If the chew fits… Trend-setting restaurants worth stepping out to.
UPPER KIRBY // Named for Chef Drake Leonards’ Louisiana hometown, Eunice is serving modern Cajun-Creole brasserie style plates inspired by his upbringing and European culinary adventures. Leonards worked at Cafe Boulud in NYC and August and Luke in New Orleans – Eunice is operated by what was formerly John Besh’s restaurant group – before opening his first solo concept. Local design darling Gin Braverman mixed antiques from Leonards’ family with shiplap, modern accents and a blue ceiling. Consider raw bar options like blue crab tartine or oysters before moving to New Orleans BBQ lobster, duck dirty rice, fried quail with tabasco honey and a pasta version of etouffee. For dessert, pies and house-spun ice creams delight. Photo: @femme_foodie
MONTROSE // The highly anticipated new steakhouse from Chris Shepherd, Georgia James, has taken over his old Underbelly space. Named for both his parents, the brand new venture focuses on exactly what Chris cooks at home. Diners will recognize dishes from One Fifth Steak, the first of his rotating restaurants concept just down the street. The steaks, seared in a cast iron or cooked on a wood fired grill, are the true stars but extras like French onion soup, cornbread custard, lamburger helper and sweet potato white cheddar gratin can’t be missed. A dry aging room, curing room and raw bar create even more tempting menu options and, yes, the 1.5 pound apple pie with cheddar ice cream is back. Photo:@matthew_america
MEMORIAL // Popular Japanese restaurant KUU has launched a new a la carte tapas-style Sunday brunch menu. A mix of fresh, seasonal ingredients combined with more traditional ones make for a unique break from the standard American-style brunch. Swap out your cereal spoon for chopsticks in the A.M. and opt for the Brunch Set ($38), any two items from the brunch menu plus a visit to the Snack Bar where you’ll choose from lighter accompaniments like edamame, seaweed salad, taro chips, bite-size desserts, fresh juices and more. Snow crab cake with 60-degree egg, uni pasta, tuna sliders, french toast kiwi, and seafood pancakes are some of the brunch entrees we’re loving.
THE WOODLANDS // Tris has taken over the former Hubbell & Hudson space and kept respected Chef Austin Simmons at the forefront. Named for his daughter, the restaurant showcases Simmons’ culinary talents in two formats under one roof – Cureight boasts an elegant, imaginative chef’s tasting menu in a smaller, more private space while Tris keeps things a la carte and more casual. The revamped modern design sets the stage for contemporary dishes with influences pulled from his Asian and European travels. Try Korean butter poached crab, veal osso bucco with saffron grits, octopus a la plancha with poblano mole, or an array of steak options with plenty of mouthwatering sides.