Best Restaurants 2018

5 Fine Dining Establishments to Visit for a Special Occasion

Or any time, really.

By Mai Pham August 17, 2018 Published in the September 2018 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Image: Jenn Duncan

When it comes to caviar, fresh truffles, elaborate tasting menus, and other luxuries, these restaurants are the best of the best.


Astros owner Jim Crane envisioned a chic space for pre-and-post-game dining when he opened this place across from Minute Maid Park downtown, but it’s so much more than that. Come here to experience la dolce vita, complete with an opulent, gilded atmosphere, refined wine service, and cuisine from longtime Brennan’s chef Danny Trace. Must-orders include the softshell crab bisque, caviar service, and house-made spaghetti al tartufo nero with black truffle—but of course—shaved tableside. 

BCN Taste & Tradition

At this Montrose gem, Miró and Picasso originals and refined décor set the stage for Barcelona-born chef Luis Roger’s exquisitely crafted contemporary Spanish creations. Looking for the best of the old country? Order up the jamón ibérico de bellota with pa amb tomaca (tomato bread), espardenyes (sea cucumbers), and bomba rice, plus an expertly crafted gin and tonic.

Image: Jenn Duncan

Maison Pucha Bistro

From the moment you’re handed a menu, you’ll be smitten with this chic French-Ecuadorian eatery in the Heights from the brothers Pucha. Manuel, the executive chef, turns out deftly prepared, beautifully plated dishes—think coq au vin, ponzu crab, and Ecuadorian ceviche. His pastry-chef brother, Victor, bakes breads and an incredible white soufflé with Ecuadorian chocolate, while a third brother, Cristian, oversees beverages.


Chef de cuisine Austin Waiter’s creative tasting menu, which changes often, wows with the type of dishes that should make the Michelin Guide take notice: a duck press for two, a foie gras flambé, and that famous gigantic soufflé. Add in any of the house-made pastas and the always-impeccable service at this Greenway Plaza favorite, and there’s reason to believe that Tony’s is still at the top of its game after 53 years in business.


Boldly different from anything else in Houston, this is Hugo Ortega’s chef d’oeuvre, the Oaxacan restaurant inside the downtown Marriott that finally clinched his coveted James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southwest title last year. And it continues to set the bar with the most exciting and creative cuisine in the Bayou City. Planning your first visit? Get the puerco en mole de chicatana (pork in ant mole sauce), tacos de cabrito (goat), barbacoa de res de Zaachila (grilled skirt steak), and the sublime cacao dessert.

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