Wine and Dine

Food News: Montrose Restaurant Re-Branding, New Concept in the Heights

Plus, a Houston restaurant is named one of the most important in America over the last 40 years.

By Timothy Malcolm August 20, 2018

In a very Mugatu voice: Wine lists are so hot right now.

Welcome to Monday. Let's start the week by cleaning out the inbox and scouring the Houston food and drink scene; here is your weekly news update.

L'Olivier will close September 8, according to co-owner Mary Clarkson. She and partner Oliver Ciesielski aren't leaving, however; they're rebranding the 240 Westheimer space, calling it Avondale Food & Wine. That is scheduled to open September 13. The night before, it'll present the documentary Grand Cru, which is about French-Canadian winemaker Pascal Marchand.

Avondale promises to be a more relaxed (read: neighborhood) eatery with lots of wine and small plates changing seasonally, a changeup from the more classic French menu at L'Olivier.

Seasonal menus and deep wine lists are all the rage. For more, let's go to the Heights, specifically, 14th and Yale, which will be home to Brian Doke's Savoir, according to a report by CultureMap.

Savoir will be a new American restaurant with seasonal focus, according to the report. Doke promises an interesting collection of wines while partnering with a separate wine shop and bar that'll also be in the building. CultureMap says Savoir is scheduled for a November opening.

Rico's Morning + Noon + Night has closed, according to CultureMap. And according to its Facebook page, it served its last burgers on August 6.

Celebrate victory over the Nazis (in 1944) at Brasserie du Parc.

Brasserie du Parc is celebrating 74 years since the liberation of Paris, marking the day in 1944 when French forces overtook the Nazis, with a party from 5:30-9 p.m. August 25. Expect plenty of wine and cocktails, French bites, and rousing live music. The event is free. 

Two popular haunts in the Houston dining scene are teaming up for a chef collaboration dinner. Uchi and Nobie's are throwing a six-course meal August 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Uchi. Tickets are $100 and include a welcome beverage. Along with the meal, guests will get dessert and takeaways. 

 From August 20-25, Bistro Provence will be rolling out a trial edition of its fall menu. So, while you're longing for cooler temperatures, you can get halfway there with dishes like pork belly and seared scallops; lamb stew; and fish and potatoes, Provence style. The plates are influenced by owner Genevieve Guy's recent trip to France.

Brennan's of Houston was named one of the 40 most important restaurants of the last 40 years, according to Food and Wine. According to the piece, Brennan's "has endured as one of the best Southern restaurants in the country, even after burning down in 2017 [ed. note: they presumably meant 2008] during Hurricane Ike." It joins a list that includes its sister restaurant Commander's Palace in New Orleans, plus obvious New York-area meccas like Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns; the French Laundry; and—oh ... another place you can visit today: Shake Shack. 

Congratulations to Reynold Darthard (or Chef Rey, executive team chef for the Rockets) and Lucienne Duforets and Veronica Amaya of Bellefontaine in Houston. They won H-E-B's Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best, a contest between food innovators where the top four finalists get to sell their products in H-E-B stores across Texas. Also, the grand prize winner gets a Toyota Tundra and $25,000. Well then.

Darthard won first place ($20,000); his cheesecake bites (in raspberry, strawberry, chocolate swirl, and sweet potato) will be coming to a store near you. And in second place came the Bellefontaine team of Duforets and Amaya, who make French-style ice cream in flavors like pistachio, rose, and bananas foster. Be on the lookout for Bellefontaine ice cream, too. 

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