Dinner and a Show: Houston's Top 10 Restaurants for Pre-Theater Dining
Although the restaurant no longer offers the great three-course menu that netted The Grove a Best of Houston® award for Best Pre- or Post-Theater Restaurant in 2010, it's still a swank place to watch the sun set over downtown's lush Discovery Green before heading out to the theater. I prefer The Grove, however, for pre-gaming prior to events or concerts at the nearby Toyota Center.
There's not much within walking distance from the Hobby Center for the Performing aRTS except for Bayou Place. And then there's Artista, from the Cordúa family of restaurants, which not only is within the Hobby Center itself but has smashing views of downtown from its second-story aerie. In keeping with its location, Artista has divided its South American-influenced menu into sections such as Act 1, Act 2 and Accompaniments.
The last time I went to The Capitol before a show at the Alley Theatre, my friends and I had such a good time that we ended up missing Santaland Diaries entirely and stayed put in our big red booth. Most nights, there's a show to be seen here as well -- whether at the always busy bar or on the main stage, where live acts are frequently booked. The straightforward menu has something for everyone, including a snazzy grown-up hot dog topped with brisket chili.
Much like The Grove, Quattro is an ideal spot for an intimate dinner before concerts at the Toyota Center or the nearby House of Blues. It offers great views from inside the Four Seasons hotel and even better food from chef Maurizio Ferrarese, but the real deal comes on big concert nights: Quattro offers free valet parking, a prix fixe menu and complimentary post-dinner drinks when big-name artists such as Lady Gaga, Madonna and Andrea Bocelli come to town to play the Toyota Center.
550 Texas St., Houston, TX