10 things to know

10 things to know in Houston food right now: Openings, closings, and steakhouse love

10 things to know in Houston food: Openings, closings, and steaks

El Tiempo Webster frozen margarita
El Tiempo has opened in The Woodlands. Courtesy photo
Houston, Truffle Chef Charity Challenge, January 2016, Le Mistral chef David Denis
Chef David Denis has closed Le Mistral. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Pappas Bros Steakhouse exterior
Pappas Bros is among America's top steakhouses.  Courtesy of Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
El Tiempo Webster frozen margarita
Houston, Truffle Chef Charity Challenge, January 2016, Le Mistral chef David Denis
Pappas Bros Steakhouse exterior

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

One of Houston's most well-regarded French restaurants has served its last foie gras torchon. Energy Corridor favorite Le Mistral closed on Saturday December 21, Houston Food Finder reports. “After 18 years, we had a good run,” chef-owner David Denis tells the website. 

Houston’s newest Texadelphia has opened in Katy at 1321 N. Westgreen Blvd. This location features a second floor “sky bar” as well as a sports bar component that includes plenty of TVs for taking in all the games. Franchisee Summit Interests I, LP will also open another restaurant next year in the Memorial area as part of Moody National Development’s new project on the site of a former Toys R Us. 

Moku Bar has opened its location in The Heights at 2914 White Oak Dr. Formerly a vendor in the Conservatory food hall, the restaurant serves poke, tempura, udon, and musubi. Having its own space allows Moku Bar to offer sake as well. 

The Woodlands has a new option for fajitas and margaritas. El Tiempo Cocina, a franchised version of El Tiempo Cantina, is now open in the Indian Springs Center at 10777 Kuykendahl Rd. 

Owned by father and son Roland and Dominic Laurenzo, son and grandson of legendary Houston restaurant Ninfa Laurenzo, the restaurant serves an extensive menu of upscale Tex-Mex dishes. Judging by the raves in the Woodlands Area Foodies Facebook group for Sunday night’s soft opening, the restaurant is upholding the standards of its nine Houston-area siblings. 

Hubcap Grill will be coming to Pearland. Owner Ricky Craig has leased the former Big Humphrey Pizza space at 5627 Broadway for his sixth Houston-area location. Known for its creative combinations like the Muffaletta Burger and the Philly Cheesesteak Burger, the new Hubcap will open in early spring 2020, according to Craig’s Facebook post

A popular Dallas-based restaurant has selected Katy for its next Houston-area location. Gloria's Latin Cuisine will join the Katy Grand development in fall 2020, real estate developer NewQuest Properties announced. Known for its lively atmosphere with DJs on the weekend, Gloria's operates 20 locations across Texas.

Upcoming events

The sixth annual Truffle Masters event will feature over two dozen chefs serving decadent dishes. This year, the event will be held at downtown C. Baldwin hotel. Participants include Aaron Bludorn (formerly of Cafe Boulud), Austin Simmons (Tris), Drake Leonards (Eunice), Kiran Verma (Kiran’s), Luis Roger (BCN/MAD), and more. Tickets are discounted through January 2 — general admission, $155 (regularly $195); VIP, $255 (regularly $295); and patron VIP, $355 (regularly $395). A portion of the proceeds will benefit local non-profit Second Servings of Houston. 

Chef Fest returns for its fourth year on March 29, 2020. The event, which is devoted to spotlighting local ingredients, will feature 10 chefs, including Christine Ha (The Blind Goat), Brandon Silva (The Kirby Group), Erin Smith (Feges BBQ), and Sasha Grumman (Rosalie Italian Soul). Billed by organizers as “a full day of eating, drinking, dancing, farm tours, and hands-on experiences,” future attendees can take 25-perfect off tickets ($100) by using code CHEFFESTHOLIDAY through December 31. 

Off the map

Houston remains one of the country’s top destinations for steak, according to two national publications. The Daily Meal ranks Pappas Bros. fourth on its list of America’s top 50 steakhouse, and Killen’s Steakhouse comes in eighth. The Robb Report includes both of those restaurants, as well as Georgia James, B&B Butchers, and the Denver location of Guard & Grace (its new Houston outpost just opened last month) on its list of the country’s top 25 steakhouses.