Houston >Food & Dining > Hearsay Gastro Lounge
218 Travis St, Houston, TX | Directions 7700229.763046 -95.361572
Mon-Thurs 11am-12am, Fri 11am-2am, Sat 1pm-2am, Sun 12pm-7pm
Neighborhoods: Central, Downtown
I love the ambiance, perfect lighting. The cocktail list covers the gamut of spirits and palates and the salmon crostinis are delicious!
Drink a palomita or the gin gin mule and whatever you order, insist on mac n' cheese as a side!
Good after-work spot for a cocktail or sophisticated bar food. Has a good Sunday brunch for the area, too, with bottomless mimosas for $12.
Cool. Hip. Fashionable. – I dropped by Hearsay Gastro Lounge on a Monday night, thinking we would take advantage of their Monday Night Football menu, but from the moment I stepped in, I was transported to another world. An exposed brick wall and 2 story high ceiling, along with retro-hip wall sconces and chandeliers, a long dark wooden bar, wrought iron accented booths, and what has to be the perfect degree of lighting to make a place feel sexy made me feel like I had gone back in time to the days of the speakeasy.
As we stepped in, we were immediately greeted by a couple of lovely black sequin-dressed hostesses to a private party upstairs, and while we weren't on the guest list, they graciously allowed us to join in the fun. (it helps that we were in cocktail dress). Woodford Reserve was having a mixology contest to see who could make the best Manhattan with their bourbon. Upstairs, the atmosphere was a bit tense around the bar competition area, but the "lounge" area was cool and inviting with a dj spinning in the corner and large flat screen tv showing Monday night football. Everyone seemed to be relaxed and having fun. I enjoyed a classic "Old Fashioned" made with Woodford Reserve Bourbon and enjoyed the spectacle of the mixology competition. Downstairs, the area started filling up with an eclectic yet fashionable crowd of 20's-30's somethings which made for some great people-watching.
Hearsay is cool, it's hip. It feels like something you would find in NYC or Seattle, with that special touch of "je ne sais quoi" that makes it one of the cool "it" places to be in Houston.
Terrible customer service experience. Homophobic bar staff.
I visited this place for the first time at the recommendation of a friend. It's a beautiful space! I had a few of the speciality cocktails, which were great. Then, I ordered my old standby, Ketel One and club soda. I remarked to the bartender, in jest, that if you're going to charge $9 for a cocktail, you could perhaps make it a bit stronger (how 'bout some vodka in this drink?) and that you could get the same drink, twice as strong at half the price, at any gay bar in town. She replied, "Well why don't you go back there?" As if that weren't bad enough, the barback (or maybe he was another bartender) chimed in, "Yeah, if I were you, I'd hang out at a bar where I could get a free blow job."
What?! That's the way to keep customers coming back.
Tonight my husband, dad, stepmom and I were kicked out of Hearsay. Yes, kicked out! We apparently took two peoples table outside, you know...where people smoke to sit down(had no idea they reserved them since no one said anything). The manager gave us no warning or came to tell us we were doing something wrong. And he didn't ask us to move. People got up, we sat down. When my husband went to order more drinks, the manager closed our tab and asked us to leave, claiming that we "stole" two peoples tables and made them upset and they left. Being shocked and confused, I said we didn't mean to take anyone's tables, and no one said anything to us. He still wanted us to leave . I was furious and embarrassed as I couldn't understand why they just didn't tell us we took someone's seat and ask us to move. Anyway, on my way back to tell my dad and stepmom, we ran into the people that were sitting there before us (funny they were still there). I apologized to them, asking if we upset them or made them want to leave. They had no idea what we were talking about and were really embarrassed themselves. They tried to go talk to the manager as well to explain they had no idea where he got that, but he was very unprofessional and rude. His name is jason and was on a huge power trip. Needless to say, we will never be back and I will be calling the owner tomorrow, hopefully he will understand our side, as the manager had no piece of him who even cared to hear what we had to say. I just wanted to let people know how badly we were treated for no apparent reason. Literally we were there with family after dinner, looking for a place to sit. I NEVER do this but am this mad, i will.
I would give a zero if i could, for the manager, jason and hostess.
What a disappointment! – Would not recommend this place! I made reservation with plenty of time knowing that it was mother days weekend & graduation weekend and they call me 3 hours before our celebration to tell me that the restaurant has been rented out for the evening. How I wish they would of called me sooner! Very disappointed!
