Houston's sweltering heat and stifling humidity tend to dominate summertime conversation until August, when all topics turn to Houston Restaurant Weeks. Now in its 10th year, the dine-out-and-do-good campaign is bigger and better than ever — and restaurant tenants at CITYCENTRE are involved in a huge way.
Over the next month, participating restaurants will offer two- or three-course prix fixe menus for $20 at lunch and three- or four-course dinner menus starting at $35. A portion of proceeds from each meal goes directly to the Houston Food Bank, which raised $1.22 million in donations during August 2012 alone.
"Each year, Houston Restaurant Weeks provides us an incredible opportunity to reach new audiences and welcome back longtime guests with creative and value-priced tasting menus that showcase our culinary chops," said Marcelo Figueroa, director of food and beverage at Hotel Sorella. "We're so grateful to Cleverley Stone for creating an experience that diners love and look forward to while raising an unbelievable amount of money for Houston Food Bank."
In honor of the event, The Bistro at Hotel Sorella will offer a $20, two-course lunch and a $45, three-course dinner throughout the month of August. For a gourmet midday meal, choose between the Seafood Bisque, the Bistro Salad or the Five Tomato Salad to start, with a main course of Three Tomato Flatbread, Pancetta and Chicken Pasta or the famously delicious Bistro Burger, topped with caramelized onions and chipotle barbecue sauce and served with a side of crispy parmesan fries.
"The Houston Food Bank is a very important organization. No one, especially kids, should go hungry in a great city like Houston."
The dinner menu features the best of the season, like a Summer Salad with sweet peaches and heirloom tomato, a Petit Flat Bread topped with fig and boudin noir and marcona almonds, Chicken Fried Quail and Blueberry Lavender Gelato.
Signature Southeast Asian fare shines on both the $20 lunch menu and the $35 dinner menu at STRAITS, which include dishes like the the Beef Rendang (spicy braised beef, kaffir lime and cucumbers) and Singapore Seafood Laksa Noodle Soup (vermicelli noodles, eggs and bean sprouts). Don't miss the Fresh Mango Pudding & Tapioca Pears for dessert — it's a refreshing end to this culinary journey.
Patrons at Eddie V's Prime Seafood at CITYCENTRE can choose between a mouthwatering array of surf and turf options on the restaurant's $45 prix fixe dinner menu, from Charred Tuna Tataki to Labelle Farms Foie Gras, from Batter Fried Gulf Oysters in Vietnamese curry to Crisp George Bank Skate Wing. A $45 dinner includes a $7 donation to the Houston Food Bank — a small sum that generates around 21 meals for hungry Houstonians.
"The Houston Food Bank is a very important organization. No one, especially kids, should go hungry in a great city like Houston," said Raymond Vandergaag, executive chef at The Tasting Room — CITYCENTRE, which is going above and beyond by offering special Houston Restaurant Weeks menus at lunch, dinner and brunch until September 2.
"Houston Restaurants Weeks is a great a vehicle to allow chefs and restaurants do what they love to do, which is serve great food to our community," Vandergaag continued. "Now, we have the opportunity to serve our guests and in turn, help those in need. Our team at The Tasting Room at CITYCENTRE developed the menu to reflect our vision — fresh, well-sourced ingredients, prepared with plenty of flavor."
Among those items? Smoked Brisket Hash, Shrimp and Grits or Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are among the items on the brunch menu; you'll have trouble deciding between the Pan-Seared Salmon with cauliflower mash and the Grilled Pork Loin with cornbread pudding at lunch; and dinnertime must-tries are Classic Bruschetta, Crab Finger Pasta or a Grilled Ribeye with steak frites. The wine is a steal, too, at $16 for two glasses.
So go on — indulge a little. You are doing good, after all.