No one knows Houston restaurants better than the people who run them, own them, and work in the kitchens. In this continuing series, CultureMap is asking our favorite foodie personalities around town where they go for great eats when they're not working.
David Cordúa has that rarest of chef qualities — a beaming, contagious smile. And for good reason — at only 28 he's a second-generation executive chef at Américas and he's won the My Table Culinary Award for up-and-coming chefs for his work in the kitchen.
Restaurant for a special occasion: I'm a huge fan of Da Marco, it's kind of my special occasion place. The staff is super knowledgeable, I love the charcuterie and the cheese plate and his chicken liver risotto. Even Marco's smaller places are good, I like going after work for a glass of wine.
Restaurant to take out-of-towners to: Definitely to experience Mexican Foods from the Laurenzo family, to Chinatown and Bellaire to experience dim sum at HK, peking duck at Sinh Sinh ... this is what makes Houston food so unique. It'd be hard to pick one.
Favorite meal: Uni at Osaka on Tuesdays. Their uni comes in fresh every Tuesday — I get the nigiri with a cold bottle of sake and I couldn't be happier.
Breakfast/Brunch favorite: I don't do brunch very often but Brennan's is sort of a family tradition of ours, during the holidays we have at least one brunch at Brennan's, that's kind of a Houston tradition in general. For my favorite breakfast, I grew up eating New York Bagel Shop on Hillcroft, it's the best and has great memories from my childhood in Meyerland.
If you have a huge appetite Kenny and Ziggy's is as good as it gets.
Dessert: I just did a 15-course dessert tasting at Bootsie's Heritage Cafe in Tomball by Chris Leung, the pastry chef. It was amazing.
I was hesitant because I didn't know if I could handle that much pastry, but it was really phenomenal, well done, and they added some savory bits in there so it wasn't too much.
Other articles in the Houston Chef's Table series: