1 UB Preserv
After winning a James Beard Award for best chef in the Southwest in 2014, Chris Shepherd has expanded his culinary empire to include multiple concepts in the city. This latest venture takes dishes from several ethnic backgrounds and reflects the local landscape and the city’s position as one of the country’s most diverse. Pork dumplings with soy chili and black vinegar, rice salad with herbs and tomatoes, and chicken wings are great for sharing. Crawfish and crispy noodles come smothered in a garlic butter sauce and show off Shepherd’s affinity for Asian flavors, while a roasted Gulf red snapper is served whole and covered in a bright salsa verde. For dessert, a carrot cake gets upgraded with a unique spice blend, and on the weekends the kitchen doles out a dim sum brunch. 1609 Westheimer Road, 346.406.5923
2 Mastro's Steakhouse
Tilman Fertitta’s The Post Oak Hotel has landed as the city’s newest luxury addition, and the massive compound on the West Loop glitters with Las Vegas glamour. Mastro’s Steakhouse is the culinary jewel in the crown, offering up classic steakhouse fare like prime steaks, a jaw-dropping tomahawk chop and Japanese wagyu served with sides like lobster mashed potatoes, Gorgonzola mac and cheese and truffled sauteed mushrooms. Across the valet circle, Willie G’s Seafood serves locally and internationally sourced fruits of the ocean in an equally elegant setting, while the hotel itself also has dining options. Colorfully decorated Bloom & Bee—think pink—serves New American cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while dimly lit cocktail lounge H Bar serves martinis and sushi. 1650 W. Loop S., 713.993.2500
3 Fig & Olive
The Galleria continues to transform into a serious dining destination, and one of the latest additions is a branch of this Mediterranean concept from New York. Next to Saks, it features an outdoor terrace great for brunching, while the interiors have warm accent colors, light wood floors and rosemary bushes between banquettes. A huge display of olive oil greets diners at the host stand, setting the stage for the menu's inspiration. A large selection of crostini offers must-have starters; then, enjoy entrees like a balsamic-glazed short rib, squid ink paella or Chilean sea bass with roasted sunchoke, rapini and mascarpone. The signature Fig & Olive cocktail—a potion of muddled grapes, basil, lemon and New Amsterdam gin—and an international wine list pair with everything. In the Galleria, 832.871.3468
Seasoned restaurateur Sam Governale brings a new hot spot to Montrose, offering American fare with European flare. The large space sports massive windows that allow floods of natural light and take in the view of the large, dog-friendly terrace, with its stoic massive oak tree. Roasted eggplant served with country bread, and charbroiled mollusks with robiola cheese and caviar begin the meal, which can then move on to pasta and oven-fired pizzas or main dishes like cioppino, seared scallops with mushrooms and squash, or a pork chop with fennel apple sauce and glazed root vegetables. The weekend brunch is hopping, or swing by for a leisurely lunch and enjoy the Sammy, a stack of seared steak, horseradish cream and provolone on Italian bread. 3210 W. Dallas St., 713.523.3210
The dining room at Maison Pucha
5 Maison Pucha
After cutting his chops for many years in the kitchens at La Table and Philippe, Manuel Pucha and his two brothers, Christian and Victor, opened this Heights spot last fall. The Ecuadorian chef has now branched out on his own to create dishes that merge French technique, classic European dishes and the occasional unique flavor inspired by his native South America. Starters include a shrimp ceviche and ponzu crab with avocado, shishito peppers and cilantro, while Peking duck with orange-ginger glaze shares the space on the entree menu with classics like steak frites and trout almondine. Victor serves as pastry chef and has crafted a strong dessert menu that features a chocolate, passion fruit and vanilla souffle, as well as an Ecuadorian chocolate tres leches. 1001 Studewood St., 713.637.4976
Champagne fuels an endless party at this River Oaks watering hole run by Shawn Virene. The name’s a play on words and an homage to a town in France’s famed Champagne region, and the extensive wine list features more than 1,000 bottles, with no fewer than 250 vintages of bubbly. Classic French and Italian fare make up the menu; standouts include foie gras mousse, bouillabaisse, redfish with a beurre blanc, and a duck breast seared with five spices and served over cauliflower and Brussels sprouts with a honey, soy and chili sauce. The bar is a great place to see and be seen. The main dining room features several wine display cases and dangling glass globes, and the patio is large and very popular during cooler weather. 2300 Westheimer Road, 713.722.6899
