the ion's lobby bar
Houston restaurant royalty reveals menu and ‘Golden Girls Chic’ vibe at new Midtown restaurant
A veteran Houston chef’s new Midtown bar and restaurant is taking shape. When it opens later this fall, The Lymbar will mark chef David Cordúa’s return to Houston's dining scene.
Cordúa's name is well known to Houston diners. The chef worked with his father, legendary Houston restaurateur Michael Cordúa, at Cordúa Restaurants — the hospitality group behind Churrascos, Americas, and Amazon Grill — before the duo parted ways with the company in 2018. They're teaming up again on this new project.
Located inside The Ion, Rice University’s innovation district in the former Sears in Midtown, The Lymbar describes itself as an all-day neighborhood craft cocktail bar and restaurant. Named for the street in Meyerland where Cordúa grew up, the restaurant will serve an eclectic menu of Latin and Mediterranean-inspired dishes in a space designed by local firm Gin Design Group (Eunice, Daily Gather).
“The Ion already has an exciting buzz of ‘greenergy’ with great minds, start-ups and entrepreneurs coming together. The Lymbar will be their living room,” Cordúa said in a statement. “The vibe is ‘Golden Girls Chic’ with inspiration from childhood nostalgia like ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ and Shel Silverstein.”
Cordúa provided CultureMap with a preview of some of the menu items he plans to serve at The Lymbar. Those looking for a bar snack may order the 'Rosespud', oversized potato and plantain chips served with dips such as onion dip, chimichurri, and red curry romesco or items such as foie gras doughnut holes, Monte Cristo empanadas with raspberry dill vinaigrette, and sweet corn flan with Cracker Jacks. The truffle twinkie that won him the top prize at the first Truffle Masters competition will also be available.
Meals will begin with seasonal small plates such as fresh corn gnocchi with smoked tomato sauce, labneh and basil as well as rotating flatbreads like caramelized onions with new potatoes. Entree options include a stuffed chicken ballotine with sherry cream sauce and morels that draws upon the chef’s French training or go South American with a dish like arroz tumbado with oven-roasted branzino.
Expect to see The Lymbar’s build-your-own-taco boards on Instagram. They’ll combine proteins such as chicken shawarma, achiote pork belly, and sesame-seasoned tri-tip with basmati rice and house sourdough pita.
The chef has recruited an experienced group to help him open the restaurant. They include: executive chef Adolfo Lopez, Jr. (Brenner’s on the Bayou, Churrascos); general manager Jaime Rangel (Cordúa Restaurants); manager Travis Wingate (Churrascos, La Griglia); and bar manager Sean Stapleton (The Refuge in the Woodlands).
“We’re the lobby bar of The Ion,” Cordúa added. “We’ll be a place that celebrates the creativity and innovative spirit that makes Houston one of the best cities in the world.”
Already home to a location of Common Bond On-The-Go and Second Draught, a craft beer bar, The Ion will also soon welcome Late August, a Afro-Asian restaurant from Houston chef and Top Chef finalist Dawn Burrell.