Best Restaurants for Private Dining in Houston

From a cozy family meal to a swanky corporate event, here's where to take your group
August 11, 2017
by Zagat Staff

Whether you're dining with family in an intimate wine cellar or sharing an expansive space with 100 corporate colleagues, the city's private dining rooms offer unique experiences for diverse occasions. We scoured the landscape for the most versatile options in town and suggest when — and with whom — to enjoy them. 

Rainbow Lodge
Brunch · Heights · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

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.
Brennan's of Houston
Cajun · Midtown · $$$
Food 4.6 · 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.
Steak 48
Steakhouse · Galleria · $$$

From the team behind Steak 44 in Phoenix comes this upscale River Oaks steak-and-seafood concept with a posh second-level lounge. Kitchen specialties include a raw-bar menu and fresh shellfish, prime beef and chops, plus classic appetizers and entrees (gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available).
French · River Oaks · $$$

Champagne informs many aspects of this stylish River Oaks bistro serving French-infused American fare alongside 1,000 wine labels focused on sparkling wines. The homey space blends brick walls, dark woods and a curving bar with a playful, bubble-inspired light installation, plus a private wine room and an expansive patio.
Seafood · Greenway Plaza Area · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

Tony Vallone’s "timeless Houston classic" in Greenway Plaza is "still at the top of the game" thanks to "spectacular" New American and Italian creations featuring "fresh, high-quality ingredients in thoughtful and delicious combinations" ; sure, it’s "pricey" , but with "unmatched" service and a setting adorned with abstract works from boldface artists, it’s the "epitome of fine dining in all aspects."
Backstreet Cafe
Brunch · River Oaks · $$$
Food 4.5 · 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."
Italian · Downtown · $$$$

The modern Northern Italian fare at this sleek Downtown destination from Houston Astros owner Jim Crane showcases osso buco, housemade pasta and seafood, complemented by an extensive wine and spirits collection. The soaring, modern space is studded with custom chandeliers, antiqued mirrors and high-back upholstered chairs, while an expansive bar and windows offers views of Minute Maid Park.
Roka Akor | Houston
Japanese · Greenway Plaza Area · $$

Robata-grilled prime beef and seafood headline this sleek Japanese steakhouse in River Oaks, a member of an upscale global chain, also offering a sushi bar, cocktails and housemade soju. A chic lounge anchors one end of the contemporary space, which is decked in pale woods and slate-colored walls, and includes a patio.
Coppa Osteria
Italian · Rice Village · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.0

An "Italian trattoria with a flair" , this lively Rice Village outpost (one of the many "popular, buzzy" restaurants from Clark Cooper Concepts – Ibiza, Brasserie 19, Punk’s) offers "fresh, light interpretations of familiar" dishes, including pizzas, rustic pastas and meat and cheese plates; beer, wine and serious cocktails are on hand to wash it all down, plus there’s "nice outdoor seating" , adding up to a "fun place to relax in the evening."
Killen's Steakhouse
Seafood · $$$

Le Cordon Bleu–trained chef Ronnie Killen has moved his award-winning Pearland steakhouse, known for such prime cuts as the signature Wagyu long bone-in rib-eye, to a larger and more luxurious spot, with personal wine lockers, a generous patio, private rooms and Frette linen–clothed tables sparkling with Riedel stemware.