I usually love this place...but..... – Usually I Love Hearsay. That said, this last experience was lackluster. We walked in on a thursday and was told, in a very rude way, that there were no tables but we could sit in the bar upstairs. The girl shoved two menus at us and we had to find out way upstairs by ourselves. This was irritation number 1. Then, we get upstairs. The guy tending bar up there was AMAZING! He is the only reason for the two stars. The other bartender, the asian girl, was beyond RUDE! She talked and flirted with the two guys next to us (regulars) in an obnoxious way about how she couldn't wait to get off, how it was the worst day ever, etc, etc. I mean, seriously? Nobody wants to hear all that. We were there to have some drinks, have fun, etc. The level of professionalism wasn't there. I have had great experiences at Hearsay and this wasn't one of them. It's sad too because I've told a lot of people to go to this place. I think, given the amount of restaurants to choose from in Houston, that I will not be returning.
Outstanding experience – Talk about an all around great time! From start to finish dining at Hearsay was a great experience. The staff were amazingly attentive. Our cocktails were terrific! Several different dishes were ordered for our group all of which were delicious, the beer battered asparagus, the crab cakes and the stuffed mushrooms were a treat for our taste buds! Best of all were the lamb chop pops!!! Absolutely wonderful! That being said you have to know that quite a few members of our group are not the biggest fans of lamb but, all of us found ourselves in love with this dish!
Industrial Drinkie – Came here for a lunch. The inside of the restaurant is not what you would expect from looking in from the outside. The lounge is situated in the 2nd oldest building in Houston, and the two story red brick walls are reminiscent of the Industrial phenomenon. Coupled with a modern chandelier and natural wood with metal, it's really a modern and comfortable space.
Although it's smaller than expected, the place serves great drinks and having the ability to order some dishes with the drinks just ain't half bad.
Great food, in a beautiful venue – Located inside a giant loft (I would love to live here!) on a beautifully historic street, Hearsay feels more like it belongs in New York City, but I am incredibly happy to have it in Houston. Their drink menu is a plethora of $10 specialty cocktails, several wines by the glass, many whiskeys, and a few beers; and takes up the entire backside of the menu. The food menu is somewhat small, with lots of small plates, some sandwiches, and a few larger entrees. Their salads are dinner-plate size, and paired with an appetizer or small plate/side, makes for a decent meal for me. Their truffle oil fries are to-die-for, and come on a huge plate - great for sharing.
On weeknights, street parking (free after 6!) is no problem, but there are a few pay lots close by too. They don't take reservations for parties less than 10, and the seating is somewhat limited (a handful of tables downstairs, and more seating in the loft). However, I've never had a problem getting a table.
Historical Downtown Restaurant – Met up for a girlfriends birthday. It is a little small on the inside but they were able to accommodate a group of 10. Food portions were big, one plate will feed two....two girls that is. I really loved the mashed yams, not what I would have expected at all since I am not much of a yam lover. They offered seasonal mojitos (very good). I tried the strawberry pomegranate, yum.
The staff was friendly allowing us to take our time and bring in our own birthday dessert. The inside of this building is very neat, if anything I would suggest checking this place out just to take a peek at what the inside looks like (the chandelier is gorgeous).
High Bar Prices – My wife and I are downtown residents and eat out nightly somewhere in the downtown zone. We love Hearsay's Historical space, the atmosphere and food but we have decided not to return due to their high wine prices. There is no wine for under $35/40. Their food is not good enough to compensate for the drink tab.
A few bright spots, but disappointing – The building itself is remarkable. It's a great space for a place like this and the bar is well laid out. At the suggestion of the bartender, I got an old fashioned and it was outstanding. Other guests had gin-gin mules and they, too, were excellent. The bartender, whose name escapes me, was meticulous and really knew his stuff. I had high hopes when we were seated for dinner. The appetizers were...OK. Beer battered asparagus with a spicy aioli, shrimp and chicken spring rolls, and a variety of olives. Nothing terribly innovative or noteworthy, but not bad. These were the only three apps we found that were good to share.
The entree selection was fairly weak. For a "gastro lounge", there wasn't much that was jumping off the menu. The waiter informed us that the fish of the day was red snapper, but they were all out of that. The back up was mahi mahi. Two of us got the mahi mahi special and the other two got the fish tacos. The tacos were pretty forgettable (I was longing for Berryhill's) and the portion had me looking to get a cheesesteak on the way home. The entire mahi mahi entree was bad. The vegetables consisted of a couple pieces of carrots on a hothouse tomato disc and an asparagus spear. Both the fish and the accompanying risotto were way too salty. Also, the wine we had ordered was out of stock.
When the bartender came by for feedback, he was actually quite receptive to our comments (we certainly weren't complaining...just a few observations), which was comforting.
I'm hoping this place is just working out the kinks. The menu needs to be completely overhauled to be considered a gastro lounge, and I really hope they do it. There's a great feel to the place, and I'd DEFINITELY go back for cocktails. I'll hold off on the food for now.
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