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Feb 22, 2008 06:16 PM

Best New American fine dining in Houston?

My dad will be celebrating his 77th birthday in March and the family would like to take him to a nice restaurant in Houston with great food and nice atmosphere. Is there anything good that's New American (Chez Panisse-type, fresh seafood, and organic vegetables, etc.)? Is Mark's worht the money and the hype? We will probably be spending the day in the museum district so something near there would be good (though my sister lives in Missouri City so anything between the museum area and there is fine too). I don't know the restaurant scene n Houston. Thanks!

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  1. I LOVE mark's and I think it is just what you are looking for. Also explore Tony's and Cafe Annie.

    1. Mark's is well worth it. I've never had a meal there that wasn't wonderful.

      T'afia has good reviews and a heavy emphasis on local produce, meat, etc. They have a Texas tasting menu that changes seasonally. I admit I haven't eaten there, though.

      Ask your sister if she's been to Aura--it's in the Township in Missouri City and is supposed to be very good.

      1. Mark's is worth the money, and the "hype" isn't hype -- it's the truth. It is a very special place to eat in every sense of the word.

        One not of caution. It is somewhat unlike Chez Panisse, however, They are similar in that they both are adherents of market cuisine, emphasizing what is fresh, local and in season. However, preparation at Mark's is not as spartan and simple as it is at Chez Panisse. Technique is a bit mroe front and center at Mark's and simplicity is perhaps not as much a central value. However, you can do no better in Houston of American fine dining. Enjoy.

        1. I third the Mark's raves. my favorite restaurant in Houston. I'd go there before Cafe Annie for sure. I haven't been to T'afia but have heard great things about it too.

          1. My husband and I went to T'afia last night for my birthday dinner, and the food was outstanding. We will certainly go back. Mark's has a more 'comfortable' atmosphere (i.e, white tablecloths, etc.--the atmosphere at T'afia is bare-bones, hard surfaces) but you would enjoy fabulous food in either restaurant.