Monday, June 17, 2024
Food + Hospitality

Seven Houston Restaurant and Bar Openings to Know Right Now

Ciel’s dining room serves as a vibrant backdrop for live performers each evening. Shannon O’Hara

With live entertainment, swoon-worthy interiors, and good eats, these newcomers offer a feast for the eyes and the palate

With the new year comes a wave of new restaurant openings. The city is abuzz with new places to dine, drink, and dance the night away to 80s Latin pop hits should the mood strike. From beloved neighborhood gems adding new outposts in the city to original concepts offering live entertainment into the wee hours of the night, there are lots of worthy additions to add to your 2023 hit list. Here are the Houston restaurant and bar openings you need to know about right now.


One of the most hotly anticipated Houston restaurant openings, Ciel combines fine dining with live entertainment. The River Oaks-area restaurant opened in mid-December in the floor level space of a new boutique commercial building. It may look all business from the outside, but it’s a full on party on the inside. A towering statue of Zeus holds court in the main dining room surrounded by marbled tables and banquettes conjoined together to create a stage where singers and dancers perform throughout the night. Under the direction of California native, chef Joseph Geiskopf, the menu is a is a mix of Japanese and French cuisines and incorporates fresh fish imported daily from Japan and New Zealand, prime steak cuts, and premium non-GMO caviar.

4411 San Felipe St Suite 101, Houston, TX 77027

Julie Soefer
Filet mignon at Ciel.

d’Alba Midtown

This Garden Oaks neighborhood gem has unveiled a new outpost in Midtown. Like its sister restaurant, this locale boasts a comfortable outdoor patio and a menu of all-day eats like wood-fired pizzas, handmade pastas, and Gulf oysters paired with wine and cocktails.

3304 Milam St, Houston, TX 77006

Gatsby’s Grill

Gatsby Hospitality Group continues its rapid expansion with the addition of a third new concept, following Gatsby’s Steakhouse and Gatsby’s Seafood, coined Gatsby’s Grill. The casual neighborhood restaurant opened days before the new year in the El Segundo neighborhood near iconic Houston restaurant the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation. The 7,000-square-foot space is fitted with TVs and boasts an expansive bar area that leads to an outdoor patio featuring lounge seating and fire pits. In addition to hearty staples like chef Erick Anaya’s sunny side up egg-topped burger, and chicken fried steak, the menu pays homage to the neighborhood with Latino-driven offerings like crab-avocado queso, street corn, and tacos.

2929 Navigation Blvd Suite 100, Houston, TX 77003

Raydon Creative
The dramatic interiors of Gatsby’s Grill, now open in the El Segundo neighborhood.

Gypsy Poet Heights

A second outpost of the wildly popular Midtown pizzeria, Gypsy Poet has opened in the Heights. The Gypsy Poet Studio, as it is known, moved into the building which previously housed Fegen’s on Studewood. Like at its original location, guests can dine on artisan pies while taking in a live music rehearsal or jam session from local bands.

1050 Studewood St. Houston, TX 77007

La Diabla Retro Bar

The team behind La Calle Tacos opened La Diabla Retro Bar on Main Street in downtown. The late-night throwback bar puts the spotlight on Latino pop hits of the 80s and 90s, with live music acts taking to the stage every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

300 Main St, Houston, TX 77002

Little Hen

River Oaks District is now home to the first Texas location of dreamy Miami-based brunch boutique, Little Hen. Marble and gold tabletops with blue velvet bucket chairs, dark leather couches, floral prints, and blooming bouquets decorate the romantic, chandelier-bedecked space, and a 1,050-square-foot outdoor Champagne garden is set to debut this spring. Open daily at 8 a.m. Little Hen offers a full breakfast and brunch menu, along with an upscale afternoon tea service.

4444 Westheimer Rd Suite H-110, Houston, TX 77027

Little Hen
Little Hen offers a floral and fun space in which to enjoy breakfast, brunch, and afternoon tea.

Money Cat

Money Cat, from the team behind Cinco Ranch standout Tobiuo Sushi & Bar, opened at Kirby Grove on January 7. Chef-owner Sherman Yeung and chef de cuisine Jiolo “Jio” Dingayan have coined the cuisine “new Japanese”, which is meant to reflect the interpretations of first- and second-generation Asian Americans with dishes meant to tickle all five senses. A steamed egg custard is presented with savory taiyaki made from corn and chive, and a dessert called the chocolate bonsai appears as if it is growing directly from the plate it is served on.

2925 Richmond Ave. Suite 140, Houston, TX 77098

Kimberly Park
The chocolate bonsai at newly opened Money Cat.

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