On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," Avondale Food & Wine owner Mary Clarkson joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss the latest Houston restaurant news and their recent meal at Turner's, the ultra-luxurious supper club opened by proprietor Ben Berg and chef Robert Del Grande.
In the news of the week segment, their discussion begins with an examination of Rise Rooftop, the new nightclub that will open with a $1 million retractable roof. From there, they assess the prospects of Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House, a new seafood restaurant that will be led by former Brennan's chef Joe Cervantez. They also talk about chef Dawn Burrell's departure from Kulture, BlendIn Coffee Club's expansion to a new location in Montrose, and the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards best new restaurant tournment.
In the restaurant of the week segment, the duo share impressions of Turner's. Located below The Annie Cafe, Turner's takes some of its inspiration from legendary New York restaurants such as the Polo Club. Chef Del Grande's menu features updated interpretations of retro dishes such as artichoke soup and lobster Thermidor. Tableside touches abound; for example, even the wedge salad has bacon and blue cheese that are both sliced at the table.
All that luxury comes at a price point that puts Turner's in splurge territory. Despite the economic slowdown triggered by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and a downturn in the oil market, the hosts agree that even expensive restaurants can survive if they provide a level of customer service that's as high as Turner's does.
After Clarkson departs, Sandler concludes the episode with some brief thoughts on a recent to-go meal from Costa Brava Bistro. Located in Bellaire, the Spanish restaurant recently introduced to-go meals for two such as the lamb chops that Sandler sampled.