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ISO: Wine-centric Fine Dining

m
Mike C. Miller Aug 14, 2011 01:17 PM

in town for a couple of days. Looking for a place for dinner that has good food and an excellent wine list. Depth and quality of the list is more important than low price, though reasonable markups are always great. Especially looking for great selection of wines in the $100 - 250 range. Ideally, French emphases with a strong Burgundy selection.

Going to Mark's tonight. All other leads appreciated.

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  1. j
    jscarbor Aug 14, 2011 02:03 PM

    Phillipes has a nice list of burgundy's.

    Catalan used to have a great wine selection but they have closed .

    1 Reply
    1. re: jscarbor
      j
      jscarbor Aug 14, 2011 02:11 PM

      Brasserie 19 is owned by the Catalan people and they usually have good wine lists that are usually retailish priced.

    2. DaTulip Aug 14, 2011 07:01 PM

      Thats a tough one. I'm a Burg hound and sadly I don't find good selections here. Other than what has alread been mentioned, Le Mistral has some Burgs as does Max & Julie. Cafe Rabelais claims to have some, but at least 1/2 the time what you order they don't have. Brennans has a few & so does Sorrento. Oddly the Rainbow Lodge had a good selection when we were there last, but that was well over a year+ ago. Block 7 has a few nice ones too. Please report back if you find a place with any depth. Thanks!

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      Sorrento
      415 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77006

      Rainbow Lodge
      2011 Ella Blvd., Houston, TX 77008

      Le Mistral
      1400 Eldridge Pkwy, Houston, TX 77077

      1. m
        Mike C. Miller Sep 16, 2011 04:26 PM

        Headed back to Houston Sunday through Tuesday. Any more leads on restaurants with good high-end wine lists greatly appreciated. I'll probably eat at Mark's once.

        Tried Brasserie 19 last visit also. Fair, but nothing to write home about. A good dozen or so restaurants in Dallas have a better list than they do. Food was adequate, but again, nothing notable.

        Max & Julie and Cafe Rabelais both have their lists (current or not) on their websites, so I can get a feel for what sort of wine list they have. However, Le Mistral, which frankly seems to have the most interesting food of the three, does not. Any one have any recent experience with their wine list, particularly the wines in the $100 - 300 range. My general experience is that all too many restaurants have only two to five selections in that range, and that the quality usually isn't that good.

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        Le Mistral
        1400 Eldridge Pkwy, Houston, TX 77077

        3 Replies
        1. re: Mike C. Miller
          Lambowner Sep 16, 2011 05:52 PM

          You might call or otherwise research the wine list at Cinq in the Colombe d'Or Hotel. There's a new chef making news there, but don't know how the wine list measures up, and haven't dined there yet.

          http://www.lacolombedor.com/

          Le Mistral is our favorite for French food in Houston, although I can't speak in any detail about the wine list. There is a wine cellar room you can reserve if you have a group. The Sunday brunch at Le Mistral is also good if you are here on a Sunday. I feel sure Sylvain Denis would email or fax the wine list to you if you requested it, he seems to be the resident wine guy and brother of chef David Denis. Super friendly and helpful with our (decidedly less expensive) wine choices!

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          Le Mistral
          1400 Eldridge Pkwy, Houston, TX 77077

          1. re: Mike C. Miller
            j
            jscarbor Sep 17, 2011 03:48 AM

            Check out Tony's wine list online. http://tonyshouston.com/wine-program/

            1. re: Mike C. Miller
              m
              mjust Sep 17, 2011 11:54 AM

              Have you ever been to Masraff's? I'm not sure if it's exactly what you're looking for, but you can check out their wine list on their website (they always have the current list available in PDF).

            2. b
              bornie Sep 17, 2011 05:43 AM

              Pappas Steakhouse on Westheimer

              1. m
                Mike C. Miller Sep 17, 2011 06:23 PM

                Thanks for the suggestions. Plenty to chew on.

                I haven't thought of Tony's for years. I guess I just assumed it was out of business. Decent enough list, though the markups are on the high end, which is not unexpected. How's the food these days. I haven't eaten there in thirty years or more.

                Masraff's looks very interesting from a wine standpoint. It's a very well chosen list, at least in terms of the geographic regions I know about. Pretty heavy on well regarded producers with some decent value producers thrown in. I like a list where they've bothered to go out and do their research instead of taking whichever domaines the wholesaler couldn't move. I like this list very much. Anyone care to offer an opinion about the food.

                As to Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, that list is very similar to their list in Dallas. Really an amazingly good list. I just absolutely love their wine list. I'd give anything if it just weren't in a stead house. I'm not a great fan of steak, but I eat at Pappas in Dallas about once every two months just to plunder the list. The markups can be a tad high in spots (but is quite reasonable overall), but for a list like that, I can live with it. And in Dallas, the wine staff is actually pretty good. A rarity around here.

                I wish they'd open a 40 - 50 seat dining room adjacent to the restaurant and rent it out on a monthly basis to a up and coming chef about to open his own restaurant so he could hone his chops and make the list available to the studio restaurant. I think I'd eat there every night.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Mike C. Miller
                  m
                  mjust Sep 17, 2011 07:44 PM

                  I really enjoyed the food at Masraff's. We went there for our anniversary on Thursday, which is why it was on my mind. The calamari was fantastic (sauteed with garlic, oyster mushrooms, soy, and cilantro). I have been told that the risotto (which changes daily) is also great, but can't speak from personal experience. I've also heard a lot of good things about the various fish dishes, although I went with the duck, which was quite good. Not my favorite duck preparation that I have ever had, but it was executed well. Service was excellent even though it was a packed house (highly recommend reservations). Not quite at the level of Mark's, in my opinion (that's where we spent our last anniversary), but very good and I would say definitely worth it if you like the look of the wine list. It's now on our list of special event places.

                  I haven't been to Tony's. I've heard mixed things about the food (the reviews seem to ebb and flow), and for the price, was just never that interested in taking the gamble. But others who have actually been may have better things to say.

                  I know Rainbow Lodge was mentioned earlier in the thread. It's one of our favorite restaurants in the city. No wine list available online that I could find, though.

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                  Rainbow Lodge
                  2011 Ella Blvd., Houston, TX 77008

                2. m
                  Mike C. Miller Sep 18, 2011 01:20 PM

                  Dinner at Mark's last night. The food was very good and the service was impeccable as always. My girlfriend wanted the pork dish (tenderloin one way, ribs sou vide another, all with a melange of seasonal vegetables, spiced apple, etc. ) Decided to go off the well beaten Burgundy path and got a Donnhoff trocken Riesling that matched perfectly with her dish and very nicely with my fish. Just an amazing match with the pork. The Bisque of White Lobster was a knockout appetizer and went well enough with the Riesling. I got the quail and foie gras and it was a stand out match. Great dinner.

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