Convivio tapas + bar + lounge

September 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Dining

Convivio opens this week.

The atmosphere at this Durham located establishment is festive.  The evening we visited, tables were singing and clapping.  There is a communal dining vibe, this is the perfect place to party with a big group.  One long room with concrete floors makes for a loud evening, be prepared. There is a bar area, small patio and balcony.

The kitchen was bustling as they served up the tasting menu.

 

It  started with a flavorful bang! 

 

Albondigas: the Meat/Pork meatballs and spicy tomato concasse is the best item on the menu. We’d swim in this sauce if we could.

 

 

 

 

The next item was the Pizzetas de Queso de Cabra y Vegetales.  A long name basically meaning a flat bread pizza with fresh vegetables. Yes!  The veggies on this item were very fresh!

 

 

 

 

 

Other items included:

Fideua: Seafood noodle paella. This came in a small bowl; more like a tiny shrimp spaghetti.

Croquetas de Chorizo: Chorizo Revilla, Bechamel Sauce.  Special note about the Bechamel sauce. This should be offered with as many dishes as possible.  It’s super great! Pinchose de Ensaladilla Rusa: Spanish Baby Potato salad. This was light and refreshing.  We’ve never had potato salad on bread, but it worked.

Pinchos de Chorizo: Revilla Chorizo

700 S. Durham

832-360-1750

www.conviviohouston.com

Trattoria Il Mulino Opens in Houston

March 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Dining

Now Open: Trattoria Il Mulino

Amuse Bouche

On Thursday, March 24th, Houston welcomes a touch of New York’s West Village with an exciting, new restaurant: Trattoria Il Mulino.

 

An off-shoot of the famed Il Mulino New York, Trattoria Il Mulino offers a casual, family-friendly dining experience in a lively atmosphere with a menu emphasizing classic Italian cuisine from the Abruzzi region of Italy.

 

The amuse bouche was the most flavorful eggplant with garlic, basil and sun-dried tomatoes.The interior design of Trattoria IL Mulino, as its’ name implies, creates a fun, come as you are atmosphere for guests. The open concept and large exhibition kitchen make dining here fun for all. Our group decided to share our dishes family style so we could taste the most options.

Carpaccio

 

 

The prices here will not break the bank. Most entrees were under $30.   We split a margarita pizza, and enjoyed the veal parmesan – it is huge – it takes an entire plate.  We also had veal piccata and cantelloni.

 

 

 

 

 

Grappa

 

One of the specialties of the house at Trattoria Il Mulino is the house-made Grappa which has been a tradition in Northern Italy for centuries.  At the bar, you can chose from  a variety of house-made, infused grappas such as Pear, Blueberry, Strawberry, Fig, Raspberry, Apricot, and Raisin. The process consists of taking the distilled spirit and fermenting it with the fruit of your choice. We allow time, Mother Nature, and a little love to create these delectable digestifs. As a finale to your meal, we serve a complimentary pour of house-made Limoncello.

Trattoria Il Mulino is in the new Westin Houston Memorial City and open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 945 Gessner at I-10. For reservations, please call (832) 358-0600.

Ray’s Gourmet Grill

January 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Dining

Ray’s Gourmet Country, brought to Fulshear by Fort Bend businessman and resident, Raed “Ray” Salti, opened its doors two years ago. Ray’s idea was to create a unique atmosphere with a neighborhood ambience that serves the freshest ingredients available throughout the year. Since then, he has grown a following of true “foodies” with his concept of “field to table” menu items.

To bring his concept to life, Ray teamed up with Executive Chef Soren Pedersen who finds inspiration in all ingredients that are natural and organic. The ever-changing menu items are directly dictated by seasonal availability of both organic and natural fruits and vegetables, as well as certified natural cuts of meats and seafood. The kitchen features an open dining experience, emphasizing a direct connection with Chef Soren and his staff.

To complement the perfect meal, Ray’s has an extensive wine list, including several organic wines. Complimentary wine tasting events are held every Thursday evening from 6-8 pm. For our meal, Chef Soren suggested we start with an Appetizer Sampler. The sampler included the Crab Cake with Watercress and Lemon Butter Sauce, the Iron Skillet Seared Fois Gras and, my personal favorite, the Antipasto plate with Serrano ham, marinated vegetables and a wonderful, homemade sausage.

For my main course, I chose the Wild Boar Osso Buco with a parsnip puree kumquat chutney and natural jus. It was by far the finest plating I have seen presented at a restaurant in quite some time. For my wife, the 25 year-old red balsalmic sauce on the Green Peppercorn Crusted Lamb Rib Chop was rich without being overbearing. It was served with a wonderful squash puree. We also tried the South Texas Antelope Mignon & Elk Sausage (purchased from local ranchers) that was cooked to perfection and complimented with a savory appletart and cinnamon spiked pinot noir. Our favorite side was the White Truffle Macaroni and Cheese; a must have at Ray’s.

