On The Radar: Hot New Sips & Bites In Houston

Week of June 12, 2017

In the heat of summer, light drinks, fresh produce and Gulf seafood emerge as chef favorites across the city. Don’t miss these new dishes, drinks, dinners and special menus this week at Houston-area restaurants.

AGU Ramen, ​multiple locations: This Hawaiian import rolls out a new dish at its six Houston area locations this week: Shrimp Lollipops. These battered bites feature Gulf shrimp, with a choice of volcano or aioli dipping sauce. It’s a great appetizer for sharing before tucking into a bowl of ramen.

​ARA Restaurant, 2222 West Loop South: Chef Robert Graham is featuring a special Lobster Mac and Cheese on Thursday, June 15 in honor of National Lobster Day. He prepares the dish with fresh Maine lobster and orzo pasta, port salute, spinach and truffle. The Lobster Mac and Cheese is priced at $29 and includes a complimentary Saint Arnold Pub Crawl (American Pale Ale). The dish is available in both ARA and the Axis Lounge.

Backstreet Cafe’s Tomato Menu has been offered seasonally since 2009, and is a diner favorite. Photo courtesy of Backstreet Cafe

Backstreet Cafe, 1103 S. Shepherd: Celebrate the bounty of summer tomatoes from now until mid-September at Backstreet Cafe. Chef Hugo Ortega’s seasonal Tomato Menu is dedicated to local heirloom varieties and is available alongside the lunch, brunch and dinner menus. Guests can look forward to items like Tomato Cocktails, fried green tomatoes topped with crabmeat remoulade, and a tomato flatbread, among others.

Eight Row Flint, 1039 Yale: Agricole Hospitality returns with its Outdoor Cooking Series on Tuesday, June 13 at Eight Row Flint. Guest chef Jason White, chef de cuisine of the upcoming Theodore Rex (at the former Oxheart location at 1302 Nance), will be serving coal-grilled chicken with green garlic broth and chicken fat rice on the patio for three weeks—June 13, 20 and 27. All plates will be $15 and served from 5 p.m. until sold out.​​​​​​​

Fluff Bake Bar, 314 Gray: San Antonio’s Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery comes to Houston this Saturday, June 17 at 10 a.m. at Fluff Bake Bar. The special pop-up bake sale will include creations by Chef Jeff Balfour like fried chicken and praline crepes, smoked Gouda shortbread, handheld pineapple and cornbread pudding, a pan dulce breakfast sandwich, Fredericksburg peach and “crystal” cookie, and jalapeño pimento beer cheese.

Executive Chef Martin Stayer will feature seafood offerings from Hawaii for “Tuesday by the Sea.”Photo by Jack Thompson

Nobie’s, 2048 Colquitt: This cozy bungalow neighborhood eatery in Montrose will produce a seafood-centric menu at 5 p.m. the last Tuesday of the month, June 27, dubbed “Tuesday by the Sea.” Executive chef Martin Stayer will feature seafood offerings from Hawaii in addition to the a la carte menu. Dishes include poke and unique creations using spam. Note that the seafood menu is available until sold out, so plan accordingly.

Ooh La La Dessert Boutique, multiple locations: Cupcake Lover’s Day is June 13, but the special offering at Ooh La La Dessert Boutique is available through the month. The Banana Cream Pie cupcake features dense banana cake filled with house vanilla pastry cream, topped with a vanilla whipped cream/buttercream frosting and a crunchy banana chip. Get a jumbo for $3.75 or a mini for $1.75.

Radio Milano introduces Lobster Spaghetti as part of National Seafood Month. Photo courtesy of Radio Milano

Radio Milano, 800 Sorella Court: Chef Jose Hernandez is celebrating National Seafood Month with two innovative dishes: a Crab Cannelloni with rhubarb gel and jumbo lump crab; and Lobster Spaghetti with spinach and pesto. Diners looking for a nightcap should head to the Milano Bar downstairs to enjoy new summer cocktails like the Flat Earther, an adult spin on a snow cone made with Alkkemist Gin, Campari, Sandeman Rainwater Madeira, lemon juice and cinnamon syrup.

Rainbow Lodge, 2011 Ella Boulevard: Celebrate the Lodge’s monthly wine event this Wednesday, June 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sip and stroll in casual attire, tasting light wines from four regions paired with Texas summer dishes. Examples include Michel Picard Gamay with Gulf Shrimp Veracruzano with tomato, green olive, capers and pickled jalapeno; and Bodegas Luzón Monastrell and Syrah from Jumilla, Spain with spiced stone fruit crumble, vanilla cream and salted caramel. The cost is $35 per person—all inclusive—in advance, or $40 at the door on day of event. Call 713-861-8666 for reservations.

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  • June 14, 2017 at 10:05 amRenia

    The Lobster Spaghetti looks so succulent and fresh. I have added this dish to my list. I rarely travel to CityCentre, but that’s totally about to change. I have also never visited Radio Milano. Jeeze, where have I been?! Great post!

    • June 14, 2017 at 12:19 pmPhaedra Cook

      Thanks as always for reading, Renia! It’s been too long since I’ve visited Radio Milano as well. I hope to remedy that soon, but I’ve certainly enjoyed my past dinners there. — Phaedra

    • June 15, 2017 at 12:26 pmMaureen Demar Hall

      Renia, Radio Milano is amazing! Chef Hernandez is one of our favorites here in Houston, we’ve gone and asked Chef to just cook for us, it’s always been a fun, tasty and sometimes unexpected experience!