Houston's Best Restaurant Service

August 9, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Some meals require VIP treatment along with stellar food - and luckily, Houston knows how to deliver.  Presenting our best restaurants in the city for service.

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.
Chama Gaúcha Brazilian Steakhouse
Brazilian · Briargrove · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

Regulars know to "pass on the salad bar" and save room for the seemingly endless parade of "superb" skewered meats at this Briargrove Brazilian churrascaria "favorite" , which also offers an "awesome" wine list in a "smart, sophisticated" white-tablecloth setting; sure, the "prices are a bit high" , but it’s "totally worth it.
Seafood · Galleria · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

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."
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."
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.
Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse
Steakhouse · Downtown · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.5

A block from Minute Maid Park sits "one of those classic steak places" , complete with "perfectly seasoned" meats, "seafood so fresh you might have to slap it" , an expansive wine list and "one of the nicest bars in Downtown" ; the decor is requisitely masculine and there’s "standout" service too, so no wonder it’s "always busy.
Damian's Cucina Italiana
Italian · Midtown · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

Expect an "old-fashioned dining experience" at this upscale Midtown Italian that’s been turning out "wonderful" meals made with "fresh ingredients" for three decades; "low noise levels" are "great for dinner conversation" , and "one huge plus: they have a shuttle to the Theater District."
Japanese · Montrose · $$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

It’s "always an adventure for the palate" at chef Tyson Cole’s Montrose outpost of his Austin original, plating "sushi creations" that are "music in your mouth" plus plenty of other "innovative, delectable" Japanese options that don’t involve raw fish; the scene – amid soft lighting and warm woods – is "impossibly hip" , and the tabs are "expensive" but "worth it" ; P.S. it’s "hard to get a reservation" because most of the seats are saved for walk-ins.
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
Steakhouse · Briargrove · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

"Everything you would expect in a quality steakhouse" is found at this classy, masculine Briargrove flagship of the Pappas empire that features "amazing beef and seafood" , "delicious" desserts ( "if you have room after a wonderful meal" ) and an "exceptional" wine list; sure, it’s "expensive" , but throw in "impeccable" service, and no wonder some say it’s among the "best steakhouses in Houston."
Sorrento Ristorante
Italian · Montrose
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

"Superb" Italian standards "presented in a beautiful manner" draw diners to this intimate, villa-esque oasis in the heart of bustling Montrose; a robust wine list, "first-class" service and a "romantic atmosphere" (think "soft" live piano music) complete the upscale package.
Chez Nous
French · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.5

"Tucked away" in the heart of Humble, this "elegant, upscale" outfit turns out "beautiful presentations" of "excellent provincial French country cooking" along with "outstanding" service and "a wine list to match" ; the quaint setting in an old church is ideal for "special occasions."
Da Marco Cucina E Vino
Italian · Montrose · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.6

It’s "almost like being in Italy" coo legions of fans of this Montrose Italian, a longtime "Houston treasure" known for its "outstanding" fare – "the butternut squash ravioli is to die for" , the "truffle anything is fantastic" – and "excellent" wine list that’s "extensive in Italian offerings" ; the "warm, intimate" setting is tended by a "superb" staff, all adding up to an experience that’s "pricey, but worth the cost" ; P.S. beer and wine only.
Taste of Texas
Steakhouse · Memorial · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

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."
Seafood · Galleria · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.5

Known for its "must-have" stone crabs from its own Florida fisheries, this "upscale" Galleria seafood specialist is a "Houston mainstay" for surf 'n' turf and the original outpost of the longtime regional chain; the "relaxing" atmosphere in the spacious dining room is punctuated with live piano music nightly.