Nostalgic Houston Restaurant & Popular Chef Offer Modern Gulf Coast Flair
With a historic name, a classic location and a beloved chef, The Warwick restaurant is tapping into our love for nostalgia. The Warwick name evokes the sophistication of the historic hotel that was transformed into today’s Hotel Zaza. The restaurant’s location at Westheimer and Fountainview is the former home of Houston’s, a longtime favorite that shuttered in 2019. And, maybe most importantly, The Warwick’s kitchen is being helmed by New Orleans-born chef Antoine Ware, who has lived and cooked in Houston since Hurricane Katrina. His creole roots and experience at Houston classics such as Mr B’s Bistro and Harold’s bring bold flavors to the table.
The undisputed star of the menu is the Charbroiled Gulf Oysters: Six oversized oysters roasted with collard greens and garlic butter that are topped with baked hard cheeses and served in a silver, spaceship-shaped bowl. Each order comes with grilled garlic bread for soaking up the last tasty bits.
Many other dishes are also refined — but not dainty — takes on Gulf Coast favorites such as Chili-glazed Gulf Shrimp, which are fried jumbo shrimp tossed with a spicy red glaze. More decadence is reflected in entrées such as the Hawaiian Ribeye, a 16-ounce boneless prime ribeye marinated for 48 hours in pineapple, brown sugar and ginger, and grilled lobster tails poached in butter, sprinkled with Cajun spices and laid on a bed of Andouille Jambalaya Risotto. In a nod to the former Houston’s restaurant, Ware has included two of its most popular dishes: the Dip, a spinach and artichoke gratin served with tortilla chips and Chicken 713 Pasta, which comes in a garlic cream sauce.
Beverage director Andrew Grala has developed lively cocktails that are mixed at the chic island-shaped bar, which encourages mingling and fills a quarter of the restaurant. A Desperado is a refreshing choice for a hot day made with Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, turbinado sugar, raspberry puree and walnut bitters. The not-to-be-missed Espresso Experience martini is a not-too-sweet coffee-lovers cocktail that is hiding in the dessert menu but appropriate at any time.The wine list, like the menu, is focused and accessible with wines by the glass starting at $11 and bottle service that ranges from the very affordable to the Armand Ace of Spades Brut Champagne, which falls into the “if-you-have-to-ask” category of pricing.
The restaurant’s lounge-like interior, which was designed by Nicki Dooms of NHI Design, includes a black and white tiled bar, artfully arranged ceiling beams and glossy marble tables. Custom gold banquettes dominate the booth-only dining room, which is accented with tropical wood and leaf tones. This updated take on late-sixties modernity will have you thinking of three martini lunches and romantic trysts. True rat-packers can enjoy a cigar on one of the two patios. One is shaded by oaks, the other is covered and hugs the bar. The restaurant also features a stylish party room in the form of an extra-large booth in a posh monstera-themed room.
The Warwick, which is at 5888 Westheimer, is open daily 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Lunch is expected to start in May, and brunch is slated to begin in mid-July.