PaperCity Magazine: Acclaimed New Orleans chef John Besh debuts his first Houston restaurant, Eunice, this fall with chef/partner Drake Leonards

by Jailyn Marcel, PaperCity Magazine
photography by Rush Jagoe Photography, courtesy Besh Restaurant Group

A taste of the Big Easy is heading to the Bayou City with acclaimed New Orleans chef John Besh readying his first Houston restaurant, Eunice, for a fall debut. Plans for a future Besh restaurant in Houston, which has been coined a “Cajun and Creole brasserie,” were originally unveiled last summer.

While the eatery will function under the Besh Restaurant Group umbrella, the true star of the show is chef-partner Drake Leonards, who will helm the Eunice kitchen.

In fact, the restaurant is named for Leonards’ Cajun hometown of the same name. Long before working with Besh at their popular New Orleans restaurant Lüke, Leonard fostered his culinary acumen at a quaint rice farm in the Southern Louisiana town.

“We are thrilled to join the diverse culinary landscape of Houston and pay homage to the cuisine of both Eunice, my hometown, as well as New Orleans,” Leonards says.

“We’ve been fans of Houston for a while, and honored to now have the opportunity to share our culture, which is as much about hospitality as it is about food.”

Eunice’s menu will focus on channeling nostalgic flavors from Leonards’ childhood, combining modern culinary techniques with Gulf Coast ingredients.

While the restaurant, which is stationed at 3737 Buffalo Speedway, may have Louisiana roots, Houston’s own Gin Braverman of gin design group will tackle the 100-seat space’s interior design.

“The interior design intent is to bring the charm, character and liveliness of Southern Louisiana to Houston,” Braverman tells PaperCity.

“A palette of whitewashed shiplap and mixed brick provides a backdrop to linen lanterns, quilted wallpaper and vintage furnishings seen through the magnificent 20 foot windows overlooking a lawn of 100 year old oaks.”

“A dynamic bar setting and an intimate chef table are among the many unique areas at which to enjoy some of the most refined iterations of Cajun Country cuisine.”

Stay tuned for more Eunice updates throughout the coming months.

courtesy of PaperCity Magazine