Top 5: Places to See and Be Seen

Categories: Top Five

benjy's washington.jpg
Benjy's on Washington on a Friday night
Let's face it, Houstonians have a tendency to be fickle. They flock to the coolest places when it's new and hip to do so, losing interest and moving on when the next hot new thing hits the scene. 

When a place is "in," though, everyone seems to want to be there, which means that a hot new restaurant will attract a beautiful crowd. After all, everyone wants to see and be seen once in a while, and what's better than a night out when everyone's decked out to the nines looking ready to impress?

Here's my "of the moment" list of places to see and be seen.

5. Benjy's on Washington

Boasting one of the best happy hours in town, Benjy's on Washington has got to be the pre-going-out dining destination of the moment. The retro-modern decor is the perfect setting for the younger set in their glittery pre-clubbing gear, who will often come in larger parties. On the night I was there, the chef's table area -- set smack dab in the center of the restaurant -- showcased eight lovely ladies having a great time. It's the ultimate pre-party social-gathering spot, a place to get the party started, and everyone is there to check out the action before the sun goes down.

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Philippe Restaurant main dining room on a Wednesday night
4. Philippe Restaurant + Lounge

Since it opened in early February, Philippe has been getting rave reviews for its food as well as its ambience. It's also one of those places in Houston where you just might see a TV celebrity -- like when Robert Kardashian recently stopped by for the Final Four -- or a Houston celebrity, as when Carolyn Farb stopped by for Philippe's grand opening party. Whether people come here for the food, for the off chance of a celebrity sighting, or to get a personal greeting from the French chef-proprietor Philippe himself, I have no idea, but the Philippe dining room is always busy. And a the busier a place is, the more everyone else wants to be there.


Location Info

Benjy's on Washington

5922 Washington, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Philippe - CLOSED

1800 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Ibiza

2450 Louisiana, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Brasserie 19

1962 W. Gray St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Catalan Food & Wine Bar - CLOSED

5555 Washington St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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11 comments
stooopid foolz
stooopid foolz

puhlll-ease.....the food at Benjy's has always been absurd – if not downright laughable. drop a bomb on all of these places, except perhaps Ava. I'll give DelGrande a pass for being one of two or three (at most) legit chefs in town. 

Mylifeisloud
Mylifeisloud

Don't go to Benjy's to be seen.  Go for the amazing food.  Gorge yourself and feel proud.

Fej
Fej

Man not a Chilis on the list?  Well, that just ain't right!!!

Hugh Ramsey
Hugh Ramsey

The problem with seeing, and being seen (or scene) is the crowd.  And I dont mean it's too crowded.

Matt
Matt

Houston, meet Dallas.  

Stacy Zane
Stacy Zane

Good list. Exactly what I would've put in my top 5 "of the moment" places too. I've been to all of those and you're absolutely right!

Kylejack
Kylejack

When I want to hobnob with the upper crust, I head to Moon Tower Inn.  They don't offer valet, so I just hang my bike from one of the ceiling hooks on the patios.  While waiting to place my order, I do my best to snicker at those who attempt to order an American domestic macrobrew.  Those unwashed plebeians!Be sure to dress to impress.  You never know when someone prestigious might see you stepping out of the portapotty.

Hugh Ramsey
Hugh Ramsey

As much as I hated the bar scene, the best steak I have had at a restaurant in recent memory was from Eddie V.  Have you been?

Food For Thought
Food For Thought

 Agreed!  While many of these venues may be of the moment, they also have the credentials for staying power.  People in Houston are fickle only when the food and service don't deliver.  These places are busy, because the cuisine is as good as the scene.  Philippe Schmit, Grant Cooper, Robert Del Grande and Benjy Levit have made a mission to offer the city the best for years apiece (the first Benjy's opened in the Village 15 years ago and is still packed, and the Washington location has had equal success over the past several years), and are upping the ante with these beautiful new and noteworthy venues.  We're lucky to have these restaurateurs in our city - and their efforts for keeping Houston at the top of the country's culinary heap.  

Laurie
Laurie

I agree. Thank you for the straightforward top 5 places for us to avoid on a Friday or Saturday night.

D. G.
D. G.

I agree, Eddie V's really puts out some quality food that I have not found any fault with on my recent visits.. now the crowd is another story, so I try and steer clear on busy nights.

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