up in the sky
Decadent new see-and-be-seen restaurant opens in Uptown with nightlife vibe and French-Japanese fare
Houston has never seen a restaurant quite like Ciel. Opening near River Oaks District this Friday, December 16, the restaurant mixes a high level of culinary ambition with a high energy, see-and-be-seen atmosphere.
Partners Ryan Henry, Adel Sadek, and Fasl Ty have created a stylish, 8,000-square-foot restaurant that’s inspired by the coastline of the Côte d’Azur. Named for the French word for “sky,” the interior features a 360-degree Barrisol Mirror ceiling fixture — the first in Houston, according to a release – that also helps with the room’s sound levels. Other interior details include imported Italian porcelain floors and marbled tables, blue velvet booths, and a hand-painted statue of Zeus.
A representative couldn’t provide specific detail on the nightlife aspects of Ciel’s experience, but stated that diners should expect pop-up performances throughout the evening that could include singers or dancers. A DJ booth adds to the high energy atmosphere.
The restaurant seats 240 people inside, including 14 at its 35-foot, marble-topped bar, and offers a 40 person private dining room. Its 140 seat patio will open in the spring.
Turning to the menu, the restaurant offers an upscale mix of French and Japanese-inspired dishes. Meals at Ciel could begin with either nigiri or maki rolls such as king crab nigiri with black truffle, wagyu beef and lobster roll, or salmon belly nigiri with smoked trout roe. Shareable plates include karaage, tuna and salmon tartare, and grilled octopus.
The French side of the menu shows in the entrees and side dishes. Choices include wild mushroom risotto, chicken with roasted mushrooms, and ribeye with bone marrow custard and Bordelaise. Pair them with smoked mac and cheese, asparagus with yuzu bernaise, roasted Brussels sprouts, and more.
Leading the kitchen is executive chef Joseph Geiskopf. A veteran of Los Angeles restaurants such as Red Medicine and Vespertine, he brings a focus on sourcing both high quality and sustainable ingredients that’s reflected in Ciel’s use of beef from Texas ranch Dean and Peelers, free range Jidori chicken, and non-GMO caviar.
“CIEL is an alluring, elegant and festive space designed for an impeccable dining, gathering and entertaining experience in Houston,” Sadek said in a statement. “We painstakingly selected every detail in the interior to create a space built for unstuffy fine dining with exceptional cuisine, stylish presentations, and beautiful art not found anywhere else in the city that will feel like a portal to a glamorous, fun-filled European getaway.”
Ciel is open for dinner Wednesday-Sunday. It is located at 4411 San Felipe Rd.