5 Fine Dining Establishments to Visit for a Special Occasion

5 Fine Dining Establishments to Visit for a Special Occasion

5 Fine Dining Establishments to Visit for a Special Occasion, Or any time, really.

By Mai Pham  8/17/2018 at 12:00am  Published in the September 2018 issue of Houstonia

WHEN IT COMES TO caviar, fresh truffles, elaborate tasting menus, and other luxuries, these restaurants are the best of the best.

Astros owner Jim Crane envisioned a chic space for pre-and-post-game dining when he opened this place across from Minute Maid Park downtown, but it’s so much more than that. Come here to experience la dolce vita, complete with an opulent, gilded atmosphere, refined wine service, and cuisine from longtime Brennan’s chef Danny Trace. Must-orders include the softshell crab bisque, caviar service, and house-made spaghetti al tartufo nero with black truffle—but of course—shaved tableside.


IMAGE: JENN DUNCAN

View Full Article: https://www.houstoniamag.com/articles/2018/8/17/best-fine-dining-restaurants-houston

HOUSTON RESTAURANT WINE LISTS THAT OFFER GREAT PRICES, VARIETY, & DELICIOUS FOOD TO PAIR

The Corkscrew Concierge – August 2018
View Full Article: http://thecorkscrewconcierge.com/index.php/2018/08/09/houston-restaurant-wine-lists-great-prices/

Houston certainly has a fantastic wine scene. Local oenophiles already know this, but the city continues to gain more and more national respect and recognition. There are numerous wine bars around town where you can taste new and unusual varietals to your heart’s delight. And while I do frequent those places, one of my favorite things about wine is indulging with my meal. Many great winemakers envision a bottle on the table with a meal when crafting their wines. As such, I’m always on the lookout for a restaurant with a fantastic wine list. But as I indicated in my last installment of great Houston restaurant wine lists, the restaurant must have great food, there should be a nice variety of wines on the list, and the markups must not be ridiculous. So here’s a list of Houston restaurants that would make any wine lover proud. I should also note that many of the restaurants are committed to seasonal offerings so some of the dishes may be available at different times during the year.

Potente is the upscale Italian restaurant conceived and brought to life by Astros owner Jim Crane. The restaurant oozes swanky, over the top sophistication. Perfect for special occasions or just a nice night out. As the restaurant is Italian, the wine list features a significant amount of Italian wines – about 65% – that will take you up and down the regions of the boot. Everything from the very popular to the quite geeky selection can be found on the list. And while I’ve always indulged in an Italian wine on my visits, the USA is well represented. Ordering a bottle of wine at Potente is quite the adventure as your wine is poured in a super-cool decanter. Don’t judge me. You know this is an impressive looking decanter.

You would think with all the high-end finishes that the wine list would break the budget, but that is not the case here. The wines have blessedly low markups. Wine Director Vinny Montecuollo says he wants guests to truly explore the list and not be afraid to try something new due to sticker shock. On my most recent visit for my anniversary, I had Vinny choose a bottle as I was having a difficult time given the varied cuisines being consumed. Of course, he nailed it.

And don’t forget about the food! The Amarone Braised Veal Cheeks with Risotto is nothing short of ah-mazing! But why, oh why, couldn’t I do it any justice with my pic?!

12 home run hot spots near Minute Maid Park to pregame before the Astros

CultureMap, by Jayme Lamm
View full article: http://houston.culturemap.com/news/restaurants-bars/08-07-18-where-to-grab-a-drink-before-astros-game-truck-yard-rodeo-goat-four-seasons-potente-8th-wonder-the-grove/#slide=0

There’s no better time to catch your World Series champs than right now in Houston. The hot bats, the All-Star pitching rotation, Orbit’s hilarious antics — it all adds up to an amazing fan experience in one of only six covered, air-conditioned ballparks in the league.

To add to that fan experience, we’ve rounded up some of the best Astros pregame destinations. These bars and restaurants’ happy hours, free shuttles, and nearby free parking make them go-to, pregame favorites. So, don your favorite orange and blue gear, grab your tickets, and hit up these 12 Houston hot spots before the game.

Potente
An upscale Italian restaurant may not seem like the most ideal setting for grabbing drinks before a baseball game, but Potente definitely makes this list, not to mention it’s owned by Astros owner, Jim Crane, so baseball is part of the drill at this spot. Boasting one of the best happy hours in downtown Houston, you can grab drinks starting at $4 and light bites for $3, seven days a week from 5-7 pm. Pro tip: Potente offers an even better atmosphere post-game. 1515 Texas Ave.

Distance from Minute Maid Park: Across the street

Parking: Valet parking $8

Osso & Kristalla
Also owned by Jim Crane, this concept is more casual than Potente, making it another convenient option (it’s just across the street from Minute Maid) for drinks before catching a game. The modern and relaxed spot serves up great food and delicious cocktails and if the weather cooperates, the outdoor patio makes the perfect start before an Astros game (or hopefully to cap off a W at the end of the night). Daily happy hour is from 3-7 pm with wine, bubbles, cocktails, and beer — all for just $2.50. 1525 Texas Ave.

Distance from Minute Maid Park: Across the street

Parking: Valet parking $8

Houston Restaurant Weeks Must-Try Menus

Houston Restaurant Weeks Must-Try Menus

Visit Houston, by Mai Pham
Full Article: https://www.visithoustontexas.com/culinary-tours/culinary-blog/post/houston-restaurant-weeks-must-try-dinner-menus/

For restaurant lovers, there is no better time in Houston than August thanks to Houston Restaurant Weeks (HRW). The single largest fundraiser for the Houston Food Bank, it’s the month-long event during which eating out will actually help to feed the hungry. For each $20 lunch or brunch HRW menu sold, participating restaurants will donate $3 (enough for 9 meals) to the Houston Food Bank. Each $35 HRW dinner will result in a $5 donation (enough for 15 meals), and each $45 dinner will result in a $7 donation (enough for 21 meals).

Since its inception in 2003, Houston Restaurant Weeks has raised more than $12.2 million dollars. This year, HRW lasts from August 1 through September 3, 2018, with more than 250 of Houston’s top restaurants participating. Ready to eat out for a great cause? Here are seven tables to book for HRW 2018:

Potente HRW

Looking for a chance to dine in one of Houston’s most beautiful dining rooms for steal? Named Eater Houston’s Most Stunning Restaurant of 2017, Potente Houston’s $45 HRW Italian fine dining dinner menu offers a choice of four sumptuous starters, four entrees, and three desserts by executive chef Danny Trace. Start with the Polpetti Arrostiti, a charred octopus dish with squid ink fettuccine and fava bean, followed by a fire-roasted Branzino served in lobster broth, finishing off with a delightful Delizia al Cioccolato hazelnut chocolate dome.

The menu also offers some fancy upgrade options. A $5 supplement lets you enjoy a diver scallop appetizer, and an $8 supplement gets you an 8-ounce Filetto di Manzo beef filet entree. The restaurant’s signature Spaghetti al Tartufo Nero, a cacio e pepe pasta finished at the table side with freshly shaved truffles, is also worth the splurge for a supplement of $12. *Photo by Mai Pham