MOST IN-THE-KNOW WHISKEY PURVEYORS
Bourbon Stewards at Bayou & Bottle (1300 Lamar St., 713.276.4715) Chef Richard Sandoval’s concept at Four Seasons Hotel Houston hosts an extensive whiskey program complete with certified bourbon stewards. Belly up with your favorite pour—The Macallan 25-year, perhaps? You just might even learn something while you imbibe.
BEST MULTICOURSE TASTING MENU
Tony’s (3755 Richmond Ave., 713.622.6778) Tony Vallone’s 54-year-old eatery is Houston fine dining at its best. The famous Grand Chefs Tasting features add-ons like Tsar Nicoulai Russian Golden Osetra caviar—it’s no wonder the restaurant has served seven sitting presidents.
MOST INTRIGUING OPENING
Indigo (517 Berry Road, 832.582.6388) Since its opening last year, the 13-seater restaurant in North Houston remains a hot topic. Chef Jonny Rhodes’ (Caracol, Oxheart) neo-soul menu is said to be poking fun at stereotypes, serving items like Affirmation of a Stereotype (chilled watermelon with fresh flowers). We’re intrigued.
CHICEST POWER HOUR
Yauatcha (5045 Westheimer Road, 713.357.7588) Exotic cocktails, exquisite dim sum and over 30 types of tea keep this London transplant the city’s busiest—and most fashionable—business lunch. And dinner’s not bad either, just ask Grammy winner Camilla Cabello, who visited the teahouse two nights in a row last fall.
MOST ARTFUL VEGAN MENU
Vibrant (1931 Fairview St., 832.409.6423) Dishes like rainbow carrot-radish salad with housemade sunflower ricotta are almost too pretty to eat.
MOST BUZZWORTHY CHEF
Chris Shepherd Underbelly Hospitality’s frontman gets a lot of buzz. From his annually changing One Fifth restaurant (currently Mediterranean) and his hot new steakhouse, Georgia James, to his philanthropic efforts with the Southern Smoke Foundation—whose annual festival raised $425,000 for various causes this past fall—Shepherd’s well worth his hype.
MOST LUXURIOUS WINE LIST
Mastro’s (1650 West Loop S., 713.993.2500) The 30,000-bottle wine list, curated for high rollers, touts rare vintages and Champagnes stored in a designated tower.