Between booze-induced tailgate parties and a bajillion (roughly) holidays, fall has its way of flying by. Before you know it, it’s January and you haven’t even tried any of the outstanding new new bars and restaurants that have opened. Here are 11 you may have missed that you should make a point to visit in 2015…
Downtown After leaving Plonk! and developing some really badass menus for the Clumsy Butcher, Chef Erin Smith is back in the kitchen at the hot new JW Marriot Downtown. You should be pretty happy about that – because Smith’s small plate, family-style dining experience is already rocking the culinary scene. Pig out on duck & fig pizza, porcelet & mustard spaetzle, and fresh crudo with kaffir lime & yuzu. But don’t pig out too much – you’re going to want to save a little room for Pastry Chef Sharon Gofreed’s no-joke desserts.
Independence Heights This brand new supper club hosts a different pop-up and guest chef dinner every week. The three- to five-course, booze-paired dinners – where you interact with the chefs and feast at a communal table – sell out on the regular. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter to see what kind of amazingness is coming to the kitchen next.
Memorial Manned by Chef Jose Hernandez (formerly of big guns Philippe Restaurant + Lounge and La Balance), this fine-dining Italian restaurant, housed in the Hotel Sorella, dishes out modern, inspired eats – think house-made tagliatelle with lobster and uni cream and 44 Farms rib eye with bone marrow sauce – alongside killer cocktails.
Heights Good-as-hell fried chicken, Johnny Cash Chicken Wangs, and crispy fried chicken livers are allllll on the menu at this Southern-style chicken shack. So are the city’s most heavenly buttermilk biscuits, which you should definitely, definitely get.
Downtown This sultry, '20s era supper club doubles as a cabaret featuring The Moonlight Dolls on Thurs-Sat, making sucking down Oysters Rockefeller, crispy stuffed pig trotter, and garlic butter lobster twice the fun. Add a couple of Old Fashioneds, because, obviously.
Upper Kirby Trust us when we say that these two Pauls (one of Osteria Mazzantini, one of Union Kitchen) are the kind of Pauls you want to know. Why? Because they’ve teamed up to sling farm-fresh eats like braised goat empanadas, smoked Berkshire pork belly, and juicy fried chicken straight into your belly.
Montrose Austin import Doc’s brings 50 taps of craft brew, wine, and liquor, plus a 100 seat patio and plenty of Tex-Mex-inspired pub fare to Montrose. Hit them up for a blue-collar happy hour, where you’ll find heaping plates of pork carnitas nachos, stuffed and fried jalapeños, and bacon-wrapped hot wings on the cheap.
The Woodlands Houston finally has true Chicago-style deep dish pizza thanks to this Chi-Town import’s first Texas expansion. The legendary pizza shop mixes classic sausage and tomato pies with Texas-inspired dishes like BBQ brisket pies and deep dish nachos.
Downtown/EaDo Scratch-made pastries, excellent coffee and tea service, and one of the city’s hottest brunches are a much welcomed addition to EaDo. Your girlfriend will love the green tea cakes and avocado toast just as much as you'll love the Vietnamese steak and eggs and piping-hot cortados.
Museum District Twice-fried, seriously crisp Korean fried chicken is the name of the game at this newly opened but soon to be popping Park Binz spot. Co-owner Jason Cho trained under NYC’s Mad For Chicken before opening up this shop (which is a separate entity but shares some recipes). The chicken’s good plain, but we suggest getting it smothered in soy-garlic or hot-and-spicy sauce.
The Woodlands Named after Texan hero Howard Hughes (whose middle name was Robard), this upscale Prohibition-era steakhouse boasts an in-house butchery and dry-aging room alongside an impressive wine and cocktail program. Start with candied bacon & blue cheese toasts and a chilled seafood tower before going absolutely insane on a big and beefy dry-aged steak.
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