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best high end food in houston

wendileigh Aug 14, 2009 06:44 PM

Ok, so my husband promised to take me anywhere I wanted to go eat in Houston. Now I need to figure out where. We moved here a few months ago and the only nice place we've been so far is Feast, which I loved. I want to know where you'd go if given the opportunity and why. Price isn't an issue. I want amazing food and great service.

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  1. d
    ddelaurenti RE: wendileigh Aug 14, 2009 07:11 PM

    I've always enjoyed Cafe Annie (although it's been quite some time since I was last there)

    3 Replies
    1. re: ddelaurenti
      danhole RE: ddelaurenti Aug 16, 2009 10:48 AM

      Cafe Annie is gone. It is now Restaurant RDG and Bar Annie. 2 separate menus, and it moved to a new location not far from the original.

      1. re: danhole
        mjust RE: danhole Aug 17, 2009 03:48 PM

        I had never been to Cafe Annie, but I went to RDG recently and was underwhelmed. It was definitely very nice and the food was very good, but I didn't think it quite lived up to the hype. Maybe my expectations were too high after hearing so much about Cafe Annie and the opening of the new restaurant?

        I will say that the new space is really lovely and the service was very good.

        Edited to add: My two favorite places for a higher end meal right now are Catalan and Rainbow Lodge. But I'm fairly new to town, so I haven't had a chance to try some of the other places that people have mentioned, like Mark's and Da Marco.

        1. re: mjust
          danhole RE: mjust Aug 18, 2009 08:47 AM

          There is a whole story about how Robert el Grande wanted to make simpler menus so that is why he went with the new concept. So far the people I know who have eaten there have been disappointed. One guy liked it but said it was too expensive for what it was. I wonder if the food in Bar Annie is better. I do know it is less expensive.

          I also like Catalan, but you can get out of that place for far less than at DaMarco's, or Rainbow Lodge, and I think Mark's is one of the most expensive. The wine list is great and reasonable. When I went to Catalan with a friend we just shared a bunch of small plates and a dessert, and were quite satisfied.

          Rainbow Lodge, Textile and Bedford keep getting such mixed reviews, and it is a shame because they all have brilliant chefs.

    2. o
      onatrip RE: wendileigh Aug 14, 2009 08:24 PM

      I had my first lunch this week at Mark's on Westheimer. Exquisite sums up the meal best.

      Be sure to save room for dessert!

      1 Reply
      1. re: onatrip
        fredeatshouston RE: onatrip Aug 18, 2009 10:11 AM

        Mark's is my favorite. Great food, great atmosphere and great service.

      2. b
        Bulldozer RE: wendileigh Aug 15, 2009 07:33 AM

        Da Marco. Best restaurant in town.

        1. b
          bornie RE: wendileigh Aug 15, 2009 12:19 PM

          Haven't been yet to (if you have to ask how much, ur in the wrong restaurant)Textile or Voice but the reviews have been steller. DaMarco is a rare but for special occasions visit favorite.

          3 Replies
          1. re: bornie
            fredeatshouston RE: bornie Aug 18, 2009 10:20 AM

            While I never had my servers quote prices unless asked, I think some things go beyond the pretentious notion that asking for prices makes a guest cheap or poor.

            Great dining is not exclusive to the ultra-rich. If it were, many of your favorite spots would be going out of business.

            Today, folks of all economic levels are becoming diners and are learning to experience the finest foods Houston's chefs have to offer.

            DaMarco last year had a pasta special that was $85. That is a bit over the top and your average guest would be shocked at that price for a pasta. White truffles or not.

            Fine dining and pretense no longer go hand in hand.

            1. re: fredeatshouston
              Bulldozer RE: fredeatshouston Aug 18, 2009 02:18 PM

              I agree that $85 for pasta is out of control, but I always found Da Marco to be extremely reasonable for what you get. Sure, there are items on the menu that are really expensive, but you don't have to order the most expensive items to dine well there.

              1. re: Bulldozer
                fredeatshouston RE: Bulldozer Aug 20, 2009 03:11 PM

                That's a fair point.

          2. zorra RE: wendileigh Aug 15, 2009 10:30 PM

            Either Mark's or Da Marco, depending on what you want to eat. Your criteria of amazing food and great service will be met in either place.

            1. danhole RE: wendileigh Aug 16, 2009 10:50 AM

              Charivari for European, Le Mistral for french and DaMarco's for Italian.

              2 Replies
              1. re: danhole
                wendileigh RE: danhole Aug 16, 2009 03:28 PM

                What about Textile? Is it worth the hype. I was hoping for a chef's tasting menu somewhere paired with wine.

                1. re: wendileigh
                  Bulldozer RE: wendileigh Aug 16, 2009 07:46 PM

                  Worth the hype isn't exactly a yes or no question. Textile is awesome, but it will cost you, and the service is up and down. Food is up and down too. If you do decide to go, go tues-thurs and get the tasting menu AND the dessert tasting menu as well. You may need to call and talk to the pastry chef their first before you do.

