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The smoked New York strip is served with Creole mustard, mashed potatoes and collard greens. Beer is optional, but highly recommended.

Image: Megha Tejpal

Blink and you may miss winter in Houston, but there's more time to enjoy the only season that actually matters in the south. Last week, the Durham House launched Crawfish Saturdays and its Sunday brunch. Mike McElroy, the new executive chef, is behind these changes at the Heights eatery, which opened last fall. Trained in New Orleans, McElroy has more than 20 years of experience to his name, including stints at the Big Easy's famed Cochon and Houston's own D&T Drive Inn.

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Where there's a New Orleans-trained chef, there's sure to be boudin.

Image: Megha Tejpal

Highlights from McElroy's new dinner menu include house-made boudin, seared duck breast and smoked NY strip steak. The beverage team—including owner Raj Natarajan, who has carefully curated the wine list; James Caronna, in charge of spirits and cocktails; and beer authority Shane Huggins—make careful pairing suggestions for drinks that will best complement items from the intriguing new menu.

The much-anticipated addition of McElroy's Crawfish Saturdays promises a flavorful twist on the Cajun classic, served with potatoes and corn for $7.50 per pound. The spacious dining room and enclosed patio are reminiscent of a charming, ocean-front beach house, which makes the restaurant an ideal backdrop for a celebratory crawfish boil each weekend. Saturday happy hour offerings also include deals on Gulf oysters and daiquiris, ensuring a delicious way to spend the day.

The Durham House is also joining the Houston brunch scene with delights both sweet and savory. The brand-new menu features simple dishes such as grilled asparagus over Common Bond wheat toast with Meyer lemon Hollandaise, but also nap-inducing options like smoked pork shank bruschetta with a poached farm egg and Osetra caviar. Those looking for something sweet can order one of pastry chef Jerrica Aldridge's charred grapefruit tarts.

And you don't need to leave your friends with specific dietary needs home. All menus include vegetarian and vegan options, so come one, come all, the Durham House party is just getting started.

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