Openings & Closings: Cuchara Slices Up a Soft Opening and the Gift Horse Lounge Opens Its Mouth

Categories: Restaurant News

Photo by Joe Espelage
The fire damage to Dolce Vita was more extensive than initially expected.
Speaking of Montrose, Dolce Vita reopened today after being closed since May 23. A fire set in the Dumpster behind Marco Wiles's beloved pizza place heavily damaged the restaurant; Jacob Colby Garvin was eventually arrested in connection with the fire and charged with felony criminal mischief and felony arson.

Down the street, Korean-Japanese fusion joint Nabi has now closed for good. Owner/chef Ji Kang verified that he'd sold Nabi to another party, but couldn't disclose who. That isn't the end of Kang's run here in Houston, however. The chef has another project in the works that's absolutely unlike anything else we have in the city -- and one of the things we're sorely missing, which other cities have in spades. Anyone want to hazard a guess?

In other semi-blind news, I keep hearing rumors from solid sources who've indicated that New Orleans celebrity chef John Besh will soon be opening a restaurant in Houston. My last source even said that Besh had already chosen the spot -- in River Oaks. Which would make complete sense were it true. I spoke with Besh's representatives this week, who said that the chef has no plans to open a place in Houston. Is that anything like In-N-Out Burger "not" coming to Houston any time soon?

August 20 040.jpg
Last but not least, the restaurant that replaced Cabo's has been open for a couple of weeks. But it hasn't had its sign up until now: Pepper Jack's left the fiberglass marlin component of Cabo's old sign intact, which is now lighting up the downtown sky at Travis and Prairie once again.

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

Location Info


Moon Tower Inn

3004 Canal, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Dolce Vita Pizzeria & Enoteca

500 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pepper Jack's - CLOSED

419 Travis St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


214 Fairview St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
paval topcommenter

Cucharas soft opening was actually a little hard on the restaurant and they ran out of food by 9pm. Probably cannot complain though, its a good soft opening if people come in you did not expect at all.

Must try:

- Grilled nopales with panela cheese

- quesadillas de huitlacoche

- chilatole, a corn veloute with some nice spice

- grilled cecina

- huaraches and sopes

- never thought I would ever write something positive about a margarita, but this one is made without nasty and artificial sweet and sour. quite refreshing and tasty

- indio beer. one of the few places that has this fantastic mexican beer


People should note that Dolce Vita's website shows they have changed their hours since the fire and are now open for lunch only Th-Sun.  They are still closed all day Monday.

Timothy Black
Timothy Black

Meh. MTI will be back open in February kids. No wait. May. No wait. July. Early August guaranteed. Whatever.


So happy ~sob~ Dolce Vita is back!


For a second I thought the restaurant was named chicharra. Either way, I can't get the association out of my head. If you don't know what a chicharra  is, google image it. You have been warned. 

paval topcommenter

Besh to Houston. That would be awesome. He is US-wide one of my favorite chefs and his 20.12 USD three course lunch menu at August is unbeatable. I usually spend well over 100 USD when in NOLA at august. Hopefully they will transplant the lunch special to Houston too.

Danielle Stillman-Diederich
Danielle Stillman-Diederich

I think it's been pretty well established that the Moon Tower guys are better at coming up with ideas than executing them...

Now Trending

From the Vault