8865 Six Pines Dr., Shenandoah, TX 77380 | 281.826.5150
The newest addition to the line of Goode Company restaurants opened last month in The Woodlands. The two-part location features the latest iteration of the beloved barbeque chain, alongside the company’s ambitious foray into high-end Tex-Mex. Walking up, you’ll notice the beautifully designed shared patio space that divides both restaurants. Owner Levi Goode has gone to great lengths to source genuine Mexican furniture and decor, as well as taking a lead role in choosing the kitchen’s menu. Alongside Chef David Luna, Goode has assembled a menu that pairs classic Tex-Mex with authentic Mexican ingredients.
The Kitchen & Cantina adds a unique twist to standard Tex-Mex classics, including their made-to-order guacamole. Here, guac is served with up to three “toppers.” My wife and I tried it with crumbled queso fresco and toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), two Mexican staples not often found on Tex-Mex menus, a sign of Goode’s commitment to authenticity. Next, we sampled a cup of the highly touted chicken tortilla soup. The beautiful red pepper broth delivered a hint of heat and knockout punch of aromatic flavors, highlighted by shredded chicken and fresh avocado.
As an entrée, I ordered the always popular Mexican classic, carnitas. Carnitas is a simple dish, seasoned pork pieces braised and usually shredded. Maybe it’s Goode Company’s long history of smoking meats, but the carnitas at the Kitchen & Cantina are a work of art. Served chopped, not shredded, the pork shreds effortlessly in your fingers and melts in your mouth. I ordered mine with homemade corn tortillas and proceeded to inhale three pork tacos.
For dessert, we ordered both the tres leches and the churros. Again, this Tex-Mex kitchen proved that it can nail authentic Mexican dishes. The tres leches cake is among the best that this Chicano writer has ever tasted, and churros served with real Cajeta were a nostalgic taste of Mexico. This newly opened restaurant may already be cementing its place as one of Houston’s best Mexican kitchens.
12848 Queensbury Ln., Houston, TX 77024 | 713.463.3730
This famous New York pizzeria opened its newest Houston location just last year. Grimaldi’s, known for baking New York-style pies to crispy perfection in coal brick ovens, offers CityCentre guests and residents authenticity and traditional ingredients without the hassle of a mid-day flight to Brooklyn.
Good pizza pairs with good Italian wine, and Grimaldi’s has no shortage of either. I recommend a glass (or bottle) of the Rocca Delle Macie Chianti Classico, a traditional Italian red that pairs well with tomato sauces and hearty toppings. For those work lunches and children’s birthday parties when wine isn’t quite appropriate, try one of Grimaldi’s authentic Italian sodas instead.
I ordered the Brooklyn Bridge pizza from their chef’s selections menu. I’m a sucker for ricotta cheese and Italian sausage, and the roasted red peppers add a light yet noticeable kick. My wife, ever the trailblazer, opted for the build-your-own option. She topped hers with meatballs, mushrooms and extra mozzarella. Grimaldi’s list of fresh ingredients and high-quality meats and cheeses makes it easy to design your own world-class pie. For dessert, we ordered the classic New York cheesecake, a sweet end to an afternoon of lightly charred crust, red wine and enough meat and cheese to feed an Italian family.
2300 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77098
713.722.6899 | www.abouzy.com
If you happen to visit Montrose’s newest restaurant and wine bar, you might be welcomed in by the sound of several people yelling “a’Bouzy!” Such is their tradition whenever a waiter pops the cork on a bottle of bubbly. With a wine list boasting over 250 bottles of sparklers, it tends to happen a lot. a’Bouzy is named after the French village that inspires its focus on Champagne. Owner Shawn Virene and Chefs Freddy Gonzaga and Jose Ruiz designed the entire menu (and the décor) to pair well with their outstanding selection of Champagne.
My evening began with the tuna watermelon sashimi, a slice of ahi tuna atop a small piece of fresh watermelon, garnished with spicy soy caviar and served alongside an avocado mousse. Light yet impossibly complex, perfectly complemented by a glass of Paul Clouet Rosé Brut. Next up, the boquerones (marinated Spanish white anchovies) and baked oysters with parmesan, bacon and pesto. The starters here are good enough to open a successful tapas restaurant with. Luckily for me, they’re only the tip of the a’Bouzy iceberg.
As an entrée, I tasted both the lemon sole and the prime tenderloin filet. The seared sole is cooked with brown butter, topped with crisp capers and chopped pecans. This dish was further elevated by a glass of Entre Ciel & Terre Brut, another gem from their world-class Champagne list. Finally, I tasted a filet mignon that could give most steakhouses a run for their money, served on a bed of whipped potatoes, paired with a glass of Dom Perignon.
The evening ended with homemade peach cobbler and vanilla ice cream, served with a glass of Moet Ice Impérial, Champagne created specifically to be served over ice. a’Bouzy’s entire menu is carefully crafted to be light and refreshing, while satisfying and ambitious. Diners leave with a buzz and a smile rather than a heavy stomach. I’m confident that a’Bouzy will soon establish itself as one of the city’s best restaurants.