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Engagement Dinner in Houston

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I'm looking for recommendations for the ideal engagement dinner spot in Houston. I'm not at all familiar with the food scene in Houston so am eager to hear any and all recommendations. My girlfriend and I are both big food people so food is important, but if anything, what's even more important to me is finding somewhere with the perfect ambiance and where we won't feel like the tables next to us are on top of us. Also of concern is finding a place with great service, and ideally, even a management team that's willing to go out of their way to help make it a perfect night for us. Given that it's for such a special occasion, cost isn't a concern, but I also don't mind going somewhere unconventional if the setting is just right.

Places I've come across include: Artista, Rainbow Lodge, and Tony's. What other suggestions do people have? What are people's thoughts on those places?

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  1. Although I cannot speak for Artista or Tony's, I can recommend Rainbow Lodge. Not only is it one of the most beautiful places in Houston, but the owner, Donnette, is very accommodating. I have a very picky eater for a husband, and I was concerned that he wouldn't find a meal that he would like because of the sides offered (he is THAT picky.) So I sent a note and got a personal response from her letting me know that they would prepare whatever he felt comfortable with. If he wanted mashed potatoes, then that is what he would get. Another big selling point is that a well known chef, Randy Rucker, has recently taken over their kitchen, and he is a very brilliant chef. Here is a link to his blog which has some great photos of the Lodge:

    http://greensandbeans.wordpress.com/

    1. Another possibility is Noe in the Omni. I know the chef who started it is one of those chronic movers and he's long gone. Perhaps someone else can chime in to their current state, but the waitstaff will definitely take care of you there.

      Artista is nice, but if I remember correctly, tables are jammed together and it can get pretty noisy. It's a pre-theater spot, so it can get busy or be empty depending on the time.

      Also can't speak for Tony's.

      I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't been to Rainbow Lodge since it moved. The old place was freakin' spectacular setting. danhole, how does it compare setting-wise to the Birdsall location?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bulldozer

        It is even better than it was. It is in the old Tour 'd Argent location, overlooking a beautiful wooded area, with a creek, and gardens. It is a 100 year old log cabin with a great view and very romantic. They have built a spectacular new patio/deck, and the original bar from the old location was brought over in tact. Just look at the website.

        I wouldn't think Artista would be a good choice either, unless you could be sure there wouldn't be any performances going on.

        1. re: danhole

          Thanks so much danhole and Bulldozer for your help!