Brennan's of Houston
Under the direction of executive chef Joe Cervantez and general manager Carl Walker, this 50-plus-year-old restaurant has been firing on all cylinders. Staples like turtle soup, Gulf Fish Pontchartrain, and Bananas Foster remain staples, of course — that exact order would make for a very satisfying three-course meal — but the restaurant shows a broader concern for modern Texas fare with more smoked elements and an expanded selection of shellfish, including seafood towers.
The bar remains a very pleasant dining option for those who prefer not to be quite as dressed up as the dining room typically requires, and "wine guy" Marcus Gausepohl makes sure the cellar stays stocked with the proper French varietals to pair with the food. Proprietor Alex Brennan-Martin's sky-high standards for service and consistency explain why many of Houston's top restaurants are staffed by Brennan's alumni.