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Restaurants In Houston’s Uptown Park Are Offering Swanky Meal Deals In June

mushroom ravioli at Etoile


Mushroom Ravioli at Étoile Cuisine et Bar. Photo by Phaedra Cook.

Posted: June 15, 2018 at 11:53 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Diners who want to sample some of Uptown Houston’s favorite restaurants have great opportunities this month. There are 13 spots in this swanky enclave of the city offering special multi-course meals for lunch and dinner. The cost is $35 or $45 per person for dinner and $20 for lunch. It’s the first 2018 Uptown Summer Dine Around and proceeds from food sales benefit the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. The deals run through June 30.

The participating restaurants are Berryhill Baja Grill, Cafe Annie, Etoile Cuisine et Bar, La Table, Luby’s, McCormick & Schmick’s, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Moxie’s Grill & Bar, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Piatto Ristorante, Post Oak Grill, Songkran Thai Kitchen and Willie G’s.

“The Summer Dine Around is a salute to Uptown’s restaurateurs, cuisine and diners and a celebration of the delicious fare that makes the area a culinary hotspot,” said John Breeding, president of Uptown Houston District., in a press release announcing the event. “The campaign features a special opportunity for diners to visit established favorites and also try the many new restaurants that have recently opened in our area.”

Picture of Robert Del Grande

Chef Robert Del Grande’s Cafe Annie is offering a selection of his personal favorites for the Uptown Dine Around event. Photo by Chuck Cook Photography.

Chef Robert Del Grande, who owns Cafe Annie, said he’s happy to participate, especially since the Bushes would occasionally dine at his restaurant and he got to know them a little.

“Houston is really a neighborhood kind of city and Uptown and Post Oak are neighborhoods,” he said. “Since I started, I’ve always loved collaborating with others on things like this. Instead of it being a competition, we’re all coming together for something bigger.”

He said in terms of the menus he’s offering for Dine Around, he “got selfish” and put his favorite dishes on them. One of those is the crab tostadas appetizer, which Del Grande said has been on his menu since 1982.

“We serve Gulf crab cakes with avocado. [The dish] feels fresh. It’s been popular since Day One, and I never get tired of it,” he said. He’s also offering three Gulf Coast oysters with cocktail sauce. “I love oysters and it used to be people thought you needed East Coast oysters. But Gulf oysters are really, really good. It’s a simple preparation and we serve homemade crackers alongside. it just feels like the Gulf Coast to me.”

Exterior image of Cafe Annie.

Café Annie is one of 13 restaurants participating in the inaugural Uptown Dine Around Event, happening through June 30. Photo by Chuck Cook.

Quail with venison sausage is one of the main course selections that he said “takes me back to my youth; I grew up eating little game birds.”

A short ways away, over at Étoile Cuisine et Bar, chef Philippe Verpiand is also glad to be part of the fundraiser. The menu “is a mix of classic French cuisine and seasonal fare. We’ve done the escargots in a classic presentation with garlic and butter, for example,” he said about the first-course option.

What he really wants people to know is that Uptown is still open for business, despite heavy construction in the area. He hopes the Dine Around event will help more people discover the area’s restaurants, and believes the charitable contribution is not only for a good cause, but is also a good thing to do.

“Something like this honors the fabric of Houston,” he said. “This is a city that’s very open and giving.”

About the author: Holly Beretto writes about food, wine, the arts and interesting people for a variety of local publications, including Downtown magazine and Houstonia. Her work has appeared in Arts + Culture TexasSanta Clara magazine, Maui No Ka Oi, PRIME Living and the Arizona State University and St. Paul’s School alumni magazines. She is the editor of Pierce, the magazine of Franklin Pierce University and the author of Christ as the Cornerstone: Fifty Years of Worship at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, published by Bright Sky Press. Originally from Rhode Island, she lives in Houston with her husband Mark Love.