Although it didn't quite arrive in time for Super Bowl LI, one of this year's most eagerly anticipated restaurants has set an opening date. Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, a California-based whiskey bar and comfort food restaurant, will open to the public February 22.
Known for its extensive whiskey selection, Bosscat will open with 260 different spirits, which slots it somewhere between whiskey-oriented new arrivals like Bayou & Bottle and more established whiskey-soaked establishments like Reserve 101 and Federal Grill. A glass-enclosed whiskey room will feature a 12-seat table and private whiskey lockers to allow a few deep-pocketed patrons to keep their favorite spirits available at all times. The almost 7,000-square foot space features an industrial-style interior and seating for over 200. In good weather, the patio will seat another 40 people.
Executive chef Peter Petro's menu includes items that are staples in California like a bacon cheeseburger with black garlic sauce and a Cajun-spiced chicken breast as well as items that are unique to Houston like pork belly poutine and the Bosscat Press, a Cuban sandwich riff topped with pulled pork. The chef has connected with local suppliers like 44 Farms, Black Hill Meats, and Kraftsmen Baking to supply ingredients to the restaurant. Bar director Matt Sharp's cocktail list features original recipes, variations on classics, and a number of barrel-aged options.
Bosscat Kitchen opened in Newport Beach in 2014, but owners John “JT” Reed, Leslie Nguyen and Vinnie Capizzi saw opportunity in Houston. They moved to the Bayou City last summer to oversee construction and introduce themselves to the community. During that time, Petro and Sharp have appeared at a number of pop-ups to introduce the restaurant's food and cocktails to Houstonians, including last fall's School of Bourbon event (presented by Woodford Reserve and CultureMap) and a sneak peek of the space last week with Houston Texans All-Pro Whitney Mercilus.
“This has been a long time coming, and we have been very fortunate to meet so many great people in Houston who have opened their arms to us over the last several months,” said Reed in a statement. “We’re beyond excited to return the favor and open our doors to a city that has been so welcoming to us.”
If the success of neighbors like Le Colonial and Eloise Nichols is any indication, the Galleria-area has an appetite for bar-forward restaurants that have brought good food and craft cocktails to the area. Given the acclaim Bosscat has earned in California, expect the restaurant to emerge as the city's newest hotspot.
Bosscat Kitchen & Libation, 4310 Westheimer Rd. Suite 150; 11 am to 11 pm Monday through Thursday, 11 am to 1 am on Friday and Saturday, 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday.