July 1st was Canada Day. In honour of Canada’s birthday my husband and I set off on a journey to find a Canadian food specialty called “poutine”. Believe it or not, it is no easy find in this melting pot of a city with over 4 million people! Fortunately, there is help on the way! Let me introduce you to Houston’s newest restaurant in the thriving Energy Corridor called Tubs Poutine!
Brother-sister duo Brian and Caroline Nguyen along with chef guru Lyle Mathes are the first to open a poutine only restaurant right here in Houston. Barely 1-month old, this restaurant is creating a crowd who loves food with a heart, comfort for the soul, and a casual friendly atmosphere which gets you to saying all is “Eh-OK” in this world! Brian’s world travels to Toronto, Canada inspired him to bring this cuisine back to Texas. Fortunate for him, his sister Caroline is a veteran in the food and hospitality industry and chef Lyle has cooked for the Jimmy Kimmel show, the Houston Rockets, the New England Patriots, American Idol and the Los Angeles Lakers….just to name a few! Even cuter to the story, “Tubs” is the nickname of Brian’s son.
2-4-6 -8 Who do we appreciate? Steak 48! Steak 48!
Consider me a cheerleader when it comes to The River Oaks District here in Houston. From shopping, to dining, and entertainment, they house all things luxury. Today, June 14th welcomes the newest restaurant addition to their pallet called Steak 48. It is officially now open to the public!
I had the privilege to dine there last night for a “soft opening”. The venue is so chic offering a warm yet modern feel. This 13,700 square foot venue offers unique dining room vignettes, a massive bar area including TV’s for those sports fans, a raw seafood bar, and upstairs private rooms for your intimate parties and corporate events. We sat in a booth above the bar area and it was the perfect mixture of bar atmosphere fun with the enjoyment of having a full view of the restaurant. I admit, we had fun people watching!
Since the purpose of being there last night was “to taste”, we certainly gave it our best shot. The cocktail menu is complete with unique compositions. A mixologist put a lot of creativity into this. The wine list does not disappoint either. We started things off with a seafood tower including king crab, lobster, crab claws, oysters, and shrimp. From there I ordered the filet and my friend ordered the salmon. Other menu items: superfood salad, chilean sea bass, scallops, meatloaf, chicken, short rib, pork chop, lamb, and every type of cut a steak has to offer!
Definitely save room for dessert. We tried the vanilla caramel cake and the brioche chocolate chip bread pudding. Heaven in each bite my friends! The popcorn sundae and the red velvet pudding must have been the crowd favorites that evening because those desserts were sold out!!! Guess we need to come back!
A little history on this restaurant brand, they are the creators of Maestros. You know, the swanky steakhouse in Beverly Hills and in Scottsdale? Well, they sold it to Landry’s corp then started fresh with this new Steak 48 concept (non Landry’s). If you happen to roll through Phoenix, AZ then you may know of their sister restaurant called Steak 44.
For more information on this hot new place to wine and dine friends, family, and your special clients please visit their website at www.Steak48.com . Make your reservations now and let me know what you think! We had the best time and can’t wait to return.
I love Upper Kirby for its location, it’s shopping, and area eats. Now a new flavor in town to add to the “must dine” list and to spice up Houston! If you have not experienced Ruggles Black it’s time to make your reservation. Restraunteur Neera Patidar (former owner of NOSH) has teamed up with Chef/ Co-Owner Bruce Molzan to create a restaurant bar only the two of them could pull off with flying colors! Consider cuisine influenced by India/China/France/America all compiled into one! The menu items appeal to all palettes and the dishes will WOW you with every bite! Caution, you may drool!
