One of Houston's most treasured restaurants is constantly evolving. Tony's in Greenway Plaza was founded by Tony Vallone in 1965, and recently debuted a fresh new face in the kitchen. Twenty-six-year-old culinary rock star Austin Waiter is now head chef, and the Culinary Institute of America-trained chef has added some new creativity to the menu in more ways than one.
Or you could say menus, since Tony's has introduced three new ones that span everything from affordable lunches to a highly appealing happy hour to an approachable chef's tasting menu. No longer is Tony's a place you need to wait for an anniversary or birthday to visit — it's a little more relaxed these days, but still with a focus on incredible food, service, and atmosphere.
An express lunch has been designed with everyone in mind, with an array of elegant salads, fresh seafood dishes, and homemade pastas at midday-appropriate price points (as in, two courses for $19). A flaked salmon salad offers charred cucumber, avocado, and grape tomatoes, while the menu also features Tony’s Famous Chili, served tableside.
If you need to delay your visit to Tony's until after work hours, you're in luck. The bistro happy hour, served from 4-6 pm on weekdays, has some of the most unbelievable deals in town. You can score Five Star Ranch wagyu cheeseburger sliders, corn raviolini, duck fat favata e bruschetta, or Italian-style fried zucchini — all for $5 each.
Pair those with a cocktail or any of the 1,100 bottles — yes, more than a thousand — on Tony's extensive wine list, and you might never want to leave. Keep an eye out for the 75 bottles under $75, an exceptionally good deal for established oenophiles and aspiring wine experts alike.
Come back for dinner and you can order the chef's tasting menu. It's a multi-course selection that you can rearrange into a three-course, five-course, or seven-course meal, all with optional wine pairings. The three-course menu is only $49. If you have a hard time deciding between the hamachi crudo or the Alba white truffles, or can't choose between the Green Valley venison or the line-caught halibut, well, that's understandable. Better play it safe and get both (or bring a dining partner who doesn't mind sharing).
Tony's is also welcoming a younger crowd by having joined up with the Urbane Society, a members-only club for young professionals who sample fine-dining restaurants around Houston.
Don't be surprised if dishes from Tony's start popping up on your Instagram feed more — you can even follow Tony Vallone himself, or keep up to date on specials and news on the restaurant's Facebook page. Tony's is poised to become everyone's new favorite eatery, and you can be part of its delicious journey.