Houston's Best American Restaurants

November 14, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Restaurants that refine and reinvent the classics.

American · Galleria · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

Touted as “excellent in every respect” , this “top-tier” Galleria-area New American offers “varied selections” of mains and more including game and “unusual fish species” that “always taste fresh out of whatever sea they came from” ; “reasonably quiet for a Houston restaurant” and sporting a contemporary look with clean lines and muted colors, it’s a “great choice for an expense-account dinner” or “special occasion.”
Rainbow Lodge
American · Heights · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

Between the “amazing” decor (taxidermied hunting trophies, old rifles, etc.), the “beautiful” log cabin setting on the banks of a bayou and the “delicious” game-centered menu, it’s no wonder this Heights New American is a “classic dining experience” ; it’s perfect for a “romantic date night” , and “on a nice day, you can’t beat the deck” ; P.S. lunch, Sunday brunch and bar menus offer less expensive dining options.
Backstreet Cafe
Cafe · River Oaks · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

A “favorite” in River Oaks, this bistro draws a “casual yet well-heeled crowd” for a “broad and diverse menu” of American fare – including “Southern- and Mexican-inspired dishes that always shine” – and an “extensive” wine list that’s “among the best in the city” ; the setting, in a “secluded and warm” former residence, features a “quaint courtyard” that's long been a “perfect locale for a weekend brunch” and is “especially magical at night.”
The Pass & Provisions
American · Montrose · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

“Inventive and tasteful” New American bites are the stars of this Montrose multitasker that’s “two restaurants in one” – The Pass serves ambitious “gastronomic” set-course meals in a minimalist setting with an open kitchen, while Provisions offers a modern bistro menu backed by “restored gym flooring” on the walls; the two also share an “unusual and equally interesting” wine list, and there’s a happening bar area and a good-sized terrace, to boot.
Brennan's of Houston
Creole · Midtown · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.8

An “way to visit New Orleans” without leaving town, this “peerless” Creole classic in Midtown combines “impeccable old-school service” , an “elegant setting” in a structure designed to evoke the Vieux Carré and “outstanding” food that includes – but goes well beyond – the “holy trinity of turtle soup, eggs Benedict and bananas Foster” (plus cocktails that'll “knock you off your barstool” ); the prices are “expense-account heaven” , but hey, “it’s more than just a meal, it’s an experience.”
Taste of Texas
American · Memorial · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.6

This bustling, family-oriented steakhouse in Memorial features a “wonderful collection” of regional historical artifacts and a notably “welcoming” atmosphere backed with “top-notch” service; the big draw is the “killer” steak, but some find the “highlight” to be the old-school salad bar, while others insist the “homemade bread alone is worth the trip” ; P.S. it’s wise to “pack your patience because they don't accept reservations and the wait can be long.”