Here’s a Houston roundup of the newest places to shop and enjoy the fall, y’all.
INDULGE Benvenuti, Houstonians! Upon entering the new Alba Ristorante at Hotel Granduca (granducahouston.com), diners will feel as if they’ve been transported to a cozy, romantic restaurant in Italy. Named after Alba, a famous northern Italian city renowned for food—truffles, mushrooms!—and wine, its menu will focus on those items along with chef Maurizio Ferrarese’s skills as a top risotto and truffle chef. When asked what he’s most excited about serving this fall, he notes, “A wonderful truffle—either black or white—it’s just the best.” His signature dish will feature black truffle and scallops. Deeper into the menu you will discover signature Piedmontese beef tartare, shaved truffles and Ferrarese’s memorable Barolo risotto. In addition, a must-try cocktail in the Champagne Bar is the Alba Kiss, made with Barolo spirit and bubbles with addition of vanilla bean. And, for dessert, the lemon mousse with limoncello cookie is quite the delight (pictured), but Ferrarese says, “You need to come back multiple times as they are all a must-try! Words cannot describe them; they are must-see, must-try desserts.”
SHOP “When we were in Houston doing trunk shows in the River Oaks area, we met such lovely people who appreciated the aesthetic of Frances Valentine,” says Elyce Arons, co-founder and CEO of the acclaimed NYC-based lifestyle brand. “Opening a store in the River Oaks District seemed like a completely natural fit, and we are thrilled to have found a home here.” On display at its first Texas boutique is the fall collection of women’s ready-to-wear apparel, along with handbags and accessories. “Our customers have fun being bold, wearing vibrant colors and getting dressed every day in a way that showcases their own personalities,” she says. “Our fall pieces have such a rich color palette, are crafted with luscious fabrics and the silhouettes work seamlessly together to create a lot of layering and styling options.” Make a statement with its elegant ball skirt and a chunky fisherman sweater or Fair Isle sweater vest, or its sparkly sequin jacket with turquoise Bossy pants. “There are so many options for styling with our recent fall collection, and the great thing about Frances Valentine is that it’s classic and crafted with quality that lasts,” says Arons. “These pieces can stay in your closet for years to be passed down from one generation to the next.” 4444 Westheimer Road, francesvalentine.com
STAY “Neighboring the Texas Medical Center, guests at Blossom Hotel Houston can experience a tranquil, luxurious and welcoming atmosphere,” says Pete Shim, the hotel’s general manager. “Additionally, Blossom is close to many of Houston’s famous entertainment destinations such as NRG Stadium, the Houston Theater District, Space Center Houston, Houston Zoo, Rice Village and the Toyota Center. making it a great location to stay while experiencing all the wonderful things the city has to offer.” Designed by Hangzhou Rongyi Creative Company, the 16-story hotel showcases lunar-inspired design elements—a nod to the Space City—in 267 guest rooms and more than 400,000 square feet of leisure and event space, including a meeting hall large enough to hold 250 guests, over 10 event venues, an outdoor rooftop swimming pool boasting sweeping views of downtown Houston, a state-of-the-art fitness center, two restaurants headed by Michelin-starred chefs coming soon, and a lobby lounge. “As an international hotel, we want to provide both local guests and international travelers with an immersive experience that allows them to rest, unwind and feel right at home with a design that resonates with their heart,” says Shim. 7118 Bertner Ave., blossomhouston.com
ACCESSORIZE With a highly curated selection of luxury clothing, shoes, jewelry and now Freya hats, guests can explore and experiment with their personal sense of style at the new Style by Ellzey boutique in River Oaks. Owner of the new brick-and-mortar Jennifer Ellzey has opened its doors this fall, co-sharing the Upper Kirby venue with Freya, an international brand founded by Linsday McConnon and Houston’s Linsay Radcliffe that offers handcrafted Panama hats and Italian hat boxes and handbags. “Our clients lead very busy lives, and there’s nothing better than being able to offer them one-stop shopping,” says Ellzey. “Our styles complement one another beautifully, and I love that Freya hats and bags make the perfect addition to every piece in our store.” Ellzey debuted the Parisian label ba&sh featuring glamorous maxi dresses and effortless jumpsuits, while Freya launched new wool felt hats including one-of-a-kind styles that were designed exclusively for its Houston customers. Ellzey is also excited to offer the Souvenirs de Pomme jewelry collection that promises to immediately elevate your wardrobe. “Defining your unique sense of style can feel like an overwhelming task,” says Ellzey. “The labels in our boutique will offer a fashion-forward wardrobe that is both current and grounded in classic pieces that will serve you for years to come.” 2147 Westheimer Road, Ste. B, stylebyellzey.com
Photography by: BY KENNON EVETT; BY DANIEL ORTIZ; COURTESY OF BLOSSOM HOTEL HOUSTON; BY HARLOW & MAY STUDIOS