Who Has the Best Wine List in Houston? And Other Food News

Wine Spectator hands out awards to restaurants that paid the entry fee to be considered.

By Timothy Malcolm July 13, 2018

Pappas Bros. is the king of Houston wining and dining, at least according to Wine Spectator.

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse remains the Houston gold standard in wine service, says Wine Spectator, which recently announced 49 local award winners in its 2018 Restaurant Awards competition.

The Uptown steakhouse on Westheimer won its ninth-consecutive Grand Award, which according to the magazine “comprises the world’s best wine programs, which deliver serious breadth of top producers, outstanding depth in mature vintages, excellent harmony with the menu, and superior presentation.” (They also paid the entry fee to be considered, which in 2019 is $350 [early-bird] or $400.)

Ninety-one restaurants across the world received a Grand Award, with Pappas Bros. being the only brand to win in Texas. (If you want the next-closest Grand, you can drive up to the Pappas Bros. location in Dallas.)

The Pappas Bros. location Downtown is one of the city’s 14 restaurants that took a Best of Award of Excellence prize. Those places “offer more extensive selections with significant vintage depth and excellent breadth across multiple regions,” says the Wine Spectator explainer. The other 13 winners there are Backstreet Cafe, Brennan’s of Houston, Brix Wine Cellars, The Capital Grille at CityCentre, Caracol, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, El Meson, La Table, Masraff’s, Mastro’s Steakhouse at the Post Oak Hotel, Tony’s, Vallone’s Steakhouse, and Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse.

Finally, another 34 restaurants won an Award of Excellence, which means they choose some quality producers, says Wine Spectator. We’re not going to list all of those names (though we will say newcomers include Sonoma Wine Bar & Restaurant in Upper Kirby, Third Coast, and Xochi); instead, grab a Wine Spectator when it publishes July 17.


  • The hungry and the hopeful will be refreshing the Houston Restaurant Weeks website on Sunday, for that is when it will go live, and reservations can be attained, and dreams can finally come to fruition. This year’s event, spanning August 1 to September 3, will include more than 200 restaurants, which will offer $45 and $35 dinners, $20 lunches and $20 brunches, all prix fixe, according to a release. Proceeds go toward the Houston Food Bank; last year’s event raised $2.5 million, and that total is still growing, say Restaurant Weeks reps.
  • Aladdin Mediterranean opened its second location Thursday night in Garden Oaks, according to its Facebook page. The popular Montrose restaurant known for its lamb dishes, Greek and Turkish street salads, and dips like hummus and baba ghanoush, will certainly have many fans of its 1737 W. 34th St. location.
  • Ever wonder how to best pair sake with sushi? (Or sashimi? Or crudo? Or grilled octopus? We can go on ... ) Kata Robata is hosting on August 2 a five-course sake dinner with DASSAI, a popular brand from the Asahi Shuzo brewery in Yamaguchi, Japan, according to a release. Donna Ma, a certified sake sommelier with Genji Sake, will lead the tasting with Blake Lewis, general manager of Kata Robata. It’s $150 per person, plus tax and tip, and only 40 tickets are available. Email [email protected] to reserve.
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