Hot New Houston Restaurants To Check Out In February 2018

sea scallop carpaccio

Since the end of 2017, several chef-driven restaurants and bars have cropped up across Houston, from the Heights to the Galleria. There are no shortage of options, so the only dilemma before venturing out is knowing where to go. Here’s a list of the hot new places we think diners should check out this month.

Emmaline, 3210 West Dallas: Owner Sam Governale’s recently opened Montrose charmer is gaining a reputation as one of the “it” places to be seen in town. Houston Food Finder checked out Emmaline right before the New Year and loved the attention to detail in decor and the fresh dishes from the “market” like sea scallop carpaccio and Tunisian tuna crudo. Even though it’s currently a hot spot, Emmaline still never loses its intimate feel.

ponzu crab
Ponzu Crab from Maison Pucha. Photo by Phaedra Cook.

Maison Pucha, 1001 Studewood Street: Chef Manuel Pucha along with brothers Christian, a pastry chef, and Victor, the bar manager, opened their French eatery in the Heights right before Thanksgiving. Menu highlights include homemade charcuterie, Ponzu Crab, steak tartare with Akaushi beef and Pucha’s Ecuadorian-influenced shrimp ceviche. Maison Pucha also serves up classic French staples like bouillabaisse.

sourdough tagliatelle at Nancy's Hustle
Sourdough Tagliatelle at Nancy’s Hustle. Photo by Phaedra Cook.

Nancy’s Hustle, 2704 Polk Street: Industry insiders and Houston foodies have been touting the praises of Nancy’s Hustle ever since executive chef Jason Vaughn and beverage master Sean Jensen opened it. Top dishes at the EaDo neighborhood restaurant include the Nancy Cakes served with whipped butter and smoked trout roe and pastry chef Julia Doran’s Sourdough Tagliatelle. If you haven’t been yet, it’s time to get your hustle on. Check out our in-depth article for more details.

Goodnight Charlie’s, 2531 Kuester Street: This self-proclaimed “Houston Honky Tonk” has been getting quite a crowd since opening right before Christmas. Master Sommelier David Keck and business partner Peter McCarthy enlisted chef and partner Felipe Riccio, who also consulted with former MasterChef contestant Alvin Schultz on the Mexican-inspired menu. Notable items include honky tonk elote dressed with crema, cojita cheese, Old Bay seasoning and lime, and creative tacos like the 44 Farms Cheesesteak.

SusieCakes cupcakes
Array of Miniature Cupcakes. Photo courtesy of SusieCakes.

SusieCakes, 2563 Amherst: Coming our way from California, SusieCakes founder Susan Sarich built her sugary empire on confections inspired by her grandmother. Highlights for a sweet tooth include mini cupcakes, frosted layer cakes and an exceptional old school classic chocolate brownie. All the pastries are made from scratch.

Doris Metropolitan, 2815 S. Shepherd: New steakhouse Doris Metropolitan is located in the former Triniti Restaurant space. The original is in New Orleans and the Houston one is only the company’s second location. Meat lovers can revel in USDA Prime steaks wet-aged for three weeks then dry-aged for up to thirty-five more days. In addition, chef Sash Kurgen and manager Itai Ben Eli‘s Middle Eastern influences can be found throughout the menu, including in appetizers like the artichoke flower salad and Jerusalem salad.

Golden Bagels & Coffee, 3121 White Oak Drive: This Heights shop offers five freshly made bagels to choose from daily: plain, poppy-seed, sesame, everything and honey whole wheat. The coffee drinks made to go alongside use locally roasted beans from Katz’s Coffee. If Instagram is any indication, Golden Bagel’s selection of local cured and smoked fish will make lox lovers very happy as well. According to the company website, more menu items are still to come.

Italian American Grocery Co., 3605 White Oak Drive: Restaurateur Louie Comella, who also owns Gelazzi, opened his Heights grocery earlier this month. Items for sale include pasta, meats, cheeses, and wine. The menu is soon also featuring custom sandwiches and pastries, so stay tuned.

Holman Draft Hall, 820 Holman Street: The Kirby Group, which owns Wooster’s Garden and Heights Bier Garten, strikes again in Midtown. Holman Draft Hall has over 100 taps and select dishes from chef Brandon Silva. Visit during “boozy brunch” for mimosas and a tower of breakfast delights including fried eggs, smoked salmon, curried chicken and much more.

Step inside Holman Draft Hall. Photo Courtesy of The Kirby Group.

Coming Soon…

Feges BBQ: Chef Erin Smith (formerly of Main Kitchen, Plonk! and wine bar Camerata at Paulie’s) and husband Patrick Feges (aka the “Whole Hog Guy and formerly of Southern Goods) will soon start serving their joint creations to barbecue lovers. Feges BBQ is slated to open in late February or early March in the Shops at Greenway inside the Greenway Plaza complex. For an early taste, meat lovers can catch Smith and Feges at their last pop-up: Super Beef Sunday (yes, that’s before the game on Super Bowl Sunday) at Saint Arnold Brewing Company.

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