6 things to know

6 things to know in Houston food right now: Openings, coming attractions, and cheesy tacos

6 things to know in food right now: Openings, coming attractions, more

Tarka Indian Kitchen food spread
Tarka is now open in Upper Kirby. Courtesy of Tarka Indian Kitchen
Stephanie Izard
Stephanie Izard will be serving goat at Southern Smoke Spring. Photo by Jenny Grimm Photography
Messina Hof Harvest Green winery rendering
Messina Hof has broken ground on its new winery. Courtesy of Messina Hof
Tarka Indian Kitchen food spread
Stephanie Izard
Messina Hof Harvest Green winery rendering

Editor’s note: Houston’s restaurant scene moves pretty fast. In order to prevent CultureMap readers from missing anything, let’s stop to look around at all the latest news to know.

Openings and coming attractions

Texas winery Messina Hof has broken ground on its new, Houston-area facility. Announced last year, Messina Hof Harvest Green Winery and Kitchen will include both a tasting room, a 130-seat restaurant, and wine production and storage facilities. Expected to open around the end of the year in Richmond’s Harvest Green community, the facility will also be home to all of Messina Hof’s wine shipping operations.

“Our first brick-and-mortar presence in Houston will be on a grand scale, allowing us to connect with our large family of consumers in Houston and Southeast Texas,” Messina Hof’s Paul M. Bonarrigo said in a statement. “The project not only expands Messina Hof’s presence throughout Texas, but we are integrating into a new community in a very organic and dynamic way. As Houston’s only farm-centric community, Harvest Green was a natural choice for our new craft winery and kitchen.”

Tarka Indian Kitchen opened its third Houston-area restaurant at the end of January in the Upper Kirby area. Located at 3701 S. Shepherd Dr., the fast-casual restaurant serves dishes such as naan, curries, and kebabs. Similar in style to Chipotle, diners select a protein and spice level for each item on Tarka’s customizable menu. Reasonable prices (nothing costs more than $10) and an appealing selection of wine and craft beer have made the Austin-based restaurant a hit in The Heights.

Bombshells has opened its eighth Houston-area restaurant at 6888 Southwest Fwy. At over 8,000-square feet, the 400-seat sports bar and restaurant features over 100 TVs, including a 15.75-foot 4K LED video wall, and free wifi. Decorated with military memorabilia, the establishment serves food and drinks from 11 am to 2 am daily.

Upcoming events

Southern Smoke’s spring event returns with a different format for 2020. Instead of a series of dinners spread out over a week, the Chris Shepherd-led foundation that raises money for hospitality workers who need emergency assistance will be throwing two major bashes on the same night in the same place — Saturday, March 28 at The Revaire (7122 Old Katy Rd).

The evening starts with the “A Boy, A Girl, and A Goat Dinner,” where Shepherd will be joined by fellow Beard Award winner Stephanie Izard. The Chicago chef and Top Chef season four winner will collaborate with Shepherd on a multi-course meal celebrating goat; yes, the Houston chef's signature Korean braised goat and dumplings will be on the menu.

After dinner, Colombian band Tribu Baharú will keep the party going with Carribbean music while the Underbelly Hospitality team serves whole hog tacos and “late night grub” from Shake Shack.

Attend both events for $500 or just the after party for $200. A variety of sponsorship packages and tables are also available. Tickets go on sale Monday, February 17. 

Get ready for Chef Fest by watching the teaser video below. Held March 29, the event features bites from 10 local chefs, including Brandon Silva (The Kirby Group), Dominick Lee (Poitín), and Masterchef winner Christine Ha (The Blind Goat). Tickets, $100, are available online.

Chef Fest 2020 // 30-Second Spot from Bear Hands Media Group on Vimeo.

Off the map

Taco restaurant La Vibra and pop-up JQ’s Tex-Mex BBQ both earned a shout out from Bon Appétit. As part of its Taco Nation feature, the national foodie magazine recognized these local establishments for their costra tacos that swap the typical tortillas for a slab of griddled cheese.













A post shared by JQ's TexMex BBQ (@jqstexmexbbq) on

Feb 14, 2020 at 8:26am PST