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Houston Restaurant Week picks

I am sure this isn’t news to people reading this blog – Houston Restaurant Week starts on Monday and is a great opportunity to try some of the better restaurants in town and donate a little for a good cause while you are at it.

I am going to be out of town for most of the Houston Restaurant Week, so here’s my absentee ballot for best bets:

  • 17 (the new chef isn’t knocking it out of the park yet, but definitely has promise)
  • America’s – The Woodlands (the carnitas sound really nice; skip the generic tres leches and go for the Plinio original)
  • Arcodoro (when it’s on, Arcodoro is very good. stick with the Sardinian specialties and pasta)
  • Cafe Annie (I am really starting to warm up to this place. get the potato soup and striped bass)
  • Gravitas (I run hot and cold on Gravitas. it has been rather good lately)
  • Voice (if you aren’t sure about doing a full boat tasting, this might be a good way to do a test drive. then go back and do the tasting menu.)

Arcodoro in action

Honorable mentions

  • Jasper’s (could well be a gimmick, but kent rathburn sounds like a good chef)
  • Bistro Lancaster (never been, but have always wanted to go)
  • Le Mistral (another place I haven’t been to, but comes highly recommended by people I trust)
  • Gigi’s Asian Bistro (a lot of the dishes are generic pan-Asian fare, but the chef really does a nice job on the Spice Market section. their green curry chicken dishes are outstanding.)
  • Glass Wall (so maybe they botched my steak when I went a year ago, but maybe it was my fault for ordering steak?)
  • Kiran’s (HRW menu sounds dull, but Kiran’s is a great restaurant. honestly, you can score a better deal on the same dishes at lunch)
  • The Grove (I find the food boring, but reasonably well executed. I think I keep going back just because I like the dining room.)
  • Max’s Wine Dive

As for me, I plan to forget everything I know about exchange rates and self control in Europe. Amsterdam doesn’t have a whole lot of interesting food destinations, but I am really looking forward to a kaiseki menu at Yamazato. I also plan to stop by the Sea Grill, while I am in Brussels. The restaurant seems a bit more formal than I normally enjoy during a 24 hour stay in a city, but it will be interesting to see how it compares to a fish focused L2O in Chicago. 

Being in Paris in August (beyond my control) is pure torture if you are mainly interested in eating, but overall things are looking good. L’Arpege and Le Bristol are already booked. I will likely find myself at the Ze Kitchen Galerie and Le Chateaubriand as well.

Any other stops in Paris, Amsterdam or Brussels I should consider?

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