First Bite: Studewood Grill Brings a New Steak & Seafood Option to the Heights
Studewood Grill, located at 1111 Studewood Place in the Heights, was originally set to open in 2020, but pandemic-related restrictions halted its debut until Memorial Day weekend. (Owner company Studewood Group did manage to open Studewood Cantine, a Tex-Mex concept next door, prior to the shutdown.) This chic neighborhood grill serves a menu of classic staples that includes cocktails, freshly shucked oysters, prime beef burgers and steaks. Diners can choose between the shaded, casual outdoor patio, the tasteful bar seating or the softly lit, comfortable and sophisticated dining room.
I originally attended a media sneak peek on the patio for cocktails and small bites, such as a miniature version of the jumbo lump crab cake and a loaded, shareable Chef’s Meat & Cheese Board featuring selections from Houston Dairymaids. Each of those appetizers cost $18. Cocktails are $12 to $15 and were well-made and refreshing. Attendees were given gift cards to return for the full Studewood Grill experience — which was good, because a few flying pests invited themselves to the outdoor preview event.
At the return visit, my husband and I started our meal with a glass of sparkling wine and the Cold Bar Mid-Rise, which comes with freshly boiled shrimp, stone crab claws and oysters on the half shell served on ice with cocktail sauce, horseradish and lemon. The seafood was fresh and the oysters slid easily off the shell. (The wine list features approximately 20 options by the glass and more by the bottle.)
The menu has three simple salads: Lettuce Wedge, Caesar and Traditional, which is the house salad with a choice of dressing. We shared the Traditional salad, and it was a generous serving. By itself, it would make a nice meal for someone with a light appetite. The buttermilk-herb dressing was creamy and flavorful atop the mixed greens, croutons, smokehouse bacon, cucumbers, tomatoes, shredded carrots and red onions.
Tim Williams, executive sous chef for the Studewood Group, stopped by our table to check on our meal and chat a bit about the concept. He said that the menu is designed to reflect the owners’ favorite ways to eat at home. Therefore, the focus is on simply prepared food made with top-quality ingredients. He recommended ordering the Feast for our main course. The cost is $45 per person, and our order for two arrived with steaks served family style with an array of side dishes. (Tip: it’s not noted on the menu, but you can also order it with fish or chicken instead of beef.) We chose filet mignon and ribeye, and two baked potatoes, charred broccolini and asparagus came alongside.
The dessert options on the night we visited were limited to New York-style cheesecake and key lime pie. We opted for the latter with shots of espresso. Since then, a three-layer cake has also appeared on the online menu.
Studewood Grill is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. The menu allows diners to enjoy a decadent date night or a casual family meal of hamburgers and salads. Reservations are recommended and can be made online or by calling (713) 864-1100. The restaurant is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 4 to 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 10 p.m.