The news that downtown Houston's Hotel Icon would be the first Texas property to join Marriott's luxury Autograph Collection brand hit the wires earlier this month, but the hotel threw a packed launch party Oct. 18 to make it official.
Owners including NBA great Magic Johnson also used the occasion to announce the hotel's new restaurant and lobby design. Gone is Voice, to be replaced by a new Gulf-coast-centric concept called Line & Lariat.
As the name implies, the menu will focus on "modern Texas cuisine," sourcing locally when possible. TQLA's Tommy Birdwell was brought in to consult on the menu, and David Luna, formerly of Canopy and Flora & Muse, will serve as executive chef. The restaurant will be managed by Denver-based Sage Restaurant Group.
According to Sage senior vice president David Hoemann, the Line & Lariat menu is designed to appeal to both hotel guests and downtown workers. The full menu was in place at Icon Friday, though the planned $5 million renovation of the space and new signage will not be completed until the summer of 2012.
Icon's chefs were already serving samples of a few signature dishes from the new menu at the bash, including Gulf shrimp and crawfish grits, crab cakes with spicy remoulade, cornmeal-crusted fried Gulf oysters, pulled-pork sliders and beef tenderloin.
The interior update by Kimberley Miller of Design Duncan Miller Ullmann will include some Western touches to make Line & Lariat "as comfortable as a worn pair of boots," with a rustic palette of coppers and clay reds as well as "ironwork, large scale art features, dramatic lighting and upscale materials."