James Beard Award-winning Austin chef Paul Qui has brought his unique blend of Texas and Southeast Asia cuisine—Qui’s Filipino heritage plays a major role here—to Montrose in an elegantly simple space designed by A Parallel Architecture. The main dining room has soaring gabled ceilings and walls of glass that allow an abundance of natural light. The open kitchen buzzes with a team of experts who prepare small, sharable plates like hamachi crudo with jalapenos and citrus; tapioca dumplings with pork and peanuts; a vegetable stir-fry with soy bean sauce; and a wagyu skirt steak with soy-charred onions. A strong sake and wine program rounds out beverages, but definitely start with one of the superinventive cocktails. 520 Westheimer Road, 713.360.7834
World-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa has finally brought his iconic sushi empire to Houston, opening a 10,000-square-foot space in the Galleria. Executive chef Carl Murray and executive sushi chef Eiji Saito turn out classic Nobu favorites like black cod with miso and yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno, as well as cooked dishes like cherry blossom-smoked wagyu beef served in a pot, whole king crab leg with black truffle panko crust, and lobster shiitake salad with spicy lemon dressing. The bar also has a Japanese happy hour that includes specials like rock shrimp tempura and ceviche tacos to pair with beer, wine, sake and cocktails like the Yuzu Kumquat Cooler made with vodka, kumquat, mint, orange, monkfruit, lemonade and soda. In the Galleria, 832.987.2599
9 Alice Blue
Shade in the Heights has transformed into Alice Blue, a neighborhood bistro that serves cuisine inspired by Houston’s many cultural influences. Flavors are bright and fresh in appetizers like squash fritters with cilantro and yogurt, marinated shrimp with herbs and radish, and grilled eggplant with pistachio and pomegranate. Pastas include a squid ink spaghetti with jumbo lump crabmeat, salami and preserved lemon, and mains boast snapper with romesco sauce, fingerling potatoes and olives; flank steak with asparagus and green garlic bearnaise sauce; roast chicken with squash, salsa verde and black garlic aioli; and fried quail with peaches and yogurt. Thanks to great tile work, the space is colorful and airy, and brunch is a hit with the locals. 250 W. 19th St., 713.864.2050
Restaurateur Ian Tucker and chef Dominick Lee have opened Poitin—the name comes from an Irish distilled beverage—in Sawyer Yards just off of Washington Avenue. The warehouse space has a dining area, private room, large bar and an expansive patio, plus incredible views of Downtown. Lee’s menu is international, showing Creole and Southern roots from his native New Orleans, as well as Indian flair picked up during his time at Kiran’s. Hummus served with house bread, mussels with shallot and saffron, and pork skins are a few of the starters, while mains include a cauliflower steak with pickled chipotle aioli, a marbled bone-in short rib or whole fried market fish with papaya salad, grilled mango and sticky rice. The cocktail list is expansive, and it's a great spot for brunch with a view. 2313 Edwards St., 713.470.6686
Can you believe it's July 1st already? Half of the year is already gone... Don't freak out! You still have time to achieve goals and make memories! One thing that has become very clear to me this year, (Matthew 24:36-44) "noone knows the hour". So I've made it mandatory to take time to love, laugh, be goofy and make memories with my loved ones.
So while I was searching for things to do, I decided to share with you some celebrations going on for the 4th in Houston. Whatever you decide to do BE SAFE and ENJOY!!
Freedom Over Texas featuring Chris Young
Eleanor Tinsley Park
Wednesday, July 4, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
$8 online/$10 door
Join other Houstonians in this patriotic celebration in downtown Houston. Fireworks will light the sky while country music star, Chris Young, headlines the musical performances, which also include Cupid and the Dance Party Express and The Mavericks. Tickets are $8 online and $10 at the door.
ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights: Star-Spangled Salute
Miller Outdoor Theatre
Wednesday, July 4. 8:30 pm
Pack up a picnic and a blanket or lawn chairs and take your family to Miller Outdoor Theatre for a spectacular Independence Day concert by the Houston Symphony. At 10 p.m., enjoy a fireworks display to cap off the night.
