In a city with as dynamic a culinary culture as Houston, it goes without saying that there is a lot of food news happening on a daily basis. In order to help you stay up to date on the city’s latest food happenings, we’ve compiled this first in a series of dispatches from the Houston foodie sphere to help you stay on top of things. From openings and closings to food specials and new menu launches, we’ll be here once a week to update you on what’s new in the city’s dining scene.
We’re kicking things off this week by dishing on some new openings, some opening announcements, and a new brunch menu at one of Houston’s fanciest restaurants that comes with an über-fancy-sounding Champagne service and a caviar experience that puts the rest to shame. Read on to learn more.
Come for the drinks, stay for the dinks.
Pickleball was the fastest-growing sport in America between 2019 and 2021, and the owners of FM Kitchen & Bar are hoping to attract some of its 4.8 million players this fall when PKL Social opens in the Washington Avenue area. The new outdoor patio and sports concept, which will be located at 1102 Shepherd Dr (one block north of Washington Ave), will feature four pickleball courts as well as a covered deck space, lots of big-screen TVs, fun yard games, and cabanas — oh, and over 10,000 square feet of total patio space.
“I first came across pickleball being played socially on a trip to Austin and was immediately intrigued,” said PKL and FM operating partner Jason Mok, a former tennis player at Rice University, in a statement. “Pickleball’s X-factor, in my opinion, is that it’s such a fun, social activity but also very approachable and relatively easy to pick up compared to tennis or golf.”
Every pickleball player knows that taking frequent refreshment breaks is essential to mastering the game, and PKL Social will sport a curated list of refreshing cocktails — think boozy cherry limeades and frozen palomas — alongside draft and packaged beers, seltzers, and nonalcoholic drinks that will serve as perfect pick-me-ups for players. A selection of popular food items from FM Kitchen & Bar will also be on the menu, including burgers, chicken sandwiches, wings, tater tots, and breakfast tacos.
Dazed and confused — and caffeinated, too!
Wild, the — dare we say — wildly popular Heights-located CBD coffee shop, bar, and dispensary, is opening a second location in Montrose this August. The Bali-inspired lounge, the first in Texas to combine hemp-infused products like CBD oil (and Delta 8 for those looking for a psychoactive high) with a specialty cocktail and coffee program, will be taking over the former UB Preserve space at 1609 Westheimer. Wild in Montrose will mark an evolution for the coffee shop, dispensary, and cocktail bar, as it will include the added element of high-end plates and tapas — featuring hemp-infused dishes, of course.
“We are excited to bring Wild’s one-of-a-kind experience to Montrose and think it is the perfect location to launch our new food options,” said cofounder Adyson Alvis in a statement.
Like its sister concept in the Heights, Wild in Montrose will be home to a dedicated coffee program as well as a specialty cocktail program with both alcoholic and nonalcoholic offerings, with the nonalcoholic ones coming with the option of being upgraded with the addition of CBD, CBD gummies, and Delta 8. Owners and hemp-preneurs Adyson and Andrew Alvis, who are cousins, also own Grinders Coffee Bar and The CBD Apothecary in West University.
Highly imaginative, French-inspired restaurant Le Jardinier has launched a new Sunday brunch menu that includes a curated Champagne selection and caviar service, because why not start your Sunday off with some caviar? The menu, which launched on Sunday, June 5, is now available every Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The three-course prix fixe brunch menu, priced at $65, is just about the fanciest you can find in Houston, and includes options like the citrus cured hiramasa with heirloom radishes, avocado, and calamansi dressing; the Wagyu beef au jus with roasted potatoes, fried organic egg, and broccolini; and the Valrhona Guanaja dark chocolate crémeux with a salty caramel sabayon.
It goes without saying that bubbles are essential at brunch, and diners now have the option to enhance their meal through Le Jardinier’s Sunday Champagne selection, which the restaurant quite fancily refers to as their Tête de Cuvée (French for “the top batch”), featuring La Grande Dame for $250 that can be paired with each course. Full caviar service, for the über-fancy, is available for $85.
Good vibes come in go-cups.
Fat Tuesday is trying its hardest to make sure the good times keep rolling through the Houston area this summer. The popular New Orleans–based bar, which has an existing location in Richmond, recently opened two new branches of the concept in and near Houston — a location in Katy and a location just west of the Galleria area. In the coming months, Fat Tuesday will be opening six additional locations, including a branch in the Heights later this year.
The frozen drinks at Fat Tuesday come in 18 flavors, including piña colada, strawberry, bellini, and margarita, and part of the fun behind the bar is that customers can mix and match the flavors to meet their own taste, creating cheerily layered drinks that are entirely unique. Patrons are also able to have their pick from a variety of souvenir cups to serve as the vessel for their unique flavor combo, and gallons to-go are also available for those looking to bring the fun home. Fat Tuesday also features a drive-thru, a perfect option for those who are still Covid cautious.