7 things to know
7 things to know in Houston food right now: Ben Berg's jazzy brunch, 11-course Korean steak dinners, and more
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 coming attractions
Urban Bird Hot Chicken has opened its sixth Houston-area location in Webster’s Baybrook Passage Shopping Center (19325 Gulf Freeway). The restaurant serves chicken tenders as sandwiches and baskets along with chicken and waffles and fries topped with chicken tenders. Diners may opt for one of six spice levels, everything from “Country” to “Fire in the Hole”
Twisted Oak Bar + Kitchen will open this summer in Montgomery’s Woodforest development. Co-owner Rommel Gonzalez, a veteran of Brennan’s of Houston and former general manager of Fig & Olive, plans to serve a wide-ranging menu grounded in American classics matched with an extensive selection of wine and spirits. It aims to offer an upscale environment with personal service.
“My lifelong dream of opening my own concept came to me over the years as I experienced many restaurants, bars and lounges throughout my travels in Europe and South America,” Gonzalez said. “I always wanted to open a concept that’s appealing to our Texas values but also gives you the sense of being anywhere in the world.”
People on the move
Minh Nguyen is the new general manager at CounterCommon Beerworks & Kitchen. Best known for his time as the owner of Cafe TH in EaDo, Nguyen steps in for opening chef Ignacio “Iggy” Olivera. One of the brewpub’s co-founders, Nguyen will lead a menu revamp that builds on its goals of serving a diverse menu inspired by Houston’s diverse cuisines.
“CCBK was created to provide a space in the Bellaire community where folks can share their love of beer and food with their friends and loved ones,” co-founder Jaime Robles said in a statement. “The city of Bellaire has embraced us, and that support is what fuels our ingenuity in the kitchen and brewhouse.”
Tell Minh that CultureMap says hi.Courtesy of CounterCommon Beer Works
The Lancaster Hotel has introduced afternoon tea service. Served Saturday and Sunday at 12 pm and 2:30 pm, the menu includes “Coronation Chicken” in a phyllo cup, smoked salmon, and cucumber dill. Sweets include freshly-baked scones, petit fours, and chocolate pot de creme. To create the proper experience, dishes are served on William Edwards English bone China.
Designed to pair well with a matinee in downtown’s theater district, reservations are required to participate. Tea costs $69 per adult and $59 for kids 12 and under.
Turner’s, Ben Berg luxurious, Galleria-area supper club, has introduced a jazz brunch. Served Thursday and Friday from 11 am - 3 pm, chef Ricardo Cerna’s menu includes Creole favorites such as gumbo, Eggs Sardou, and boudin balls. While diners sip classic New Orleans cocktails such as the Ramos Gin Fizz, Sazerac, and Vieux Carré, they’ll enjoy live jazz music from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm.
PS21, the new French restaurant in Upper Kirby led by two Frenchmen — chef Philippe Schmit and front of house specialist Sébastien Laval — has added lunch and brunch service to its offerings. Open for dinner since March, the restaurant is now open for lunch Tuesday - Saturday from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and Sunday brunch from 12-3 pm.
The menu includes a range of dishes, including Salade Niçoise, lobster salad, a wagyu cheeseburger that’s topped with brie, moules frites, and steak frites. A two-course, $22 business lunch consists of a vegetarian soup followed by a French Bouchon Plate that comes with a petit Croque Monsieur, petite Caesar salad, and risotto.
“We’re excited to get lunch service underway for the neighborhood,” Laval said in a statement. “We have had such a warm welcome from the community and look forward to providing a unique respite for diners as they shop, entertain, or need a quick and delicious bite during lunch break in the Upper Kirby area”
Karne Korean Steakhouse has introduced a chef’s tasting menu as a more curated experience than its a la carte menu. Described as a “love letter” to Korean cuisine by chef “KP” Nam, the 11-course, $160 offering includes dishes such as lobster and abalone, soba noodles, two steak courses — one with filet and wagyu chuck flap and another of smoked short rib — and pomegranate mousse. The tasting menu is available by reservation only and requires at least 24 hours advance notice.
Karne is the latest project from Jason Cho, the Houston restaurateur behind the Galleria-area location of Tom N Toms Coffee and acclaimed Korean fried chicken restaurant Dak & Bop. It puts a Korean spin on the classic American steakhouse with tabletop grilling, premium meats, and an extensive beverage program.