After three rounds of voting in the CultureMap Houston Tastemaker Awards Best New Restaurant bracket, it's time for the matchup everyone predicted from the start to determine a winner: Pax Americana versus Common Bond.
Wait. What do you mean they both lost in the first round? How is that possible?
Turning to the actual final matchup, it would have been almost impossible to predict that Prohibition Supperclub & Bar, the downtown restaurant that features "nostalgic and decadent fare" and burlesque shows on the weekends, would square off against Tout Suite, the all-day cafe and bakery that's been a boon to EaDo and the Second Ward.
Yet, here we are.
Credit Prohibition for emerging as one of downtown's most exciting dining destinations. Under the direction of chefs Ben McPherson and Matt Wommack, Prohibition has evolved into an establishment that serves ingredient-driven, seasonal, modern Southern cuisine like smoked fried chicken, a variety of roasted oysters and innovative vegetable dishes (try the kobacha squash with a fermented, kombucha-style sauce).
Bar director (and Tastemakers Bartender of the Year nominee) Lainey Collum has brought her experiences from places like The Pass & Provisions and Hay Merchant to Prohibition's beverage program, which features both innovative cocktails and a well-chosen wine list.
As one of the few independent establishments to thrive in chain-heavy CityCentre, Sweet has been a good success story for owners Annie Le and Sandy Tran. But nothing about the small bakery's success with cupcakes and macarons could have prepared diners to expect their success with Tout Suite.
Open from morning until midnight every day of the week, Tout Suite serves a variety of needs: Grab-and-go coffee shop, sit-down destination for lunch and brunch, flexible space with lots of outlets for students who are studying and more. With plans to add beer and wine, Le and Tran are on their way to making the cafe a local institution.
Both are exciting new establishments that have raised the standards for dining in Houston. Polls are open until Monday at midnight. Vote now.
Tickets for the Tastemaker Awards party on May 13 at Silver Street Studios are sold out, but there will be 50 General Admission tickets available at the door on a first come, first served basis for $50 each.