take the tour
Local Foods owner serves up French bistro with caviar service, regional classics, and a duck-short rib burger in Rice Village
A veteran Houston restaurateur will open his new project next week. Eau Tour, Benjy Levit’s take on a French bistro, opens March 21.
Located in the former Thai Spice space above Levit’s Local Foods in Rice Village, Eau Tour is an intimate, second floor restaurant with seating for 60 in the dining room and 11 at the bar. Designer Brittany Vaughan of Garnish Designs, who also created the interior of Levit’s wine bar Lees Den, gave the space an art deco look that includes custom stained glass windows and restoring the original terrazzo floors, which date back to the space’s history as a bank in the ‘60s, according to a release.
The menu, developed by executive chef Kent Domas (The Classic, Alice Blue) and Lees Den chef Maria Gonzales is built around the restaurant’s wood burning oven. Dishes include baked mussels with snail butter, steak frites, seared snapper with cauliflower meuneire, and seared duck breast a la orange. A double cheeseburger is built around a patty that blends beef short rib with duck.
Meals at Eau Tower start with an extensive selection of cold and raw seafood dishes such as oysters, marinated crab claws, scallop crudo, and tuna tartare. An on-trend caviar service offers four different varieties along with accompaniments that include housemade potato chips (on the menu as kennebec gaufrettes).
Caviar service with accoutrements.Photo by Jenn Duncan
Eau Tower’s wine list features bottles from France and French-style American wines. Similar to Lees Den, they’re priced at a lower markup than typical restaurants. Those who prefer cocktails will find a few twists on classics, including a mezcal-based take on the French 75, as well as non-alcoholic options.
“Our goal is to open an intimate space with a refined but not too serious dinner party atmosphere with food meant to be passed around accompanied with fun tunes”, Levit said. “Eau Tour is a spot for the community to hang and enjoy happy habits.”
The new restaurant joins Gratify Neighborhood Bistro and Aaron Bludorn’s seafood restaurant Navy Blue as French-influenced concepts in Rice Village. Add in PS21, Master Chef of France Philippe Schmit’s new restaurant in Upper Kirby, and it appears a new wave of Francophilia may have Houstonians humming the tune to “Oh, Champs-Élysées.”