Ouzo Bay's diver scallops with spinach risotto, ramps, crispy leeks and lemon.
The Elevator Pitch
This stylish Mediterranean import shoring in on the River Oaks District serves fresh fish flown in daily from the Mediterranean, presented on a lavish seafood display in the center of the open restaurant.
Sommelier Evan Turner, Houston's Greek wine expert, has created a masterful Greek wine list. Wine aficionados can request tours of the enclosed glass wine cellar and can sample wines inside.
Flaming saganaki, a pan-fried kefalograviera cheese, is flambéed tableside with brandy.
Phanes' Poison is made with Belvedere Citron vodka, honey syrup, muddled basil and lime, with a honey rim and fresh sprig of basil.
During happy hour, Eunice oysters are 75 cents.
From the circular bar to the chef's table adjacent to the kitchen, everyone is part of the action.
Chef Drake Leonards was an apprentice at Manhattan's Café Boulud, spent two years cooking in Europe and was executive sous-chef at nationally acclaimed restaurant August in New Orleans.
Gumbo Ya Ya
A balance of ultrafresh seafood (nothing frozen here), an expertly crafted roux and peppery spice makes the gumbo sing. Due to chef's German and Louisiana heritage, a dollop of potato salad is mandatory.
The Teal Season, named for the chef's favorite time of year, is made with Balcones Distilling whiskey, Baby Blue and mildly bitter amaro from Italy.
Sheesh Mahal, or Palace of Mirrors, one of the dining areas of new Musaafer. It was built entirely by craftsmen in India, then disassembled and shipped to Houston to be reassembled.
The Elevator Pitch
Dubai-based The Spice Route Company chose Houston for the first location of its new restaurant, which will introduce a mesmerizing picture of the markets, palaces and hidden street foods of India, when it opens in the fall.
Palatial furnishings and decor in the soaring restaurant are sourced from India. The high-energy bar and lounge serving artisanal cocktails is a highlight, and the multimirrored Sheesh Mahal room may soon be an Instagram sensation.
Owners Shammi and Mithu Malik sent two chefs on a 100-day journey to traverse India and recreate the story-based menu, which features obsessively sourced Indian cuisine.
Fancy veggies with your farm-to-table steak? Try Georgia James' salt and citrus roasted beets.
Buzzy and bustling with a throw-caution-to-the-wind attitude.
What the Chefs Eat
Chef-owner Chris Shepherd likes the uni panna cotta; chef de cuisine Greg Peters likes the Tejas Heritage chicken with lima bean Hoppin' John, and sous-chef Matt Coburn favors the Slab Salad.
Why We Like It
It's everything you never knew you wanted in a steakhouse, from the handsome Southern ambiance to the modern menu.
The shrimp crackers are made from dehydrated shrimp sheets that fry up like chicharones and are used as a vessel for the beef tartare. Sneaky delicious!