14 things to know
14 things to know in Houston food right now: Openings, closings, and a sweet oyster deal
Editor’s note: Houston’s restaurant scene moves pretty fast. In order to prevent CultureMap readers from missing anything, let’s stop to look around at all the latest news to know.
Openings, closings, and coming attractions
The saga of El Tiempo 1308 Cantina will finally come to an end on November 11 when the restaurant closes (for real this time), owner Roland Laurenzo announced. Sadly, the fiesta going away party it had originally scheduled for July 31 will not be taking place after all. All employees will be offered positions at the company’s other locations.
For those who aren’t current on CultureMap’s fashion coverage, here’s an item worth noting. Fiori Spa is getting into the restaurant business as part of its $2.5 renovation project. When it opens November 2, Ivy Bar & Bistro will serve Italian-inspired small plates with a full range of beverage options curated by food and beverage manager Tate Drennen (Sterling House, Lumen Lounge). Late night hours, a Sunday jazz brunch, and an attractive setting should combine to make it a welcome addition for Galleria, Tanglewood, and Briargrove residents.
Austin-based Tex-Mex restaurant Chuy’s opened its newest location in Vintage Park (20322 Tomball Pkwy.) on October 16. That gives Houston-area diners 10 locations for creamy jalapeno dip, chicka-chicka boom-boom, and all of their other signature dishes.
Speaking of Tex-Mex options in places that pedantic commenters will complain about being “not Houston,” Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen has opened in New Caney (21576 US Hwy 59). As part of the grand opening festivities, Gringo’s owner Russell Ybarra and JJ Isbell of Texas TransEastern (TTE) revealed a tanker truck wrapped with graphics that promotes Camp Hope, a facility that helps veterans and their families recover from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Pho Saigon opened its seventh Houston-area location in Pearland (11625 Broadway St.) last week. Houstonia opines that the namesake soup at the new location delivers the same depth of flavor as the beloved Midtown outpost.
Japanese barbecue concept Gyu-Kaku recently opened its third Houston-area location in Sugar Land (1531 Highway 6 S.). The concept, in which diners choose from a wide array of meats and grill them at their tables, has proven popular in both Midtown and the Memorial area. A fourth location is slated for the area near Willowbrook Mall, according to Eater Houston.
Looks like Jane & John Dough has shuttered; the Tomball bakery’s website and social media pages are still up, but it’s phone number is no longer in service and posts on social media indicate it has closed. With its Stumptown coffee and well-made baked goods, the cafe had a brief run as one of the suburb’s true hidden gems. At least former co-owner Jane Wild has found a good job as the executive chef of The Dunlavy.
One of the most reliable destinations for sushi in The Woodlands has closed, Masa Sushi & Robata Bar served its last meal on October 21. Keep an eye on the restaurant’s Facebook page for the opportunity to buy plateware, art, and other artifacts from the restaurant.
Midtown revelers will have to wait a little bit longer to party at Jack & Ginger’s.The Irish pub from Austin-based Union Venture Group, has been delayed to early November. Expect 77 Degrees, its companion rooftop bar, to be similarly behind schedule. In the meantime, don’t miss CultureMap’s exclusive video sneak peek at both spaces.
Other news and notes
The Memorial location of Goode Co. Kitchen & Cantina now serves breakfast on the weekends. Available Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 am to 12 pm, the menu includes all the usual Mexican egg dishes (huevos rancheros, migas, chilaquiles, etc) alongside pancakes, breakfast tacos, and Goode Co.’s signature pecan waffle.
On November 13, Eight Row Flint will welcome special guests Erin Smith and Patrick Feges (Feges BBQ) for a whole hog pig roast. The pork will be served with sides prepared by Claire Smith and Kent Domas of Alice Blue, Anita Jaisinghani of Pondicheri, Kathy Elkins of Harold's and Keisha Griggs of Ate Boutique Kitchen and Bocage Catering. All proceeds from each $25 ticket will be donated to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to assist in Hurricane Florence relief.
B&B Butchers sommelier Lexey Johnson doesn’t host many wine dinners, which is what makes November 7 Italian Wine Dinner with Donatella Cinelli Colombini so special. “I fell in love when I was in Italy last spring. Donatella is this tiny little woman with so much chutzpah,” Johnson tells CultureMap. “Her wines are as compelling as the personalities making them, the estate is stunning, and the stories are phenomenal.”
The five-course meal with pairings costs $190 (tax and tip are additional). Reserve a seat by calling 713-862-1814.
The General Public in CityCentre has a can’t-miss deal for oyster lovers. Get six Malpeques from Prince Edward Island paired with a glass of Prince de Lise Burt Blanc de Blancs for $18. “Prince Edward Island is known for its oysters that are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals and, well…let’s just say they have some other benefits we think our guests will enjoy,” owner Kyle Noonan said in a statement.
Off the map
Houston Public Media has released a trailer for the Houston Cookbook, its new show where chef David Cordua learns about different cuisines from the chefs who serve them. See the full show on Sunday, November 18 at 5:30 pm.