First Look

The Pit Room Unveils Its New Tex-Mex Restaurant

Candente is about to open in Montrose.

By Timothy Malcolm September 10, 2019

The brisket nachos at Candente.

When scouring for definitive Houston dishes, you're bound to discover the Pit Room's brisket taco. And while a brisket taco isn't a new invention, it's perfect at this Montrose spot known for elevating the traditional smokehouse game by taking risks that—almost without fail—seem to pay off.

The through line from that dish lead Pit Room owner Michael Sambrooks to Candente, his new Tex-Mex concept, and it's now ready to open. Sambrooks Management Company—which also runs 1751 Sea & Bar, Pi Pizza, and Sam's Fried Chicken & Donuts—announced Tuesday that Candente will begin service Sept. 16 at 4306 Yoakam Blvd. in Montrose, just around the corner from the Pit Room.

“Candente is truly a labor of love, and the opportunity to open it in the ideal space right next door is a dream fulfilled,” said Sambrooks. “Doing Tex-Mex the Pit Room way means from scratch, delicious and consistent recipes using nothing but the very best meats and ingredients cooked with live fire to apply the smoke and taste we love. Candente is handcrafted Tex-Mex.”

In the spirit of the Pit Room, Candente will take risks, often with the assistance of its custom-built wood-burning grill. Big-money dishes will include the Tampiquena, a nine-ounce prime ribeye topped with two cheese enchiladas, grilled onions, and chili lime butter; brisket enchiladas; and for dessert, queso flan. Also look for tacos (with homemade tortillas); brisket nachos; tamales; ceviche; grilled feasts with chicken, shrimp, ribs, quail, and both duck and pork carnitas; and in old-school fashion, complementary soft-serve ice cream.

David Maness, who runs Sambrooks Management Company's beverage program, put together a menu of margaritas and frozen cocktails. The house marg has Espolon reposado, Grand Marnier, agave, and lime. The bar will have a range of agave spirits, capable of producing mezcal cocktails and tequila old fashioneds alike.

Candente will be open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, with lunch hours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Happy hour is 3 p.m.-6p.m. Monday-Friday.

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