The owners here are the same Brennans of Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, so, under the watchful eye of Alex Brennan-Martin, you will find culinary reminders of the Creole tradition. Houston, after all, is known as the “Bayou City.” Look for starters such as rich Gulf Coast seafood gumbo generously stocked with fish and shellfish, or a delicious Texas wild shrimp remoulade with shrimp-boil vegetables, new potatoes, butter lettuce and preserved lemon. Main courses might include the Brennan classic pecan-crusted Gulf fish with crushed corn maque choux, French beans and mixed greens; or succulent lamb chops with a crust of Creole mustard.
Andrew Harper's West 2013
From Andrew Harper
Covering nearly 600 square miles, Texas' largest city often can feel like an ungainly, sprawling and humid monster, and Houston has long been known more as a business center than a tourist destination. But there is much to recommend this Lone Star powerhouse, and the open-minded traveler will relish the unique mix of regional and cosmopolitan flavor.
Houston's demographics — like those of much of the state — are strongly Latino, a feature reflected in city institutions like the Talento Bilingüe de Houston, one of the largest Latino cultural centers in the country, and a vibrant food scene heavily influenced by Mexican and Central American cooking. Houston's diversity extends to a new Asiatown, where the massive Hong Kong City Mall offers a smorgasbord of exotic foods and shopping. And the city's African-American heritage shines through in venues such as the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum and The Ensemble Theatre, a black theater company of national prominence. American cowboy culture is alive and well here, too — the world's largest livestock show and rodeo happens each spring. South of the city, NASA's Johnson Space Center trains astronauts and welcomes visitors to its displays of U.S. achievements in space.
All recommended restaurants in Houston
Brennan’s of Houston
Perfectlyexecutedlighting,subtlecinnamon-coloredleatherseatsanda fabulous art collection (just the two Rauschenbergs would make it notable) make this striking modern dining room one of the most captivating in Houston. Here, the celebrated Tony Vallone looks after his guests, who have come for his superb French-Italian food. You might begin with one of the superb pastas, such as pansoti filled with squash and served with Parmesan and sage essence, or the hand-rolled garganelli with Calabrian chilies, shrimp and pancetta meatballs and fava beans. Main courses could include seared red snapper with jumbo lump crabmeat, leek purée and a rich Barolo reduction; or a center-cut veal chop with arugula and oyster mushrooms in a concentrated sauce of Chianti and portobellos. The wine list has more than 1,100 selections.