Chef Soren also provides complete Vegan dishes. The Seasonal Vegetable Lasagna is amazing and is baked with tofu. The Fresh Vegetable Curry sautéed with quinoa pasta and leeks is also delicious.

If it is seafood you crave, you’ll have to ask your wait staff. Chef Soren provides only the freshest fish available to our area, so the seafood menu changes daily.

To finish the perfect meal, Chef Soren prepared for our table an array of desserts. Our favorite was the Warm Anjou Pear Tart with Crème Fraiche.

Along with amazing fare, Ray’s Gourmet Country also presents a number of activities–“Jazz Night” every Thursday, with the complimentary wine tasting from 6-8 pm, a “Brunch Buffet” every Sunday from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm (only $20 per person) and a cooking class, “Ray’s Grill and Royal Prestige,” with Chef Soren Pedersen, held on the last Wednesday of every month (only $35 per person). Reservations are strongly recommended for all activities, for although it started as a small town concept, Ray’s has quickly become a favorite among not only Fort Bend County residents, but greater Houston area dwellers as well.

“We do have plans underway for a brand new concept at West Alabama and Greenbriar, as well,” confides owner Ray Salti. “The restaurant will be named Sorrel after the slender plant, with juicy stems and edible, oblong leaves.
I will leave the rest up to your imagination, but it is sure to please the palate.”

Visit www.raysgrill.com for the menu, directions to the location, or to learn more about the specials, wine dinners, tasting events, private rooms and more! To Ray Salti, Chef Soren Pedersen and the entire staff at Ray’s Gourmet Country…thank you! To H Texas readers, this eatery is well worth the short drive to Fulshear.

Late Night Snack? Sonoma Retail Wine Bar and Restaurant

October 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

Sonoma Wine Bar & Restaurant

2720 Richmond Avenue.
Houston, TX 77098
www.sonomahouston.com
713-526-WINE (9463)

Zimm’s Little Deck

October 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

Now Open in Montrose

by Laurette M. Veres

After weeks of disappointing drive bys, we drove to the new Zimm’s last night and it was finally open! A friendly staff was eager to please and serve.  The décor is minimal with fleur-de-lis garnishing the bar and the smell of deep fried grease garnishing the airways.  The outside deck runs along Richmond Ave. and frat boys were playing Petanque.  This is Houston’s only official court for this French version of Italian bocce or English lawn bowling and should be an interesting addition to the neighborhood.

The menu is mainly seafood and mainly fried: fried oysters, fried po-boy sandwiches and the like.  We tried the slow roasted lamb sandwich (they call it a rich-boy), ceviche, pulled pork sandwich and fried oyster po-boy.  All were good.  Not great, but good.  The sandwiches come with homemade potato chips, which are great.  The most interesting feature at Little Zimm’s is the wine list.  There isn’t one.  Each evening, three categories of wine are available: cheap, good and fancy.  The owners are purchasing odd lots of great wines at discount pricing and passing the savings onto customers.  For instance, last night the fancy wine was a Cabernet Syrah Pere et Fils. This was a great value for $34, but here were only four bottles in house.  When we left there was only one.

601 Richmond Ave.

On Oct 13, 2010, at 12:54 PM, Laurette Veres wrote:

Americas River Oaks Now Open

September 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

Opening of Michael Cordúa’s Américas River Oaks

Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Description: The third incarnation of Américas, the global culinary experience from famed chef and restaurateur, Michael Cordúa, opens in the River Oaks Shopping Center.  Partnered once again with celebrated architect and designer Jordan Mozer, who brought his outstanding vision to the original Américas in 1993, Américas River Oaks will be a unique dining experience that represents the weaving of South, Central and North American cultures and cuisines.  Cordúa, whose reputation as one of the leading proponents of authentic Latin cuisine, returns to his foundational roots and creates a stage to showcase the yummy foods that the Americas have given to the world.

Location: 2040 West Gray (@ Shepherd), Houston, TX 77057

To make reservations, call (832) 200-1492 or visit www.cordua.com

Web: http://www.cordua.com

Pappas Bros. receives Wine Spectator Grand Award

September 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

Kristine Mills entertained revelers and patrons as they raised a glass to Pappas Bros.  Brothers Chris and Harris Pappas celebrated a “Grand Award” from Wine Spectator Magazine.  Fabulous bites included: lamp chops, cream of mushroom soup with truffle mousse, Texas brisket with foie gras, tuna tartar, carpaccio, and of course wine.  Pappas joins a very elite group in receiving the Grand Award.  The Pappas Bros wine collection, organized by Drew Hendricks, consists of 33,000 bottle and 3,000 wines.  Pappas Bros. is Texas’ only Grand Award winner.

