as someone who eats out almost daily and never makes lunch reservation . . . make a reservation. The holiday season is one of the busiest times for local restaurants, second only to Houston Restaurant Weeks, and you know how packed they get then. But it’s great fun to enjoy a meal out with family and friends in a festive atmosphere and watch all the other diners enjoying office get-togethers and friendly gatherings where gifts are exchanged over fine wine and food.
Happy holidays to all and good eating in 2015!