Anyone who hasn’t checked the Houston Restaurant Weeks website since it launched on July 15 may want to look again. While the site only launched with 143 locations, that number has swelled to 252 (as of Sunday).
Yes, the roster includes multiple outlets of popular restaurants — including five locations of The Union Kitchen, seven locations of Perry’s Steakhouse, and seven locations of El Tiempo — but it also includes several new and/or first-time participants. These new additions include restaurants owned by two of Houston’s best chefs — Ronnie Killen and Bryan Caswell — as well as a restaurant that doesn’t even open officially until August 1.
As always, when discussing Houston Restaurant Weeks, the month-long charity dining event that runs from August 1 until September 2, it’s important to remember that the participating restaurant will donate a set amount of money to the Houston Food Bank for every meal ordered (between $3 and $7). Those donations have added up to more than $2 million in each of the past couple of years. Not only do diners get a deal, but the event does a lot of good for the community.
Benjy Levit’s casual restaurant offers diners a diverse set of options on its three-course, $35 dinner menu. Lighter eaters might start with tomato burrata toast or summer gazpacho before moving on to ginger sausage-stuffed tofu or baked fish with green bean almandine. Those with heartier appetites should consider the chicken liver mousse followed by beef bourguignon with smashed potatoes or ricotta-stuffed chicken with potatoes. Tang soft serve provides a nod to Apollo 11, but we’ll stick with the classic mom’s chocolate cake for dessert. 5922 Washington Ave.
Decatur Bar & Pop-up Factory
Experience chef Evelyn Garcia’s Thai-inspired cuisine as part of a three-course, $35 dinner menu that includes one dish that’s both gluten-free and vegan in every course. Start with Thai spring salad, ceviche, or a crispy chicken wing. The entree choices are roasted vegetables in green curry, Thai-style fried fish, or pan-roasted pork chop. For dessert, select white chocolate panna cotta, Thai tea milk cake, or mango sticky rice. 2310 Decatur St.
Ronnie Killen’s Tex-Mex restaurant is serving HRW menus during lunch, brunch, and dinner (three courses, $35). Lunch keeps things classic with starter options like brisket queso and a short rib tamale plus entrees that include a classic Tex-Mex combination plate, carne asada with cheese enchilada, and grilled shrimp.
Dinner includes many of the restaurant’s most-popular dishes such as starters like chicharron pork belly and wood-grilled oysters and entrees that include barbacoa short rib, an enchilada trio, and grilled shrimp. Three dessert choices are available, but just get the churros. 9330 Broadway St. (Pearland)
Not only is this Malaysian restaurant in Katy delivering good value by offering four courses for $35, but each course also includes a vegetarian option. The first course consists of roti with one of three dips, while the second offers three different satay options, papaya salad with shrimp, or salt and pepper calamari. Entree options include three different curries (beef, vegetable, or chicken) or coconut prawns. Finally, wrap up the meal with French toast, pandan ice cream, or kaya pancake (described as an Indian flatbread). 23119 Colonial Pkwy. (Katy)
After almost two years of being closed for renovations following damage suffered during Hurricane Harvey, chef Bryan Caswell’s acclaimed seafood restaurant is open and participating in HRW for the first time. Start with pickled shrimp with a scallion pancake, the “Romanesco & Romesco” cauliflower salad, or collard green pie. Caswell’s legendary crispy skin snapper leads the entree choices, but slow-baked salmon with meyer lemon risotto and roasted tenderloin with sweet potatoes are also available. Finish the meal with a boozy milkshake, pistachio pound cake, or buttermilk panna cotta. 2600 Travis St.
Head to the Briargrove location of chef Jason Giagrande’s coffee shop and cafe to sample its three-course, $35 dinner menu. Begin the meal with an heirloom tomato salad, blue crab cakes, or crispy pork belly. A wagyu coulotte steak looks like a tempting entree, as do the double-cut pork chop, shrimp and grits, and ricotta-filled rotolo pasta with short rib ragu. For dessert, select pineapple upside-down cake, vanilla panna cotta, or chocolate pecan cake. 5695 San Felipe St.
Rudyard’s British Pub
This Montrose bar’s food offerings have been invigorated by the addition of chef Anthony Calleo (Pi Pizza). His three-course, $35 dinner menu starts with Hami melon salad, Caesar salad, or meatballs. Entree options include duck confit enchiladas, chicken parmesan with bucatini pasta, and “a really fancy sandwich” of prosciutto and robiola on homemade black currant bread. For dessert, choose from sweet tea pickled peach pie, Campari ice cream, or turkey fat caramel ice cream. 2010 Waugh Dr.
This newly-opened Mediterranean restaurant on the 43rd floor of the Wedge International Tower has a two-course lunch menu. Start with grilled artichoke, strato salad with mint sumac vinaigrette, or gnocchi with spring peas and Manchego. Entree options include market fish, chicken with vegetables, or a lamb chorizo burger. 1415 Louisiana St.
Tribute at the Houstonian
Once known as Olivette, the luxurious hotel renovated its restaurant and rebranded it with a Gulf Coast, Texan, and Mexican influences. The three-course, $35 dinner menu starts with tortilla soup, tomato salad, or wood-roasted oysters with chorizo butter. Entree options consist of a vegan hominy and black bean fricassee, wood-grilled redfish with cascabel salsa, or grilled chicken with grilled vegetables. For dessert, choose from tres leches, bourbon pecan pie, or roasted banana cheesecake. 111 N Post Oak Ln.
This more upscale successor to Spaghetti Warehouse opens August 1, just in time to participate in HRW. Chef Jaime Salazar (Brasserie 19) is serving both a three-course, $35 dinner and a two-course, $20 lunch.
Lunch options include salad, soup, or fried mozzarella to start; entree choices include four cheese ravioli, seafood risotto, and a steak sandwich. Dinner features some of the same choices, but the entree options expand to include pappardelle with short rib ragu, pork chop with polenta, and filet mignon (upgrade to an 18-ounce ribeye for $12). For dessert, get panna cotta or chocolate mousse. 7620 Katy Fwy., Ste. 305.