Riel Rolls Out New Happy Hour Menu and Expanded Hours in Montrose
Ryan Lachaine, chef-owner of Riel and Houston’s resident Canadian hip-hop enthusiast (he recently collaborated on a cocktail with Houston rap legend Willie D, of Geto Boys and personal advice column fame) just rolled out a new menu of happy-hour bites. Along with that comes with an extended happy hour on Mondays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Happy hour Tuesdays through Fridays remains from 5 to 6:30 p.m. All five nights, diners can enjoy creative and seasonal small plates, as well as discounted beer, wine, and both classic and signature cocktails. Good news for seated guests: happy hour now applies to the whole restaurant, not just the bar.
The new menu includes globally inspired, inexpensive dishes such Chicken Skin Yakitori for only $4 and $9 Gator Karaage. The former is a light-and-crunchy take on traditional Japanese skewered chicken. The chicken skins are dehydrated and fried, then topped with togarashi, maple glaze, Crystal Hot sauce and lime juice. The poppable gator karaage is a simple yet intriguing combination of Gulf Coast ingredients and Japanese techniques served with a housemade ranch drizzle.
The crawfish rolls, a twist on New England lobster rolls, and the gourmet mini dogs are re-imagined takes on American classics. Large crawfish tails are smothered in a chilled sauce of seasoned butter and crawfish-boil, stuffed in mini challah buns from Cake & Bacon, and garnished with green onions and a single potato chip. The satisfying mini dogs are topped with an egg yoke drizzle, crispy puffed rice and shaved pickled carrots.
During happy hour, signature cocktails such as Sittin’ Sidewayz with mezcal, dark rum, dry curaçao, lime and orgeat or So Fresh, So Clean with vodka, lime, mint, cucumber and cava are $10. Willie D’s personal creation, My Mind’s Playing Tricks On Me, features reposado tequila, Grand Marnier, yellow Chartreuse, lime and agave for a sweeter take on a margarita with a French influence.
The cocktail menu’s hip-hop references and a soundtrack of classic ’80s and ’90s rap help attract a youthful (and young-at-heart), laid-back crowd to a restaurant helmed by a chef with some serious culinary chops. The new and extended happy hour is an incentive to visit soon if it’s been a while or go get a friendly and affordable introduction. Chances are, diners who do may find themselves staying for dinner.