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Looking for something simple, but impressive.

gastrotect Jan 19, 2011 07:40 AM

So my gf's birthday is coming up and I want to find someplace that is simple/cute and on the affordable side, but still impressive food-wise. I don't live in Houston, so assume I don't know anything about the food scene. We do lots of both Mexican and Tex-Mex when I come into town, so I'd like to go in a different direction unless there is a place that does it in a really interesting way. Otherwise, any suggestions are welcome as we are both open and adventurous eaters. For reference about affordability I am hoping to do this dinner for under (or at least around) $100 including tax and tip. Thanks in advance!

  1. b
    brentwood Mar 19, 2011 07:30 PM

    Visited Houston recently and ate at Vinoteca Poscol on advice of friends. We were blown away. It's in a strip mall on Westheimer near Montrose, and the theme is Italian small plates. Attentive, knowledgable service; plenty of choices; well-done wine list; and everything we tried was outstanding.

    2 Replies
    1. re: brentwood
      zorra Mar 19, 2011 07:33 PM

      Poscol has the most marvelous dessert in Houston, IMO: dates poached in spiced red wine and served over mascarpone. Not to be missed.

      1. re: zorra
        brentwood Mar 19, 2011 07:47 PM

        That's what we had, it was brilliant!

    2. p
      pyescamilla Mar 19, 2011 07:06 PM

      Crapitto's on Mid Lane has a nice ambiance and a lovely patio for outdoor dining. Lots of under $25 entrees. Two Saints in the Memorial area is very good and is BYOB and you can easily stay under $100 for two.

      Crapitto's Restaurant
      2400 Midlane St, Houston, TX 77027

      1. g
        gastrotect Jan 21, 2011 08:17 AM

        Thanks for the ideas. I love them all actually. I am leaning towards either t'afia or Zelko's at the moment. t'afia is somewhere I've known about and for some reason didn't think about until it was suggested.

        3701 Travis Street, Houston, TX 77002

        1. g
          grbroderick Jan 20, 2011 12:39 AM

          I'd recommend t'afia - Monica Pope's restaurant in midtown. You should be able to get in and out of there for around $100 (before wine) and Ms Pope is one of the finest chefs in Houston. Her menu changes daily, based upon the availability of fresh local ingredients -- Ms Pope is an adherent of Alice Waters' slow local food philosophy. Her dishes are simple, fresh, locally-sourced and delicious.


          Bon appetit!

          3701 Travis Street, Houston, TX 77002

          1. b
            bornie Jan 19, 2011 05:21 PM

            Try Zelko's Bistro in the Heights. Do a google search.. Terrific food and service, seating is tight but the rave reviews are warranted. Another option is Giacomo's on Westheimer for some nice Italian served in not the typical fashion. For a walk on the funky side, Empire Cafe on Westheimer serves up something for everyone.. The deserts are killer,, you order at the register then served.. small tables make it intimate but also great people watching venue. $100 dollars doesn't go very far anymore,, darn!

            1. j
              James Cristinian Jan 19, 2011 10:35 AM

              The Hollister Grill in Spring Branch fits your description. It is small, but with very good food. They have byob for wine with a corkage fee. They are only open for dinner Wednesday thru Saturday. They do serve lunch Monday thru Saturday, with a totally different menu, burgers and such.


              2 Replies
              1. re: James Cristinian
                DoobieWah Mar 15, 2011 01:48 PM

                I just had this place recommended to me. Looks great. May have to try it soon, probably for lunch.

                What have you tried and liked?

                1. re: DoobieWah
                  James Cristinian Mar 19, 2011 10:58 AM

                  This place is two different places for lunch and dinner, the website I'll post will explain. Lunch is simple, burgers a good but thin chicken fried steak with good mashed potatos and a gravy I like better than BBQ Inn. Dinner is more refined, but they have drastically changed the menu since we went. To be honest I don't remember everything we had, but I know we had scallops and risooto, and it was all good. They now have a chicken fried ribeye at night that I've got to try.


              2. k
                kagemusha49 Jan 19, 2011 09:57 AM

                If you like Thai try Kanomwan (also known as the Telephone Thai) on Telephone Road (you can google the address). Plain bit just about the best Thai in Houston.

                There's some nice Vietnames places too. A lot depends on where you'll be staying and how mobile you'll be.

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