Each Friday, Gastronaut rounds up the most notable openings and closings of the week.
After a short soft opening over the weekend, Radio Milano opened to the public this week in CityCentre. The newly redesigned space that once housed Bistro Alex is now home to chef Jose Hernandez, who's best known for his French cooking at restaurants such as Etoile in Uptown Park and La Balance in Katy. But here at Radio Milano, Hernandez has turned his considerable talents to Italian food.
Look for a full first look at Radio Milano here on Gastronaut next week, but for now we recommend visiting for the amazing, house-made tagliatelle alone, topped with sweet, juicy whole lobster chunks and a wonderfully briny and rich uni cream sauce. Oh, and the ribeye. And the risotto. And the burrata. But we're getting ahead of ourselves...
It's been a bumpy week for the El Tiempo group in Houston. First, news broke that the chain would have to close its popular Montrose location, 1308 Cantina, as its landlord had sold the land to an apartment complex developer. Then, an ugly dispute over a licensing agreement led to an announcement that a long-awaited Webster location of the cantina would not be opening after all.
"The Webster location was our first and only license ever granted," said owner Roland Laurenzo in a short statement to the press. "The licensee stopped paying its bills which were significant, thus defaulting on our agreement." It's not the first time that Liquid Gold, the licensee, has found itself at odds with a restaurant. Liquid Gold also got into a dispute with chef Scott Tycer in 2012, which led to the closure of Gravitas (now The Pass & Provisions).
As for the once-and-never Webster location, Laurenzo says: "We have filed a federal lawsuit to get our signage removed, and to resolve many other related matters that are under dispute. We are awaiting our day in court to stop the licensee from moving forward without our permission, which is what they want to do, and is something that we cannot allow to happen, for very good reasons." Which means for now, no El Tiempos will be opening down south any time soon, a fact which Laurenzo says he regrets.
"I am most sorry for the disappointment, inconvenience and confusion to our customers and friends in Clear Lake area."