              2. c
                chickstein RE: wendileigh Aug 16, 2009 04:40 PM

                I love Mark's but I also love Tony's. I have never had a bad experience at either.

                1. c
                  Captainspirou RE: wendileigh Aug 17, 2009 03:57 PM

                  If you're willing to drive then check out Chez Nous in Humble. It has a very good reputation.


                  I've never been but it's at the top of my list in places I want to go in Houston.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Captainspirou
                    barrettn RE: Captainspirou Aug 19, 2009 10:21 AM

                    I'll agree with Chez Nous as a great place, I've eaten there three times, and was impressed every time. And there's even a 2 for 1 dinner coupon (up to $20, IIRC, Tues-Thurs) in the Entertainment coupon books! Not often that you can find a discount for such a high end place.


                    1. re: barrettn
                      onatrip RE: barrettn Aug 23, 2009 06:21 AM

                      Get on Chez Nous' mailing list. They will send info for a three course meal including two glasses of wine pp. Before tax and gratuity, the meal is $35 pp including the wine.

                      I've only been on the mailing list about a month but I believe that they send out this promotion weekly for Friday nights.

                      I referred a friend but learned that without being on the mailing list, wine is an additional charge.

                  2. l
                    LDLee RE: wendileigh Aug 18, 2009 11:28 AM

                    So many choices.

                    Textile. Go on the weekend, when Scott is there.

                    Catalan . The tasting menu never stops.

                    Mark's. Always great. Same with Da Marco.

                    Last April, Food in Houston ranked the top 10 restaurants in Houston as follows:
                    1. Feast
                    2. Reef
                    3. Textile
                    4. Rainbow Lodge
                    5. Indika
                    6. Catalan
                    7. Da Marco's
                    8. Hugo's
                    9. Bedford
                    10. Voice.

                    Other than Hugo's, I can't quibble with the list.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: LDLee
                      danhole RE: LDLee Aug 18, 2009 01:18 PM

                      Are you saying that you don't like Hugo's? I was thinking of taking a friend there for her birthday, and most people gush over that place. Honest opinion from you would be nice. I have heard more critical reviews of Rainbow, Textile and Bedford, as I already said. Now I wonder what to believe. I just don't have the disposable income to try them all and then decide ;-)

                      1. re: danhole
                        bornie RE: danhole Aug 18, 2009 02:08 PM

                        Hugo's is terrific D! If u like mole' try the duck entree'. The carnitas are great too,, honestly,, Hugo's is consistently a "10". Get a extra side of their refried beans... I'd be happy making a meal on chips and those wonderful beans! Best "over the top" brunch in town too! Enjoy,, and let us know what u think..

                        1. re: danhole
                          Bulldozer RE: danhole Aug 18, 2009 02:21 PM

                          Dani, Hugo's is a must visit. Only complaints I've heard have been occasions where the dishes weren't seasoned properly, although apparently they have improved recently.

                          1. re: danhole
                            mjust RE: danhole Aug 18, 2009 02:43 PM

                            I agree that Hugo's is fabulous. Everything that I have had there has been great, and every guest I have taken has loved it as well. (Including my parents, who are very serious about good food.)

                            1. re: danhole
                              zorra RE: danhole Aug 19, 2009 12:30 PM

                              I love Hugo's! I'd like to know what LDLee's objections are. The DH and I have eaten there many times and have never been disappointed. They make their own chocolate desserts and mole dishes from scratch (meaning, they start with the cacao beans), and all are outstanding. Definitely, take your friend to Hugo's.

                              1. re: zorra
                                LDLee RE: zorra Aug 19, 2009 05:36 PM

                                I hear wonderful things about Hugo's also, but never have that experience. Maybe it is because most of the times I have gone has been at lunch, but I have found the food to be uninspiring and the service to be marginal.

                                1. re: LDLee
                                  Cheflambo RE: LDLee Aug 22, 2009 11:08 AM

                                  FYI -- if you want the Textile experience WITH Tycer, wait a week or so. He's out of town at the moment.

                          2. g
                            geosail RE: wendileigh Aug 23, 2009 09:32 PM

                            Marks is great. Also Polos. Personal favorite is Tony's - beautiful room, attention to detail on food and service is top class. Reef is hot right now - celebrity chef and all.

                            1. g
                              geosail RE: wendileigh Aug 23, 2009 09:34 PM

                              Forgot my other fav - Mockingbird Bistro. Chef John is an artist.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: geosail
                                zorra RE: geosail Aug 24, 2009 05:34 PM

                                I had a beautifully prepared, very pleasant lunch there some months ago. Will have to go back for dinner. So many restaurants, so little time...

                              2. zorra RE: wendileigh Aug 27, 2009 08:20 AM

                                If you're willing to venture into the 'burbs, try Aura in Missouri City. Another place with "amazing food and great service".

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