The heat from the sweltering sun is undeniable as the dog days of summer approach. In lieu of hot bites, fried food and hot pots, chill out with refreshingly raw eats and icy sweet treats.
We've rounded up 10 spots to cool down during the warmest of days with some chill dishes.
1751 Sea and Bar
Escape the heat and cozy up to the raw bar at 1751, where a revolving menu of offerings — including oysters on the half shell — are presented on ice. Starting off with a salad is wise here — the pickled green tomato salad topped with crab is picture-perfect and vibrant in flavor, while the seafood salad offers a generous helping of scallops, meaty lobster, shrimp, and lump crab.
Back by popular demand — and just in time for the sizzling hot long weekend — Bebidas has relaunched its SNOWBALLS x Bebidas pop-up, a grab-and-go snowball stand attached to the restaurant. The menu of shaved ice lists organic syrups which guests can choose from, and the colorful installation set against the natural landscape makes for a pristine photo-op for kids and adults alike.
Find all of the signature seafood plates at newbie Flying Fish in The Heights. A perfect summer day may include kicking back with a 6 pack bucket and a dozen order of chilled boiled shrimp. Ceviche and shrimp cocktail are also great starters, and if choosing a fried basket — there is catfish, frog legs, crispy chicken, and so much more — opt for a helping of cool coleslaw on the side.
Goode Co. Armadillo Palace
Live music in the backyard at Goode Co. Armadillo Palace can be a festive affair — and a hot one. Start with something cold and classic like Goode’s campechana extra, a heaping serving of chilled seafood mixed with diced avocado, pico and fire-roasted Anaheim chilis before moving on to cocktails and beer. And now, the Goode cocktails are come to you with the launch of Yonderlust, a traveling bar made available for special events and parties.
Fresh off of her win for one of the best culinary books of 2018 by The International Association of Culinary Professionals, author and mixologist Alba Huerta has shaken things up at Julep, revealing a fun new menu of bites and bevs. East and West Coast oysters on the half shell can still be found here, but think outside the box and opt for the Bordeaux-style sausage and oyster plate, which pairs raw oysters on ice with boudin and a baguette for a next level snack.
Forego a bottomless basket of chips and salsa at Killen’s TMX and opt for a cold starter like the Campechana Acapulco. Chunks of Gulf shrimp, crab, and octopus are tossed with creamy avocado and generously dressed in an orange Fanta cocktail sauce for a refreshing burst of flavor in each bite. Pair with an icy, salt-rimmed marg — TMX offers a frozen swirl! — for optimum enjoyment.
At this Heights hangout helmed by executive chef Bobby Matos, the spotlight is on Gulf Coast gems of all types, specifically raw oysters on the half shell. During happy hour from 5-6 pm, they are on special for just a buck each, and also, on the freshly minted Late Night menu, available Friday and Saturday until 2 am. Cool down with a dozen (or two) and save room for a vanilla and Nutella soft serve.
Former Top Chef France finalist Kevin D’Andrea melds international flavors with classic French cuisine at this proper Montrose bistro during lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. In addition to a number of cold plates like the sea bass ceviche made bright with lime and baby watercress radish and tuna niçoise salad dressed in lemon vinaigrette, the young chef impresses with a dessert menu made up of cool sweet treats like decadent chocolate mousse and a chilled rice pudding topped with nuts and a caramel drizzle — a recipe passed down to him by his grandmother.
You can get ice any old place, but at Justin Yu and Bobby Heugel’s new Heights hot spot, sample the And I Mean Ice, a clay-aged Negroni presented over a rock for a perfectly chilled sip every time. Cold plates are given equal thought, as in the chilled ‘Royal Red’ shrimp, served with the skin and heads on over ice, and paired with a white cocktail sauce.
Milk & Sugar Creamery
This intimate ice cream shop on lower Westheimer has been a smash hit thanks to its creative flavors that typically include a mix-in or two. Consider the City That Never Sleeps, which features coffee and pretzel-flavored ice cream with chocolate chips, or the Cereal Milk that adds toasted Frosted Flakes. Staying open until midnight on Friday and Saturday makes it a great option for an after-dinner treat prior to heading to nearby bars like Camerata, Poison Girl, and Goodnight Charlie's.