Recently my friend Lori and I dined here for dinner. We had a reservation; we were greeted with a smile, and seated immediately. Although just the two of us we ordered enough food for a group of four! It was really hard to resist the choices. Just to give you an idea, menu items include: angry shrimp, curry mussels, crab tower, pork belly beet salad, Paleo veggie tacos, pistachio encrusted snapper, crunchy kale salad, Tandoori chicken flatbread and lamb flatbread. Plenty of sweets too but we did not make it that far! My favorite dishes were the angry shrimp and curry mussels. Take a look at the size of the mussels too! Size does matter in my book (we’re talking mussels here) and I always ask my waiter to bring out a sample before I order them. (There is a particular popular restaurant in mind which always disappoints, but I will not throw them under the bus….today!).
Now let’s talk ambiance. This is a wonderful date place! The setting is small and quaint offering a more intimate dining experience. I prefer to sit in a booth next to the window, if I do get to choose my spot. There is outdoor patio space as well. The bar area is a bit crowded but once you have some good wine and apps, who cares! The space offers a modern casual and earthy feel. I don’t feel like I am in Houston, except for the fact I may know some of my fellow diners that evening!
In all, I have put this place in the Top 5 of my restaurant list. It’s trendy décor, intimate crowd, great service, and most importantly the food and wine; it hits all of my sweet spots! I will be back again, again, and again.
Ruggles Black is located at 3963 Kirby Drive. They are open for lunch and dinner. A reservation is recommended but not required. Check out their website at www.rugglesblack.com . While you are there, say hello to Neera and let her know “Trende Brende” sent you! She is not hard to miss in her oh-so-fashinably-fabulous ensembles!
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 over 250 guests came out to support our 1st Toys for Tots charity event at Mr Peeples restaurant in Midtown. Hundreds of gifts donated and over $1200 in cash. All supports the Toys for Tots campaign spearheaded by our U.S. Marines. All proceeds go to our local children in need this holiday season. Chaired by Lori Lemon Geshay and Yours Truly, the event highlights included a visit from Santa Claus, our U.S. Marines, frost bite treats and lite bites, signature cocktails, and music entertainment. Thank you to our sponsors CompuCom, Security National Mortgage, Michelle Patrick Designs, Homesavers Financial, Sterling Homes, and the Porsche Club. Thank you to our Host committee members Laura Cernock,Monitrice “Moni” Malone, Abby Lestin, Diane Caplan,Heather Baker, Angela Lipsey, Liliana Cuellar, Elizabeth Destephens. Thank you to ALL for making this a true success!
Professional Photos By: Jaime Lagdameo and Quy Tran Photography
It’s time to share with you a new Houston Hot Spot! Making its grand debut to all Houstonians TODAY, make your way to Nara Restaurant at West Ave off Kirby. To best describe this place, it’s Korean cuisine with a side order of Japanese flair! From the moment you walk in the door think “zen”. You are welcomed with a gorgeous replica of a willow tree (or some kind of cool tree), a lit up bar/lounge, then the restaurant presents its main attraction with sushi chefs in the middle of the mix. Martha Turner Properties was invited to a“Friends and Family” exclusive preview night, so we were able to indulge early, sample amply, and be able to share this sumptuous experience with You!
A quick tidbit about the Chef/Owner Donald Chang, he is a native South Korean who has lived in Houston for more than 35 years! He has been linked to acclaimed sushi joints including Uptown Sushi and Bluefin. Nara’s original establishment opened its doors in 1996. Now inner-loopers get their turn.
Now, on to my menu favorites to date: Tasty Bites try the dumplings, jellyfish salad, tuna tartare, and the oxtail rice cake. In Comfort & Classics try the bibimbap which includes crispy pork belly and a sunny side quail egg. Or, the ocean medley bibimbap includes king crab, seared yellow fin sashimi, and prawns. In the Steamed Buns category, how about prime rib-eye bulgogi, the spicy pig, or peppercorn tuna. And of course the Japanese influence offers a complete sushi roll and sashimi menu. One last tip, save room for dessert!! From bacon cookies, to tiramisu, to ice cream, it is far from ordinary.
Are you hungry now? Let me know what you think and maybe I will see you there? For more information check out www.NaraHouston.com.
Until next time,
Nicole Brende a.k.a. “Trende Brende”