After calling River Oaks home for five years, the folks at Relish Fine Foods will be closing up shop this Saturday, August 20th. Fans of the gourmet grocery store and eatery need not worry, though, as the Relish team is just moving a few miles east to open Relish Restaurant & Bar in early September.
The eatery has been long known as a casual spot to pick up and take home meals. The new concept will keep the counter-driven fast casual approach that current customers have been so fond of during lunch and brunch, but one that has been upgraded to include fully heated and ready-to-eat meals. The move will also shift to include a full-service dinner. The new concept has been in the works for nearly three years. We spoke to co-owner Addie D’Agostino this morning about the process and she stated the move was heavily influenced by customers. “While nobody likes change, this is one that the customers wanted and we are excited about,” stated D’Agostino.
The owners purchased the new location at 2810 Westheimer Road, in Upper Kirby, almost a year ago and it will roughly double the space the current location provides. As so often happens in the Houston restaurant scene, permitting and construction delays held up the opening, originally slated for earlier in the summer. D’Agostino says the wood floors are being installed this week, after which the real move-in and ground-up training for the added dinner service will begin.
According to D’Agostino, “Upper Kirby is in many ways the crossroads of the city, bridging River Oaks and the gentility of an earlier time with the fast paced, pedestrian-oriented excitement that boutique retailers, restaurateurs and bar owners have brought to its surrounding thoroughfares, including Kirby Drive and Westheimer, attracting diverse, cosmopolitan demographic that is so representative of Houston today.”
D’Agostino’s husband and executive chef, Dustin Teague, adds, “We’re personally and professionally the antithesis of trendy. Our goal is to create an ambience that feels as if you were eating in a friend’s dining room—a chic and uncluttered gathering space you’re eager to revisit regularly and feel unrushed doing so.”
As for the menu, D’Agostino says they’re keeping enough of the core lunch options to keep the regulars happy, and while there will be no deli counter as in the old space, the new location will give new and better lunch options, giving a seasonal peach salad and crispy chicken sandwich as an example. We know dinner will include rotisserie chicken and roasted vegetables and “Since we’re Italian, we’re also excited about introducing new pastas and a meat ragú,” adds D’Agostino, keeping most of the surprises under wraps until the opening. Brunch offerings on the weekends include a traditional eggs Benedict and chicken-and-waffles.