Pico’s Mex-Mex Restaurant is having a Blast on 4th of July

June 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

An All-You-Can-Eat “Backyard” BBQ Buffet

June 25, 2010. Houston. It’s Fiesta Time at Pico’s Mex-Mex Restaurant, 5941 Bellaire Boulevard, who will be celebrating the 4th of July with an All-You-Can-Eat “Backyard” BBQ. “The 4th of July is a wonderful time to spend with family and friends,” stated owner and chef Arnaldo Richards, “that is why I am inviting my family of customers to celebrate the holiday at my All-You-Can-Eat “Backyard” 4th of July buffet. We will be grilling Carnes Asadas (beef, chicken and pork), Hot dogs, Sliders, accompanied with Chilaquiles, Migas con huevo, Mexican rice, Charro and refried beans, chile con queso, guacamole salad, pico de gallo, salsas, corn chips, corn and flour tortillas and more, all served under the palapa.  We will also be serving $5 bottomless Mimosas, $7 Cuervo Tradicional Shaker Margarita, $5 Bloody Marys and Tequila Sunrise, and $2.75 Micheladas.” The 4th of July All-You-Can-Eat Backyard BBQ Buffet will be served from 11:30 am until 6 pm. Price: $12.95 per adult and $8.95 per child under 10 years of age. For more information about Pico’s Mex-Mex Restaurant’s 4th of July All-You-Can-Eat Backyard BBQ Buffet, please visit Picos.net, or call 713-662-8383.

BRC

June 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

On a recent Tuesday evening, we waited an hour and a half.  The family style brisket with veggies and salad was a fun solution for our group. At $40 for four people, it’s easy on the wallet also.  The hip crowd kept the energy high. The kitchen is open until midnight on weekdays and 2 am on weekends.

BRC

519 Shepherd Dr.

713.861.2233

www.brcgastropub.com

Yelp Eats! Week 6/21-6/27

June 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

7 Nights. 19 Restaurants. 3-Course Dinner for $25!

Houston June 20, 2010 – Yelp.com, the site that connects people with great local businesses, presents Yelp Eats! a week-long promotion dedicated to giving consumers the chance to try great local restaurants at deeply discounted prices. The promotion will run from June 21 to June 27.

19 Participating restaurants include:
Arturo’s Uptown Italiano, Galleria/Uptown
Benjy’s, The Village
Benjy’s, Heights/Washington Corridor
Branch Water Tavern, Heights/Washington Corridor
Cava Bistro, Downtown
Cielo Mexican, Downtown
Crave Sushi, Midtown
Cyclone Anaya’s Mexican Kitchen, Midtown
Cyclone Anaya’s Mexican Kitchen, Heights/Washington Corridor
Cyclone Anaya’s Mexican Kitchen, Galleria/Memorial
Max’s Wine Dive, Heights/Washington Corridor
Mia Bella Trattoria, Downtown
Mia Bella Trattoria, Houston Pavilions/Downtown
Mia Bella Trattoria, Upper Kirby
Saffron, Upper Kirby
Soma Sushi, Heights/Washington Corridor
Sushi Raku, Midtown
Voice, Downtown
Yelapa Playa Mexicana, Upper Kirby

Yelp Eats will be running nationwide in 12 markets with Houston restaurants participating in the program. Other markets offering the promotion: Austin, Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago, Chicago Suburbs, Dallas, Orange County, Miami, Sacramento, San Diego, and St Louis

Menu & Website:
These special menus are open to the public. Reservations should be made by calling the business and mentioning Yelp Eats. For more information about the special menus, please visit http://www.yelp.com/events/houston-yelp-eats-2 or http://tiny.cc/YelpEatsHou

Few reminders:
1. Call to make dinner reservations, and request the Yelp Eats! menu
2. $25 does NOT include tax/tip or additional items and beverages
3. Spread the word. This deal is open to all!

Rare and Well Done

June 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

More than 30 years ago, Perry’s began as a modest meat market and deli, and quickly became known for its quality cuts and impeccable service. Today, Perry’s continues to gain loyal fans by crafting an award-winning menu set in comfortable, casual elegance. Our staff decided on the Sugar Land location for our dining experience. The General Manager, Jeff Halford, and his staff treated us with impeccable service the moment we walked through the doors.

From the intimate settings to patio dining, to the timeless piano bar with live entertainment, Perry’s is simply perfect for a gathering with friends after work, a casual weeknight dinner or even a special occasion. An innovative menu features their famous pork chop, chateaubriand, and flaming desserts – all with a tableside presentation – as well as signature items including an herb-stuffed Filet Mignon. Of course, as with any steakhouse worth its salt, Perry’s hand-selected, USDA prime beef is dry aged in house for 28 days and is always mouth-wateringly perfect.

