We all have that relative who goes into the woods and insists on emerging with a dreadful dinner. And now that we've reached turkey-hunting season (opening day is Saturday), they'll be coming (ahem) out of the woodwork.

If hunting for your food isn't your thing, don't fear. These restaurant dishes will have you rethinking the dry, pungent game you grew up with thanks to attractive, flavorful interpretations.

Duck: Bistro Menil

Crisp duck confit has sensibly become a signature at chef Greg Martin’s artful bistro. The entrée—a tender, salty leg—is served with a pomegranate glaze. Duck confit also appears on a salad with mixed greens, pears, pecans, and pomegranate seeds.

Turkey: New York Bagels and Coffee Shop

Northern diners and delis are responsible for our favorite year-round turkey dish, the open-face hot turkey sandwich. It’s tough to find in Houston, but they’ve got it here, and you can replace the typical bread with a bagel.

Quail: Goode Co.’s Armadillo Palace

This Houston stalwart enjoyed a culinary upgrade recently, which included this elevated take on hunting camp cuisine. A mini cast-iron pan is filled with creamy white cheddar grits and lined bacon-wrapped quail legs.

Venison: Field & Tides

That jerky Gramps made has nothing to do with the ruby rare chops on offer at this Heights eatery. It’s served with baby heirloom carrots, date labneh, a blackberry reduction and peanut cocoa crumble.

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Field & Tides

$$ American/New American 705 E. 11th St.

The heirloom vegetables that fill plates at this friendly restaurant come from chef Travis Lenig's in-laws. The menu is just as welcoming to other families—d...

Editor’s Pick

Goode’s Armadillo Palace

$$ American/New American, Cajun, Creole, Southern 5015 Kirby Dr.

Founded in 2005, Goode’s Armadillo Palace sits across the street from the original Goode Co. BBQ opened by Jim Goode in 1977, offering comfort food, Texana l...

New York Bagels and Coffee Shop

$$ Bakeries, Diner 9720 Hillcroft St.

The morning bustle of New York Bagels is constant and for good reason, serving up some of the best bagels in the city. Baked fresh daily right next door, var...

Editor’s Pick

Bistro Menil

$$$$ American/New American, Continental 1513 West Alabama St.

Bistro Menil is an art space, albeit for art of the edible kind, and the chef and owners want nothing to distract diners from the food. Hence no snazzypants ...