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 and relocations
Yi Peng Thai Dining has opened in CityCentre. Led by husband-and-wife chef duo Junnajet “Jett” and Jira Hurapa (formerly of Songkran Thai Kitchen), the restaurant is named for an annual sky lantern festival in the city of Chiang Mai that celebrates the full moon. Notable dishes include crispy soft shell crab with jungle chili glaze, Northern-style, braised curry beef short ribs, and chicken with cashew nuts and red bell peppers. The restaurant opens at 11 am Tuesday-Sunday.
Dish Society will relocate its restaurant in Katy’s LaCenterra development to the former Blue Fish location at 2643 Commercial Center Blvd., Ste. B350. Expected to open in February, the move will allow the restaurant to increase capacity to 100 diners inside and another 60 on a partially covered patio. It will also update the look to match its upcoming location in the former Palace Lanes on Bellaire Boulevard.
“Ultimately, a more spacious restaurant is much easier to navigate,” founder and CEO Aaron Lyons said in a statement. “I think this move will open the door to more frequent visits from existing customers as well as broaden our customer base.”
Tasos Katsaounis has left White Elm Cafe Bakery to focus on Bread Man Baking Co, the restaurant announced. Named for the street in Dallas where Katsaounis grew up, White Elm will continue under the leadership of co-owners Chico Ramirez and Scott Simonson and Stacy Crowe-Simonson. The Memorial-area restaurant opened earlier this year with a bistro menu created by the Simonsons and pastries developed by Katsaounis.
“I’m humbled to have been an inspiration behind the White Elm concept and I wish the restaurant nothing but success, Katsaounis said in a statement.
Executive pastry chef Jamie Orlacchio, a veteran of restaurants such as Etoile and La Table, will oversee White Elm’s pastry program going forward.
Turner’s, restaurateur Ben Berg’s throwback supper club, has opened for lunch Tuesday-Friday through December 24. The menu includes a cheeseburger made with wagyu beef and Raclette, a classic Reuben, and a Cobb salad. Those looking to splurge may opt for king crab Louie, a 22-ounce wagyu ribeye, or caviar service.
Brennan’s has also expanded its lunch service for Tuesday-Friday during December. Chef Joey Chavez’s menu includes turtle soup, shrimp remoulade, a fried catfish po’boy, and shrimp and grits.
Downtown steakhouse Guard and Grace is open for lunch Wednesday-Friday. The menu includes a tidy selection of salads, sandwiches (including a burger and grilled chicken), and steaks. Customers may get their lunch for either dine-in or to-go.
Loch Bar, a seafood restaurant in River Oaks District, is offering all-you-can-eat stone crabs every Tuesday in December. At $85, it’s a definite splurge, but that’s just part of the fun.
Former Houston Prima ballerina Lauren Anderson is the latest local celebrity to participate in Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys’ H-Town Originals campaign. The “Tutu Turkey,” a combination of turkey breast, grilled onions and bell peppers, sliced brie, mayo, and spicy mustard on whole wheat bread, is available all month for $8.95. Antone’s will donate 50 percent of the sandwich’s proceeds to Houston Ballet’s Education and Community Engagement program.
Mastrantos chef Tony Castillo has partnered with Tacos a Go Go for this month’s Taco Tuesday Team-Up special. The chorizo carbonara taco includes house-made bucatini pasta, chorizo, garlic, onion, Taleggio cheese, queso fresco, cilantro, and egg yolk. A portion of proceeds benefits local women’s health non-profit I’ll Have What She’s Having.