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Uptown Park's new spot
A prime location in the Uptown Park development has been reborn as Houston’s newest restaurant devoted to seafood, steaks, and more. Duchess is now open daily for lunch and dinner.
Located in the former Belvedere nightclub space, Duchess describes itself as a casual, all-day restaurant devoted to coastal cuisine. The owners — Peggy and Daniel Chang, the husband-and-wife duo behind Uptown Sushi and Sushi Rebel, and their business partner Roveen Abante (Conservatory Galleria, Sushi Rebel, etc.) — worked with consulting chef Omar Pereney to craft a menu that’s inspired by a diverse set of influences from Asian, the Mediterranean, and South America.
“Having the wood-fired grill was at the heart of the menu,” co-owner Peggy Chang tells CultureMap. “We are true foodies and live to dine. Over time the menu evolved, as we thought of what would be a great addition to Uptown.”
The savory sections are divided into cold appetizers, hot appetizers, skewers, and mains. Choices range from red snapper crudo and beef tartare to grilled octopus, grilled salmon skewers with honey garlic-lemongrass glaze, bucatani with mussels, and pan-seared snapper. Those looking to indulge may opt for caviar with gougeres or a decadent roasted seafood platter of Oysters Rockeller, mussels, lobster tail, octopus, and tiger prawns. For dessert, try the Duchess Rose, a flower-shaped creation made with white chocolate mousse, strawberry compote, fresh strawberries, and more.
“This is an all-day menu great for lunch with coworkers and friends, cocktails, or date nights,” Chang says. “It just works in our opinion for diners – everyone will find something or even several things they find appealing. We have already seen guests sharing several plates when they can’t decide on one. It’s like tapas-plus — shareable plates that have some heft. I think they are having fun with Duchess and so are we.”
For cocktails, the trio turned to bar specialist Matthew Medina. The Clarkwood veteran’s cocktail menu offers twists on classics such as an Old Fashioned, a Vesper, a gin and tonic, and a paloma made with hibiscus-infused tequila. The Scorpion Kiss, pictured below, combines mezcal with habanero bitters and cassis for a sweet and spicy kick. “He has a fun, inventive approach to cocktailing,” Chang says.
Careful, it might sting.Courtesy of Duchess
The interior has been transformed with jewel tones on the walls, plush banquettes, and a revamped bar. Chang says the goal is to feel equally cozy and welcoming during daytime and night.
“The colors helped drive the design – inviting and welcoming, not fussy,” Chang says. “We wanted a place where men and women want to gather and feel comfortable. It’s a balance of clean lines, fabrics – everyone fits in.”