by David Israel - 0 Reviews - 11 List
Houston food and culture aficionado Caroline Gallay curates a list of the top new & notable destinations to check out in Houston.
Updated: April 25, 2012
The Houston iteration of Austin-original Uchi + Uchiko is a sushi-lover's dream, pairing ultra-serious dedication in the kitchen with a fun, low-key vibe front-of-house. A daily "sake social" happy hour tasting menu is the best place to start. Get there early and sample the Machi Cure - smoked baby yellow-tail, marcona almond and asian pear on a yucca crisp; or walu walu - grilled escolar over candied citrus, while refreshing yourself with $3 unfiltered sake or Kirin Ichiban. The rest of the menu is just as compelling, including the rotating selection of edgy desserts. We'll leave you with two words: Hama Chili.
Joining the growing row of restaurants and bars down White Oak Drive in The Heights is Public House, a low-key traditional pub concept founded by husband-and-wife duo Chris and Emily McReavy. With darts, foosball and old-school Mrs. Pac-Man for entertainment plus an excellent line-up of local microbrews, Public House is sure to be a quick neighborhood staple. Supporting local artists doesn't hurt, either, nor does the full bar on the outskirts of an otherwise dry neighborhood. Thirsty?
New to the ever-evolving Midtown bar scene is BlackFinn American Grille, tucked away in the north corner near Christian's Tailgate and Komodo's. Like those two stalwarts, BlackFinn looks to be a longtime fixture. With four separate and distinct seating areas including a formal dining room, bustling main happy hour bar, a spacious patio and a "saloon" where sports rule, there's never a dearth of people-watching. Already an after-work favorite among the YP crowd, you can give an adults-only nod to your less-stressful childhood with a Capri Sun martini.
Housed in a refurbished 1913 building that once held a five-and-dime store, downtown's The Capitol at St. Germain incorporates its natural history with a fun 1920s vibe, complete with garter belts on the arms of each server. The expansive space still manages to be cozy with tall circular booths perfect for catching a live musical performance with friends. Favorites on the food front include the Menage a foie (a foie gras trio - clever, no?) and, as one might expect, St. Germain elderflower liqueur happily takes a prominent spot on the cocktail menu.
The dudes behind popular gastropub BRC have how happily invaded The Heights' interior with Liberty Kitchen, on the corner of Studewood and 11th Streets. Housed in a refurbished convenience store, Liberty's interior walls, recovered, multicolor wood slats speak to its funky, casual vibe but make no mistake, people come here for the food. Liberty is known for its oysters, and the bar also spotlights local microbreweries and maintains two draughts by local favorite Karbach at all times. Want to sample something other than seafood? Try one of the selection of mac n' cheese skillets.