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Houston Food News Bites: Chic French Comes to the Heights, Help For Sonoma & More—Updated

Maison Pucha smoked salmon


Maison Pucha is now open in the Heights and serving an interesting mix of French and Ecuadorian dishes. Shown here is hickory-smoked and cured Skuna Bay Salmon with vegetable pearl salad, smoked carrot coulis and chocolate foam. Photo by Cristian Pucha.

Posted: November 28, 2017 at 12:05 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Week of November 27, 2017

The Thanksgiving turkey coma has faded and the Houston food scene is steamrolling on—and will all the way to New Year’s Eve. This past week, a much-anticipated French restaurant has opened in the Heights and a beloved cafeteria returned. In the true spirit of Houstonians helping others, there’s a bubbly benefit event next week that will aid wineries affected by the fires that ravaged Sonoma.

Plus, with all manner of seasonal classes and events, Houstonians can fill their calendars with fun activities and get into the holiday spirit.

Recent Restaurant Openings

Maison Pucha, 1001 Studewood: As reported earlier this year, Manuel Pucha, executive chef at La Table, left the ambitious Galleria restaurant to start his own, along with his brothers Victor and Cristian. Maison Pucha opened its doors Thanksgiving weekend, offering up a spirited take on traditional French fare, including bouillabaisse, duck confit and steak frites. There are also nods to the family’s Ecuadorian roots, such as riffs on ceviche and tiradito, a full bar and house cocktail program. The three brothers are all veterans of the hospitality industry, having worked in kitchen and front-of-house positions at restaurants in New York and Houston. Dinner service is Tuesday through Friday from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. and Sunday 5 to 9 p.m. Lunch and brunch should begin in a few weeks.

Cleburne Cafeteria

The banner says it all: Cleburne Cafeteria is open for business, more than a year after fire ravaged the space. Photo by Holly Beretto

Cleburne Cafeteria, 3606 Bissonnet: Fire swept through the beloved restaurant last August. On November 17, after more than a year of reconstruction, the classic cafeteria reopened its doors for lunch and dinner service. All the favorite dishes, including chicken fried steak and the restaurant’s signature pies, are back.

Get Ready for The Grinch

Get into the holiday spirit with The Grinch, Sweet Paris’ December crepe of the month.

Sweet Paris Creperie, 2420 Rice and 797 Sorella Court: This Friday marks the debut of “The Grinch” on the popular creperie’s menu. This crepe of the month, inspired by the classic Dr. Seuss story (but far more appealing than its namesake), is prepared with a green batter filled with crème brûlée, red strawberries, green M&M’s and dulce de leche.

Upcoming Events

November 28

Uchi, 904 Westheimer: The innovative, Japanese-inspired Montrose favorite is teaming up with 8th Wonder Brewery for a celebration of beer and food. The five-course dinner showcases foods that pair with 8th Wonder’s Astro Turf Cream Ale, Cougar Paw Red Ale, Haterade Sour Wheat and Rocket Fuel Vietnamese Porter. The event starts at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $80 (excluding tax and gratuity). To make reservations, call (713) 522-4808.

December 2

King’s Biergarten, 1329 E. Broadway, Pearland: The popular beer house and restaurant is partnering with Killen’s BBQ for the next Kolache Pop-up in an ongoing series. The flavors of the month will be Killen’s Brisket ($5.50) and Killen’s Pulled Pork ($4). 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Added 11/29/18.

Che Thai at SING

Che Thai, a Vietnamese-style fruit salad with tapioca, is one of the dishes Cuc Lam of forthcoming restaurant SING is serving at a pop-up at Wooster’s Garden this Sunday. Photo by Cuc Lam.

December 3

SING Pop-Up At Wooster’s Garden, 3315 Milam: Houston diners may know her as a restaurant critic for the Houston Press, but Cuc Lam’s primary job is as a chef whose food has been showcased at ambitious pop-ups and private dinner parties for years. This Sunday, Lam is cooking dishes traditionally found in Singapore at Wooster’s Garden from 4 to 10 p.m. The event also functions a preview of forthcoming restaurant SING, set to debut in spring 2018. The entirely gluten-free menu includes a Dan Dan noodle bowl with Szechuan-spiced pork, noodles and fresh herbs; Grilled Lemongrass Pepper Riblets with jasmine rice and Che Thai, a Vietnamese-style fruit cocktail with mini-tapioca pearls, jackfruit, lychee and coconut milk. More details can be found on SING’s Facebook pageAdded November 29, 2018.

Bosscat Kitchen and Libations, 4310 Westheimer: The Sunday Funday event featuring Mirval Rosé takes advantage of Houston’s mild temperatures. Hosted on Bosscat Kitchen’s patio, glasses of Mirval Rosé are $12 and frozé (frozen rosé) cocktails made with the same are $10. There’s special VIP seating for women in the service industry and Bosscat will serve its Sunday brunch menu to pair with it all. The event runs from 12 to 3 p.m.

December 4

L’Alliance Française, 427 Lovett: Spec’s fine wine buyer Bear Dalton is coordinating a Luxury Cuvee Champagne Benefit, with proceeds going to help those affected by wildfires that swept through Napa and Sonoma. The evening features tastings of 15 of the most sought-after Champagnes available from Grand Marque producers, including Dom Perignon Brut and Rose, Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, Pol Roger Cuvee Winston Churchill and Roederer Cristal. The shindig starts at 7 p.m. Cost is $250 per person (if paid by cash or check); otherwise it’s $263.16. For tickets, call Susan Coburn at (713) 854-7855 or send an email.

La Table, 1800 Post Oak: Kick off the holiday season with some sparkle. This five-course Champagne dinner includes a discussion on the wines by sommelier Xavyer Burroughs. It starts at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $250 (excluding tax and gratuity). Call La Table at (713) 439-1000 for reservations.

Sylvia's holiday gift set

Houston “Enchilada Queen” Sylvia Caesares with her holiday gift set. Photo by Paula Murphy

December 5, 9 and 16

Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen, 1140 Eldridge: In the Tamales 101: The Ancient Art of Tamales class, chef-owner Sylvia Caesares will teach attendees how make pork and chicken tamales from start to finish, right down to wrapping them in corn husks and steaming them. The three-hour class concludes with everyone sitting down to eat. The cost is $64 per person. Register online. (Attendees can also pick up a quick gift while there. Ask about Caesares’ holiday set. Pictured above and sold separately, it features her cookbook, a hand-sewn towel and more.)

December 9

The Italian Cultural and Community Center, 1101 Milford: Kids ages three to 10 will love the cultural center’s La Piccola Cucina holiday class, where they’ll make mezzelune alla vaniglia, or moon-shaped almond and vanilla cookies topped with powdered sugar. These sweet treats, originally from Austria, are popular in Europe and are traditionally made at Christmas time. Students will also learn some basic Italian and about Italian culture. The cost is $30 for members and $45 for non-members. Class starts at 11:30 a.m. Register online.

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