III's a charm

Superstar chef Wolfgang Puck makes grand return to Houston with new modern, Medical Center restaurant

Wolfgang Puck returns to Houston with new modern Med Center restaurant

III by Wolfgang Puck interior
III by Wolfgang Puck in the Medical Center marks his return to Houston.  Photo by Jenn Duncan/Duncan Artistry
III by Wolfgang Puck barbecue salmon salad
Barbecue salmon salad. Photo by Jenn Duncan/Duncan Artistry
III by Wolfgang Puck chinois chicken salad
III's Chinois chicken salad. Photo by Jenn Duncan/Duncan Artistry
III by Wolfgang Puck interior
III by Wolfgang Puck barbecue salmon salad
III by Wolfgang Puck chinois chicken salad

Discriminating Med Center diners now have an exciting new option, thanks to a legendary chef’s return to the Houston area.

III (“Three”) by Wolfgang Puck has quietly opened in the John P. McGovern Commons Building — familiar for its eye-catching waterfall centerpiece— taking over the former Third Coast space.

Marked by Puck’s innovative takes on cuisine and customer experience, III offers up seasonally inspired fare with ingredients sourced from local farmers and purveyors. Menus feature comfort food with Puck’s signature global influences, plus a beverage program showcasing specialty cocktails, wines, and beers with a few local Houston brews.

About those menus: Lunch, a popular draw at the Medical Center, features a variety of soups, salads, sandwiches, and entrees. Selections include tortilla soup, a ground brisket and short rib burger with 12-month aged cheddar, and a flat iron steak with blistered peppers and spicy red chimichurri. Healthy options include a grilled salmon salad with unagi glaze and pickled vegetables.

As for dinner, III boasts Puck’s signature — and globally inspired — dishes including pork Wienerschnitzel with Austrian potatoes and dill cucumber and steamed Gulf snapper “Hong Kong”style with jasmine rice and chili soy.

Meanwhile, happy hour fans can delight in an eclectic mix of snacks such as smoked brisket sliders with caramelized shallot jam, parmesan arancini with spicy tomato sauce, and crispy chicken wing karaage with yuzo kosho honey.

Chef Ronald Proano heads up the  kitchen; he most recently served at The Ritz-Carlton in Washington D.C., as executive banquet chef at Tilman Fertitta’s Post Oak Hotel, and Miami’s Mandarin Oriental and Ritz-Carlton hotels, according to a press release.

Apropos for the Medical Center, III will provide private dining spaces for social events and corporate meetings with menus by the in-house culinary team and the acclaimed Wolfgang Puck Catering.

“We are delighted to announce our partnership with the world-renowned Wolfgang Puck Catering,” said William McKeon, TMC’s president and CEO said in a statement. “Our restaurant, III by Wolfgang Puck, will provide a tremendous experience for TMC employees, visitors, and the Greater Houston community to connect in the heart of our medical city. We are excited to welcome the Wolfgang Puck Catering team to our campus.”

Houstonians will recall that Puck, a celebrity favorite, previously operated his Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Express chain in the Westchase and Sugar Land areas in the early 2000s. III, then, marks what could be considered a celebrated return of a globally acclaimed chef, one famous for catering buzzy events such as Oscars parties.

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III by Wolfgang Puck is located on the sixth floor of the John P. McGovern Commons Building, 6550 Bertner Ave. Hours are Monday-Friday, 11 am-3 pm (lunch); 3 pm-5 pm (happy hour); and 5 pm-9 pm (dinner). For reservations, call 713-749-0400 or visit III online.