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Downtown Houston upscale Bar Dining

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chow_gal Nov 29, 2009 03:29 PM

NYC hound in Houston for business will want a proper meal Weds evening. Staying at the Four Seasons downtown (1300 Lamar). No car, though the hotel offers free transportation of reasonable distances. Last time I was in town we dined at Mark's, which I have to say, was a bit ham-fisted IMO:

"This sole needs caviar. And maybe a quail egg."
"Crabmeat, not rich enough? We should also mix in lobster. And a beurre blanc"
It was delicious but just "too much" and often overpowered the essence of the ingredients.

I also dined at Catalan and thought it had one of the best wine lists I've seen in a long time, and authentic and thoughtful tapas.

How about Voice or The Grove - very close to the 4 Seasons? Looking to dine alone at the bar with nice wines by the glass or half bottles.

Any ideas are welcome. Many thanks.

  1. b
    bornie Dec 1, 2009 02:22 PM

    Always a favorite,, the bar at Indika (next door to dolce vita) for terrific Indian tapas during happy hour (till 7pm) or a full fledged dinner. Hip crowd and Mishall, the bartender is the coolest.. Great people watching..

    For Italian entertainment,, the bar seen at Carrabba's on Kirby. Sit at the "food bar" section and watch the workers dish out some of the best family style Italian in Houston. Order the "off the menu" shrimp appetizer,, you'll not be disappointed. I'm from Jersey,, my gal pal from NYC,, both of us just back from a NYC food fest last month (from momofuku to spice mkt, keste etc). Houston only lacks in quantity of restaurants,, not quality.. And affordability,,, forgeddabout it!
    Post your feedback after your visit. Enjoy!!!!!!!

    1. b
      Bulldozer Dec 1, 2009 10:27 AM

      The two who replied before me pretty much nailed it. Only modification would be to remove RDG in the Galleria. It's too far from downtown and the other suggestions are better (Feast, Dolce Vita, Hugo's, and Reef).

      My only additions would be Indika for modern Indian food (right next to Dolce Vita), Da Marco (Dolce Vita's big brother), and Voice which you mentioned and is terrific.

      FWIW, REEF and Catalan have my two favorite wine lists in town.

      1. s
        superluckycat Nov 30, 2009 05:11 PM

        Stay away from The Grove, the food is not good and the service is bad too even though the setting is beautiful on Discovery Green.. (I had another mediocre and annoying meal this weekend - not my choice).

        I would go to Reef (modern interpretation of Gulf seafood) or Dolce Vita (wine/pizza, NYC Otto-type comparison). Hugos would be good too. It is out of range maybe for hotel shuttle but maybe RDG Bar Annie, this is Robert del Grande's newest endeavor. He is the famous Cafe Annie chef.

        Let us know where you go and have fun. (btw I agree about Mark's)

        1. d
          Drewsky29 Nov 30, 2009 11:15 AM

          Two places that come to mind.. you should check out Hugo's, authentic mecican with a nice bar and really interesting menu. It is definatley on the upscale side with quality food and without the pretetiousness of some other top tier Houston restaurants. Otherwise you may want to try Feast . Somewhat of a gastro pub experience. Not sure if they have a bar but this place is extrmely reasonable and laid back with quality food that has received rave reviews. Both of these places are alternatives to the typical Houston "fine dining" scene that normally consists of steakhouses...

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