First Taste

Patio season gets a bocce boost: Zimm's Little Deck opens with big appeal

Patio season gets a bocce boost: Zimm's Little Deck opens with big appeal

Zimm's Little Deck
Zimm's Little Deck opened quietly on Monday.
Zimm's Little Deck
Moroccan leg of lamb rich boy with arugula pesto and curry slaw.
Zimm's Little Deck
The Zimm's deck awaits. Photo by Sarah Rufca
Zimm's Little Deck
The beef tips and fried oyster rich boy — just try not to eat every bite.
Zimm's Little Deck
Zimm's Little Deck
Zimm's Little Deck
Zimm's Little Deck
Zimm's Little Deck
Zimm's Little Deck

Patio season in Houston lasts about 10 months, and Zimm's Little Deck is ready to help you take advantage of the extended outdoor weather.

Zimm's is owned by second generation restaurateurs Dan and Mark Zimmerman — dad Steve Zimmerman is the proprietor of La Colombe d'Or.

Inside the narrow restaurant the walls have an old Tuscan feel, with retro Italian and French posters on display and a large central bar that fronts an open kitchen.

The menu is simple yet original, full of down-home Texas-Cajun dishes like a crazy-good chicken sausage and gumbo and a slew of inventive gourmet po'boys — they call them rich boys, natch — by chef Jeramie Robison.

The best of the rich boys might be the one with beef tips and fried oysters layered together with a slightly sweet veal demi glace. There's also a rich, flavorful Moroccan leg of lamb with arugula pesto and curry slaw rich boy, a traditional roast beef and gravy po-boy and an awesome fried shrimp and remoulade po-boy, all served in fresh French bread from French Riviera.

There's also an oyster bar with an in-house shucker and an edited selection of draft and canned craft beers and and a wine list divided into "cheap" "decent" and "good" bottles, all available by the glass.

But the main draw is the expansive decked, currently outfitted with a few tables and soon to host games of pétanque, or French bocce. Mark Zimmerman says there's room for at least three courts and that they'll be ready to play on in a few weeks.

Sandwiches, wine and a game of petanque: On a sunny day, Zimm's is going to be hard to beat.