some call him tim
Rising star chef takes his talents to hotly anticipated new River Oaks restaurant
An eagerly anticipated new restaurant in River Oaks has found its chef. Tim Reading will lead the kitchen at Leo’s River Oaks.
Scheduled to open in late spring 2024 in the River Oaks Shopping Center, Leo’s River Oaks is the latest project from Culinary Khancepts, the hospitality group behind State Fare Kitchen & Bar and Liberty Kitchen. The fine dining restaurant will serve steaks, seafood, and more in luxurious environment with a spacious patio.
Reading brings a wealth of experience to his role. Most recently, he earned a CultureMap Tastemaker Awards nomination for Rising Star Chef of the Year at GJ Tavern, Underbelly Hospitality’s casual restaurant that closed in July. Prior to that, he earned recognition from Texas Monthly for his Mexican restaurant Ixim at Bravery Chef Hall. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Reading’s resume also includes time at a two Michelin star restaurant in Germany, work for Boston chef Michael Schlow, and work for James Beard Award winner Hugo Ortega at his Galleria-area seafood restaurant Caracol.
Reading represented Leo’s at the recent Urban Harvest Sunday Supper fundraiser where he served roasted pork loin. On a more personal note, his frequent carpool karaoke sessions make him an extremely entertaining Instagram follow.“I’m extremely excited to begin my new Houston chapter with Culinary Khancepts at Leo’s Restaurant,” Reading said in a statement. “I’m a purest. I like to let the ingredients speak for themselves.”
Leo’s will be located next to the historic River Oaks Theatre that will also be operated by Culinary Khancepts. When the company announced in May that it had begun renovations, it expected to reopen the movie theater by the end of the year. However, a representative tells CultureMap that it is not expected to reopen until sometime in 2024.
The River Oaks Shopping Center has seen a number of restaurant openings and closings in the past couple of years. Most recently, La Griglia announced it would move from the area to a new home in Montrose. Zanti Cucina Italiana recently celebrated its first anniversary in The Driscoll at River Oaks luxury high-rise. Other recent additions include Mediterranean fine dining restaurant Albi and Hudson House, a casual neighborhood restaurant that opened earlier this month next to Brasserie 19. Cocody, a restaurant from the food and beverage team behind shuttered French restaurant Le Mistral, is expected to open in the coming weeks.