In a city as large as Houston, it goes without saying that there are plenty of fun dining options out there for residents who find themselves suffering from the munchies. But until now, there hasn’t been a single full-service restaurant in Houston that you could go to in order to actually get the munchies—not counting, of course, any surreptitious toking that might transpire in a restaurant’s parking lot ahead of someone’s meal. That all changes today with the opening of Wild Montrose (1609 Westheimer), which is now offering Houstonians the city’s first entirely legal cannabis-infused dining experience from inside the former digs of UB Preserv.
The restaurant is the latest project from hemp-preneurs and cousins Adyson and Andrew Alvis, who are the minds behind coffee shop and CBD dispensary Grinder’s Coffee Bar in West University and the inaugural Wild, an upscale, Bali-inspired coffee shop, bar, lounge, and boutique dispensary, located in the Heights.
The Alvises are some of the chief innovators on the hospitality side of cannabis in our state, which still has some pretty draconian cannabis-related laws on the books, and Wild Montrose is a testament to the skill with which they have been able to navigate those—if you'll pardon the expression—somewhat hazy regulations.
For their latest endeavor, the dynamic duo has partnered with Houston-based executive chef German Mosquera, a seasoned veteran of the city’s hospitality scene who is also prone to innovation himself, like when the famously vegan chef, who recently spent four years in the Heights crafting standout vegan fare at now-shuttered Verdine, overhauled the entire menu at beloved (but now also defunct) Cinq at La Colombe d’Or back in 2013 to make it more vegan and vegetarian friendly. At Wild Montrose, Mosquera has continued his out-of-the-box thinking through the creation of a food menu that is destined to generate more than a few types of buzz.
How will it all work? Well, in accordance with Texas regulations, Wild Montrose is allowed to legally use cannabis products that stay below 0.3 percent of Delta-9 (a cannabinoid that, unlike Delta-8, is derived from actual marijuana plants instead of hemp) in their food and beverage offerings. However, dosing consumables with THC in a restaurant setting in a state where marijuana products are not widely legal obviously comes with some unique challenges, including the fact that Mosquera and the Alvises have to make sure they stay within strict legal limits with each meal service. A result of this necessary hypervigilance is that the "hemptenders" at Wild Montrose (Mosquera likes to refer to them as “super bartenders”) will have to do quite a bit of math for every table that wants an infused experience.
“It’s very layered. We’re providing different ingredients that are dosed to highlight different dishes. We pre-dose the dishes according to what agent we’re using to dose,” says Mosquera. “There’s been a lot of math and a lot of science that has gone into this to make sure it’s safe, because you can only legally serve so many doses of THC or CBD to someone before you can green them out. It may sound scary, but we’ve done a lot of work and continue to do work with this type of food and infusion to provide the best experience for everyone.
“We will not over-dose people,” he continues.
When it comes to the actual food at Wild Montrose, Mosquera, a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef who has studied with master chefs in both America and in Europe, has leveraged his over 18 years of experience in the kitchen to deliver a menu to Houston diners that will take them on a culinary journey across the world’s diverse coastal regions—plus dose them up with some CBD and THC should they so choose.
“We’re not tied to the beaches around here or in Mexico or South America; we’re inspired by the beaches of South Africa, of France, of Japan,” says Mosquera of the inspo for his new type of cuisine, which he has taken to referring to as coastal international cuisine. “We get to experience all of these different flavors without being pigeonholed into one style.”
Several dishes on Wild Montrose’s highly creative food menu promise to become quick favorites, including small plate options such as the scallop tom yam goong, a creamy hot and sour soup from Thailand served by Mosquera with red-hued sticky rice that has been infused with watermelon juice and coconut milk. There's also a spin on migas on the brunch menu made with chorizo crafted from Iberico pork (an uber-savory dish inspired by Mosquera’s culinary training in Spain) that looks promising, in addition to large shareables on the restaurant's dinner menu that we're super excited about, such as the Wagyu beef ribeye (butchered in-house), the crispy Thai-style fish, and the Japanese BBQ.
All of the food items on the restaurant's menu come with the option of being served either "virgin" or dosed and infused with CBD or THC. Pre-dosed edibles and bon bons are also available, as are creative desserts like the Hoja Santa ice cream, which features marzipan, nixta caramel, and house caviar.
Outside of food, Wild Montrose boasts coffee and cocktail programs similar to the ones at its Heights location. THC-free cocktail options at the restaurant include breezy tropical offerings like the Pandan Coolada, a funky mixture of Pot Sill Rum, pineapple, pandan, and lime; the bright and boozy Okinawa Old Fashioned made from Japanese plum whiskey, yuzu, and lemon; and the Glazed & Confused, a decadent coffee cocktail sporting dark rum, cream, chocolate liqueur, coconut, and espresso.
The restaurant also offers alcohol-free, CBD- and marijuana-powered elixirs such as the tart and refreshing Hanoi Lo Fi, the sweet and creamy Maui Mango, and the sweet and sour Pink Loco. There are also plenty of beer and wine options available for those looking for a more traditional kind of buzz and who aren’t wanting to get too, well, wild.
Wild Montrose is open from 8 a.m.–midnight daily, serving brunch until 3 p.m. and dinner 4 p.m.–10 p.m.