This year marks the 10th anniversary of Houston Restaurant Weeks, the annual ritual in which Houston restaurants give diners a lot of bang for their buck—and donate even bigger bucks to charity. All week long, we're rounding up the best restaurants from the nearly 200 participants in which to catch brunch, enjoy a romantic dinner, treat the parents, and more.
In 2012, HRW was able to donate $1.2 million to the Houston Food Bank thanks to the participation of 169 restaurants—and that amount is only expected to rise this year. To date, HRW has raised nearly $3 million to feed hungry families across Houston. For its 10th anniversary, HRW has an array of menu options for every price range: a $20 lunch/brunch, of which $3 is donated to the Houston Food Bank; a $35 brunch/dinner, of which $5 is donated; and a $45 dinner, of which $7 is donated.
Today, we're looking at the best spots to get a meal for a steal. Those splurge-worthy restaurants normally saved for special occasions don't have to be off-limits during HRW. And although the dining rooms may be more crowded and the portion sizes more demure than normal, you're still getting dinner for a song at some of the best restaurants Houston has to offer.
Cinq at La Colombe d'Or
3410 Montrose, 713-524-7999
Newly installed chef German Mosquera has been drawing positive reviews recently for his seasonal menus that are heavy on the vegetables and heavy on flavor. During HRW, the $45 three-course dinner menu showcases Houston's diverse culinary influences as well, ranging from braised goat with squash blossoms to pan-seared redfish with sea urchin butter, shisito peppers, and kimchi vinegar.
5061 Westheimer, Suite 8060, 713-355-2600
Our own Robb Walsh once called the tomahawk-cut rib-eye at Del Frisco's "the most flavorful steak in the city." While that pricey cut of meat isn't on the HRW menu at the Galleria steakhouse, plenty of other options are: a $20 lunch menu includes choices like sliced filet mignon and filet medallions, while the $45 dinner menu offers up a USDA Prime New York Strip as well as non-steak options like salmon in a tchoupitoulas sauce.
Both Houston locations of seafood palace Eddie V's—at West Ave and at CityCentre—are offering a three course $45 dinner during HRW with no shortage of seafood dishes to choose from. For your first course, you can indulge in Gulf oysters with Vietnamese curry or Labelle Farms foie gras, while your second course includes a choice of North Atlantic sole, a crisp-skinned George Bank skate wing, or six ounces of hand-cut tenderloin with rutabaga puree.
La Casa de Caballo
322 Westheimer, 832-623-6467
As with Del Friscos, Houston's Tex-Mex steakhouse is known for a signature massive cut of meat—a $170, four-pound rib-eye cap called a tapa de lomo. While the steak (which can easily feed six people) isn't on the HRW menu, plenty of other tempting choices abound at La Casa de Caballo at both lunch and dinner. At lunch, the $20 menu offers chicken in a salsa borracha and enchiladas saltillos. But the restaurant breaks out the beef at dinner, when the $35 HRW menu offers an 8-ounce eye of the rib-eye, a 10-ounce beef shoulder, and a massive 20-ounce brisket—and that's just for one course.
By far the restaurant with the most widely dispersed locations, Perry's ensures even folks who live far outside Houston can enjoy HRW with locations in Champions/Spring, The Woodlands, Clear Lake, Katy, Sugar Land, and Memorial. Each steakhouse is offering dinner only during HRW, when the three-course $45 menu includes choices such as an 8-ounce filet Perry topped with jumbo lump crabmeat or Perry's [rightfully] famous pork chop—carved tableside, of course.
1800 Post Oak Boulevard, 713-439-1000
The French Cowboy—chef Philippe Schmit—is showcasing some of his namesake restaurant's most popular French-Texan dishes at both lunch and dinner during HRW. During the $20 lunch, look for braised beef à la Provençale and bananas foster bread pudding with cajeta caramel sauce. On the $35 three-course dinner menu, try the mussels stuffed with housemade chorizo or the roasted pork tenderloin served with dried apricots, confit eggplant in honey, and Morbier cheese.
1300 Lamar, 713-276-4700
Believe it or not, one of Houston's best Italian restaurants also has some of the best gluten-free and vegetarian options during HRW. Quattro chef Maurizio Ferrarese has come up with lunch and dinner dishes ranging from an organic, Tuscan-style rotisserie chicken served with a Texas pecan and goat cheese salad to a gluten-free risotto with bay scallops, shrimp, and baby octopus. For veggie lovers, there's his quattro formaggi pizza or an eggplant parmigiana.
1200 Louisiana, 713-375-4775
This downtown classic atop the Hyatt Regency Hotel does indeed spin: the restaurant makes a full rotation every 45 minutes, meaning that even if you're only enjoying a quick dinner you'll still see all the amazing views the 34-story Spindletop affords. But why rush it? Kick back and enjoy the $45 three-course dinner menu and such dishes as a grilled Texas peach salad with pickled onions, chorizo-lentil soup with chipotle crème fraîche, and Southwest seared salmon with blue corn grits and a saffron cream sauce.
The Oceanaire Seafood Room
5061 Westheimer, Suite 8050, 832-487-8862
This stately, elegant Galleria anchor restaurant charms with deco details and old-school service. Also charming: the sheer number of different dishes available on its HRW lunch and dinner menus. All the Oceanaire favorites are represented, from the black-and-bleu fresh catch of the day and the fish & chips with matchstick fries to the stuffed Alaska sole florentine and the center-cut filet mignon with shrimp. And, of course, you can always follow your meal with warm cookies and a glass of milk.
Vic & Anthony's
1510 Texas, 713-228-1111
Downtown's signature steakhouse, Vic & Anthony's, is accustomed to pulling out all the stops on a regular basis. So it's no surprise the $45 three-course dinner menu is full of sumptuous selections like an 8-ounce filet mignon, lobster bisque, Atlantic salmon with a king crab tapenade, and the steakhouse's amazing croissant bread pudding with dulce de leche and bourbon sauce.
Check out our other HRW dining guides: