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10 Reservations to Make Right Now for Houston Restaurant Weeks

From newcomers to old favorites, these are the best bets (and deals!)
August 7, 2017
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by Ellie Sharp

The return of Houston Restaurant Weeks is cause for celebration with five weeks of brunches, lunches and dinners supporting the Houston Food Bank. Each meal corresponds to a donation amount, as noted on the restaurant’s menu, and enables the food bank to provide up to 21 meals per purchase. The multiweek event started August 1 and runs through September 4.

This year, more than 200 restaurants are participating from Galveston north to The Woodlands; prices range from $20 to $45 depending on the meal and location, but don’t forget tax and gratuity. Need a starting point for navigating such a list? We gathered up ten must-try locations including five newcomers and five repeat participants. Make reservations here

Participating for the first time this year


Photo courtesy of Potente

Potente
1515 Texas Ave.; 713-237-1515
Dinner Monday–Saturday
Earlier this year, Houston Astros owner Jim Crane opened two new Italian hot spots, giving fans of both baseball and Italy two great reasons to drop by Downtown. Executive chef Danny Trace (recently of Brennan's of Houston) dishes up delicacies like rock lobster arancini, Texas Hill Country quail scallopine and Italian ricotta cheesecake. At $45, this dinner is a steal; each meal also begins with an artichoke hummus amuse-bouche to whet the appetite.


Photo by Ellie Sharp

Broken Barrel
1950 Hughes Landing Blvd. #1900; 281-719-8542
Dinner Monday–Friday; Brunch and dinner Saturday and Sunday
It’s worth the drive to The Woodlands to dig into Latin, Asian and Mediterranean fusion dishes at this March opening from chef-owner Hilda Ysusi. Brunchers can enjoy the patio overlooking Lake Woodlands while dining on housemade grilled zucchini bread with grape butter and four savory second courses like yellow coconut curry mussels and ranchero Benedicts with housemade masa; brunch includes one glass of mimosa or sangria. Dinner is also a winner with cochinita pibil tostones, combining refried beans, fried plantains and adobo pork.


Photo by Paula Murphy

Xochi
1777 Walker St.; 713-400-3330
Lunch and dinner Monday–Sunday

Now is the time to visit this upscale Mexican restaurant from chef-owner Hugo Ortega. Inspired by the region of Oaxaca, his latest Downtown stunner has five $45 menu compilations, each focusing on a theme like mole or masa and four courses; a vegetarian variation is available for $35. It's a great deal considering dinner can regularly creep past $65. The $20 lunch includes a burger with housemade Oaxacan string cheese and pork ribs with mole pasilla.


Photo by Ellie Sharp

Urban Eats
3414 Washington Ave.; 832-834-4417
Dinner Monday–Saturday

Popular for its cheerful and laid-back vibe, this Washington Ave. destination kicks off its first Restaurant Weeks experience. Highlighting fan favorites, the $35 dinner price makes it easy to love the generously sized Cobb wedge with smoky ham and feta–blue cheese blend, sundried tomato and prosciutto meatloaf and pecan praline bread pudding. Stop by the first-floor specialty market on the way out to pick up local and global jam, pasta, coffee and more.


Photo by Julie Soefer

Coltivare Pizza & Garden
3320 White Oak Dr.; 713-637-4095
Dinner Wednesday–Sunday (closed Tuesdays)

Ryan Pera has long fed adoring fans at his classy-casual Heights Italian eatery, and now they can enjoy all the Pera touches for only $35. An “A” and a “B” menu offer different goodies, but each hits on signature pastas and pizzas that use local ingredients, including produce grown on-site. 

Returning participants


Photo courtesy of The Epicurean Publicist

Amalfi Ristorante Italiano & Bar
6100 Westheimer Rd #140; 713-532-2201
Dinner Monday–Saturday

This intimate Galleria-area restaurant reflects the flavors and sites of chef-owner Giancarlo Ferrara’s birthplace on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. The three-course $45 dinner offers selections like grilled baby octopus with green beans and fingerling potatoes, prosciutto with figs, and cheese- and potato-stuffed housemade tortellini with rich boneless beef short ribs. For dessert, it’s hard to beat vanilla bean gelato with caramelized Texas yellow peaches. Each meal includes a complimentary frozen Bellini and appetizer.


Photo by Pop Ratio

Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar
3715 Alba Rd.; 713-290-0074
963 Bunker Hill Rd.; 713-468-3745
4224 San Felipe St.; 713-622-1010
1050 Studewood St.; 713-802-0533

Lunch and dinner Monday–Friday; Brunch, lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday
Though the Gulf Coast–inspired kitchen from Lance Fegen is not new to Restaurant Weeks, diners can nosh on some special dishes before they become part of the regular menu. Such items include mussel and clam à la minute soup, chopped Persian salad and a six-ounce bone-in filet mignon showcasing a new prime dry-aged program. Brunch includes bananas Foster bread pudding French toast and breakfast fried rice. The primary offerings are the same at all four Liberty Kitchen locations, but some variations apply, so call ahead if you are hoping for a specific dish.


Photo by Chan Do

Peli Peli
110 Vintage Park Blvd.; 281-257-9500
5085 Westheimer Rd. B2515; 281-257-9500
23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Katy; 281-257-9500
Dinner Monday–Sunday; Brunch and lunch varies, call for specifics

South African–inspired dishes at upscale Peli Peli continue to draw fans, especially to the newly opened third location in neighboring Katy. Restaurant Weeks is a great time to sample three popular dinner options: combine the bobotie starter, beef espetada entree and sticky toffee pudding dessert for $45 — ordering the same dishes à la carte normally runs $65. Brunch and lunch vary per location.


Photo by Ellie Sharp

The Union Kitchen
4057 Bellaire Blvd.; 713-661-0025
12538 Memorial Dr.; 713-360-2000
23918 US-59, Kingwood; 832-644-9067
3452 Ella Blvd.; 713-681-0022
Lunch and dinner Monday–Sunday

Diversity is a big draw at this local mini-chain that dishes up global American food in a chic-casual setting. While the seasonal menus vary by location, options range from a sirloin topped with General Tso's fried cauliflower and garlic blue cheese in Bellaire to bacon lobster rangoons and deep-fried PB&J in Memorial. The Ella location in Garden Oaks opened in 2016 and debuts at Restaurant Weeks this year.


Photo by Ellie Sharp

La Table
6 BLVD Place, 1800 Post Oak Blvd.; 713-439-1000
Lunch and dinner Tuesday–Friday; Brunch and lunch on Saturday

This two-story French restaurant/bakery/bistro near The Galleria offers one of the best deals, considering an average dinner in Chateau, the main dining room, generally runs well past the $45 special price. This makes it an ideal time to sample the colossal lump crab salad, Hudson Valley duck breast and rich dark chocolate soufflé (the latter is big enough to share and costs $4 extra). At $20 and $22, respectively, lunch and brunch are additional musts.

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