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Coming to Houston to Celebrate Anniversary - Please Help!

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Hello all you Houston restaurant lovers! I'm an Austinite looking to come to Houston this weekend to celebrate my 1 year wedding anniversary with my husband. We've been searching high and low at all the reader boards, yelp postings, and b-4-u-eat reviews....and we're still baffled at where we should go.

Can any of you suggest a place that has great food, great service, and isn't too pretentious? We're fun loving people, but want a nice atmosphere where we don't feel like we have to be millionaires to enjoy a nice night out.

Help me Houston chow-hounders, you're my only hope!

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  1. If you like Italian food, Dolce Vita has wonderful food (the pizza especially reminds me of the pizzas we ate in Italy) and good service in a relaxed atmosphere.Toast each other with a blood orange/prosecco cocktail!

    3 Replies
    1. re: zorra

      Thanks Zorra! I've seen a lot of good stuff about Dolce Vita....and the hubs definitely loves pizza.

      Any other suggestions out there?

      1. re: Kid_Icarus

        Congrats on your anniversary!

        I second the Dolce Vita suggestion (and the blood orange and prosecco cocktail). Just be aware that they do not accept reservations, so you may want to arrive early or late so you don't have to wait as long.

        t'afia is also great (and accepts reservations via opentable) - emphasis on local ingredients.

        I feel like I'm always recommending the same places (no, really, I promise I do eat at more than 5 restaurants!), but Feast is an experience . Very well-regarded, and I would feel fine walking in wearing jeans and nice sandals.

        Yelp and b-4-u-eat are great resources but I can understand they are a bit overwhelming with so many options -- you might try checking "A Cook's Tour," the Houston Chronicle critic's blog, and "Eating Our Words," the Houston Press food blog. You'll see photos and more detail on the good, the bad, the fancy, the casual, and everything else.

        Feel free to post again when you've got a short list for additional feedback!

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        t'afia
        3701 Travis Street, Houston, TX 77002

      2. re: zorra

        For an anniversary dinner, I'd think that DaMarco (owned by the same chef as Dolce Vita, also Italian cuisine but without the pizzas) would be more appropriate than Dolce Vita. Certainly one of the top places in the city for a special occasion meal.

        Other suggestions -- Brennan's, Catalan, Hugo's.

      3. El Tiempo on Washington has wonderful food (try the crab quesadilla) and is also fun. I've always had great service there too. It's very casual but the food and service are way above average. I've never been to the other two locations so I can't comment on them.

        1 Reply
        1. re: texasredtop

          We were in Houston at New Years and had our NYE dinner at the El Tiempo location on Montrose. We had a GREAT time and loved the food. I would've loved to sit outside. The peeps out there seemed to be really having fun. But, it was a little too cold for my thin, FL blood.

        2. Y'all have been awesome so far! Thanks for all the recommendations. I honestly never thought it would be this tough - so many good choices!

          1. Not sure where you'll be staying, but :

            Hearsay Gastro Lounge DT has great food and is a fun loving place. The asparagus is to die for and their burgers (I know - pedestrian) are super!

            Gravitas off Allen Parkway on Taft is excellent. Cocktails and breadpudding - I'm typically not a fan of either but they do both VERY well. Their crabcakes are also outstanding.

            I'd also recommend Hugos. Mostly a mex-mex place. They are doing an extra menu right now with all things squash blossom related. Yummy!

            Benjy's is another option. Food is good, not great, but has an upbeat feel & nice service. (I'm speaking of the one in the Village - haven't been to the Washington St. location.)

            Lastly - great ambience and a little more expensive is Sorrento's on Westheimer. Excellent Italian - you MUST have the truffle/parmesan risotto if you go - prepared tableside. Ask for Serjio - he will take good care of you.

            We also like 17, but haven't been in a while. Also a little more on the pricy side.

            Happy Anniversiary!

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            Sorrento
            415 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77006

            1. I know this is a bit late for a response.

              Latin Bites is a nice place. Good food, small cozy atmosphere, BYOB. You need reservations though since there's like 6 tables or so.

              1. The best anniversary date I have had in Houston was as Mark's American Cuisine on Westheimer...it was awesome...Sit up in the choir loft on the rail and you have a view of the whole place...really nice and the food was amazing...

                1. Dolce Vita=Italian + the best authentic Italian pizza's (and reg italian menue) outside of positano! (sit at the bar). loud and lively
                  Indika (next door to Dolce Vita) Unforget. food experience
                  Hugo's=Great Mexican food and rita's (not a tex mex joint). Sunday buffet is not to be missed
                  Reef=Inventive seafood creations from a "top chef".
                  Ibiza=great atmosphere, terrific 1st anniversary setting, great food and svc and wine list
                  Post Oak Grill (as above)
                  Pesce=Seafood, as above

                  Let us know where you land! Enjoy!

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                  Indika
                  516 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006

                  Post Oak Grill
                  1415 S. Post Oak Ln., Houston, TX 77056