To complement the perfect meal, our Sommelier, Paul, started the evening with a wonderful Chardonnay. Perry’s presents a spectacular selection of world-class wines including Perry’s own private-label reserve Chardonnay, Meritage and Cabernet Sauvignon.

We decided to start our meal, as suggested by our server, Mike, with an Appetizer Sampler. This array of mouth-watering samplers included the cherry pepper calamari, fried jumbo asparagus topped with colossal lump crabmeat, seafood stuffed mushrooms, and my personal favorite, the homemade polish sausage.

The main course goes without saying, the best tableside presentation I have had the pleasure of experiencing in some time. From the plate presentation of the Symphony Kabob, to the carving presentation of the succulent pork chop, the staff at Perry’s is second to none. Their attention to detail is to be commended. Another favorite was the tournedos béarnaise. The béarnaise sauce was so rich and creamy without being over bearing on the tournedos of beef tenderloin. It is served with jumbo asparagus that is the perfect compliment. We also had a side of lyonnaise potatoes that was perfectly textured to compliment the goodness of the tournedos.

Perry’s Bar 79 has it all –live entertainment, rare vintages, intriguing bar menu and inviting social hours featuring half-price signature appetizers and specials on wines and martinis including a mini-martini flight of three!

Each Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille has its own special ambiance and features that provide the most unique private dining experience in Houston. It is the perfect venue for your most important business and personal moments, all of the Perry’s restaurants feature private rooms ideal for accommodating six to one hundred guests. The five-star service and attention to the smallest details will ensure your event is a splendid success.

What began as a small butcher shop in 1979 has grown into one of the premier steakhouses in Texas, featuring locations in Clear Lake, Champions, Katy, Memorial City, Sugar Land and The Woodlands as well as Downtown Austin and Uptown Dallas. Visit PerrysSteakhouse.com to view the menu, locations and private rooms. To Chris Perry and the entire family of staff at Perry’s Steakhouse….thank you, the title to the review says it all! Rare and Well Done!

photo courtesy Perry’s

Lupe Tortilla

March 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

Multiple Locations; www.lupetortilla.com
Houstonians line up for beef fajitas marinated to perfection at seven area locations. Children play on the outdoor patio while adults pass time with margaritas. Brave the crowds; it’s definitely worth the wait. $$

Last Concert Cafe

March 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

1403 Nance, (713) 226-8563; www.lastconcert.com
Hidden in the Warehouse District, the restaurant doesn’t have a sign, but patrons know to knock on the red door for admittance. The patio brings a bit of the beach to Houston, complete with sand, a cabana and a stage. $$

Hugo’s

March 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

1600 Westheimer, (713) 524-7744; www.hugosrestaurant.net
Chef Hugo Ortega dishes out interior favorites such as slow-cooked pork, homemade guacamole, and fresh-squeezed lime margaritas. Don’t miss the Sunday brunch buffet. $$$

Escalante’s

March 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

Multiple Locations www.escalantes.net
Tex-mex favorites like tacos, burritos and enchiladas are the rage here, where fresh guacamole is prepared table-side. They do queso right. $$

Cyclone Anaya’s

March 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

Multiple Locations www.cycloneanaya.com
A hot spot for young professionals craving crabmeat nachos and ceviche, three locations make it a convenient place to meet after work. The margaritas pack a punch. Pace yourself! $$

Azteca’s Margarita Bar

March 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

2207 Richmond Ave., (713) 526-1702; www.aztecasbarandgrill.com
Multiple flavors of margaritas perfectly complement the fresh, authentic Mexican food here. With scrumptious steaks, homemade tortillas, vegetarian options and mouth-watering tres leches, this is a great stop for a quick bite or a long evening.
L, D, Bar, $$

Vinoteca Poscol

March 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

1609 Westheimer, (713) 529-2797
Chef Marco Wiles offers a tapas menu replete with pastas, cheeses, flat bread and house-cured sausage. Great wine list. $$$

Tintos

March 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

2015 W. Gray @ Shepherd, (713) 522-1330; www.tintosrestaurant.com
Enjoy this Spanish restaurant and wine bar. Buy wines from all over the world at retail price. Sunday brunch is a stand out with crepes, paella, tapas and live music. Happy hour Monday thru Friday. $

Nelore

March 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Dining

4412 Montrose, (713) 395-1050; www.nelorechurrascaria.com
Named after Brazil’s most famous breed of cattle, Nelore serves 11 different meats in an upscale atmosphere. The churrascaria boasts a salad bar chock full of fresh vegetables and first-rate service from skewer-toting gouchos. Open Tues.-Sun. $$$$

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