4th of July Weekend at CityCentre
Wednesday, July 4 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Head to CityCentre for an evening of live country and rock music by the Texas Unlimited Band. No outside food or beverages are allowed but you can pick up some food at one of CityCentre’s many restaurants and bring it with you to the show. Make sure to get there early. The event is free but parking is $10.
4th of July Celebration at Bayou Bend
Wednesday, July 4 from noon to 5 p.m.
For something a little different, drop in for an afternoon at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, which offers a dose of Americana during its Fourth of July Festival. Listen to a reading of the Declaration of Independence, enjoy a lemonade toast, watch performers and sign the giant copy of the Declaration of Independence. Admission is free.
Fourth of July Snow & Ice Celebration at Memorial City
Memorial City Mall
Wednesday, July 4 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Cool off this Independence Day at The Square at Memorial City Mall where you and your family can play in in 30,000 pounds of snow. Plus, you can enjoy frozen treats, live music, cotton candy and more.
City of Bellaire Fourth of July Parade and Festival
Bellaire Town Square
Wednesday, July 4 at 9:30 a.m.
Watch a parade of local school bands, floats and classic cars at 9:30 a.m. and then head to Bellaire Town Square and Loftin Park for a fun-filled festival featuring games, food and music. Kids can choose from a variety of activities, including a Putt-Putt course, petting zoo, rock wall, water slide and more.
Houston Symphony's Star Spangled Salute
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Tuesday, July 3 - 8 pm
Now in its 28th year, this free concert in The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion features a serenade of patriotic favorites performed by the Houston Symphony. No tickets required.
Fourth of July Fireworks Show
Wet'n'Wild Splash Town
Wednesday, July 4 - 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Must purchase park ticket for entrance
Wet’n’Wild SplashTown will be hosting its annual Fourth of July Fireworks Show, featuring a night of fireworks, music, games and much more.
21st Annual Red, Hot & Blue Festival & Fireworks Extravaganza
Town Green Park and Waterway Square, Woodlands, TX
Wednesday, July 4. 6 - 10pm
Held at multiple locations in The Woodlands, festivities for this community celebration include live entertainment, kids games and activities, and food. Performers include Willow Creek Junction at Waterway Square, Uptown Drive at Town Green Park, Klockwork Band at Northshore Park, Keeton Coffman at Rob Fleming Park and Phatso at Hughes Landing. Fireworks follow at 9:30 p.m.
Katy Freedom Celebration
Heritage Park/Katy Mills Mall
Wednesday, July 4
The city of Katy is celebrating Independence Day with tons of free activities for families with kids. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., take the kids to the Katy Fire Station and Heritage Park for fun at the bounce houses, dunking booth, petting zoo and food. Then head back out at 9 p.m. for a fireworks show at Katy Mills Mall.
July 4th Celebration at La Centerra
Wednesday, July 4, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Food, drink and music await you at La Centerra’s Fourth of July celebration. With performances by Velvet Touch, Buck Yeager Band and Level One Band beginning at 5 p.m., you can dance away before the fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m. An interactive kids zone will keep the kiddos entertained; just make sure you arrive early to grab a spot.
179th City of Galveston Celebration Independence Day Parade and Fireworks
Wednesday, July 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Don’t miss Galveston’s Independence Day extravaganza, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. with a parade along Seawall Boulevard featuring floats, decorated military vehicles and performers. After the parade at 9:15 p.m., enjoy a 20-minute fireworks show over the Gulf of Mexico near 37th Street and Seawall Boulevard.
Fourth of July at Kemah Boardwalk
Wednesday, July 4 at 9:30 p.m.
Enjoy amusement rides, midway games and good food at Kemah Boardwalk, then enjoy a fireworks show over the Gulf of Mexico starting at 9:30 p.m.
Celebration of Freedom
Wednesday, July 4 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Celebrate the country’s birthday with a fun-filled evening in Pearland. A military salute kicks off the festivities, where you’ll find food, live entertainment, vendors and a fireworks display inside Pearland High School Football Stadium.
Fourth of July Celebration
Wednesday, July 4 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Free activities, food and a fireworks display will keep you entertained at Missouri City’s patriotic tradition at Buffalo Run Park. Fireworks start at 9:15 p.m. and stadium seating will be available at Thurgood Marshall High School.
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