Top 10 Restaurants in Upper Kirby
Since these two long-term favorites are tucked right next to each other on the other side of Highway 59 from the rest of the Upper Kirby district -- and since both are owned and operated by the same family that's served Houston barbecue, Tex-Mex and seafood for years -- it seemed fitting to include them together. We're still crazy about Goode Co. Seafood after all these years. But that's not all that the Goode family does well: mesquite-grilling is their specialty, as seen at Goode Co. Taqueria right next door. If you're dining at Goode Co. Seafood, be sure to grab a seat in the "older" part of the restaurant: a converted train car with retro fixtures and photos. And if you're hitting the Taqueria, be sure not to miss breakfast, which it is now serving seven days a week, where quail, venison and catfish mingle with traditional Tex-Mex favorites like migas and huevos motuleños.
Photo courtesy of Hawthorn Steak tartare as presented by Riccardo Palazzo-Giorgio.
Those who mourned the closure of Sabetta and the loss of its talented chef, Riccardo Palazzo-Giorgio, will find something in common with those who mocked the former incarnation of this newish restaurant at 3200 Kirby (mawkish, members-only nightclub Dorsia, which was roundly ridiculed from the moment it opened). Hawthorn, which opened this past spring, has been quietly drawing rave reviews with its menu of refined Italian standards mixed with more upscale Texan fare under the expert guidance of chef Palazzo-Giorgio. Witness an appetizer of Texas quail stuffed with farro, toasted pinenuts and dried cranberry, for example, or an entree of housemade agnolotti with braised rabbit. Wrote Alison Cook in her recent review of Hawthorn in the Chronicle: "...if there's any justice, the restaurant won't stay a sleeper for long."
5. Giacomo's Cibo e Vino
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt Spaghetti alla carbonara at Giacomo's.
By day, it's a casual and cute place to grab an inexpensive Italian lunch. By night, it's effortlessly and casually romantic, just as you'd want a great date to be. Fairy lights twinkle in the canopy of the sweet little patio; the wine bar is dimly lit and well-stocked with Italian classics; the dining room is low-slung and moddish; and the small plates of elegant (and surprisingly inexpensive) food are meant to be shared, leading to plenty of Lady and the Tramp-style moments along the way as you both go for that last little chard-filled raviolo and lock eyes. But aside from being a charmingly romantic spot, Giacomo's also offers simply exquisite Italian fare from chef/owner Lynette Hawkins, with timeless dishes such as spaghetti alla carbonara and eggplant involtini delighting every time.
A bit of Britain in Houston -- and a bit of India, too -- keeps me coming back to The Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen. Indeed, it's the kind of place where you can get so cozy with a craft beer and a curry with chips, you might never want to leave (especially on a cold, wintry evening). Befitting its name, the pub also has a brilliant beer selection, including hard-to-find classics and limited-batch Houston brews. Better than the beer, though, is chef Shiva Patel's Texas-British-Indian fusion food, from her Oysters Victoria topped with saag paneer to an outstanding pub burger between two English muffins.