The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Bistros
3. Giacomo's Cibo e Vino
Photo by Troy Fields
Just as Nosh is the South Asian version of a bistro, if a classic French bistro was born and raised in Italy, the result would be Giacomo's Cibo e Vino. This casual Italian restaurant and wine bar off Lower Shepherd near River Oaks captures the essence of Italian city life and the spirit of the slow food movement. Giacomo's snack-sized plates of rustic Italian food, its cheap, easy-drinking wines, great espresso and top-shelf gelato are the main draws -- and there's also a big, comfortable patio that's beckoning in this spring weather.
2. Bistro des Amis
Photo by Alain Harvey
Perhaps the most "authentic" bistro in Houston, this Rice Village favorite offers classic bistro fare and charm. Bistro des Amis looks like the sort of small-town cafe where you stop to get a coffee and a pastry or an ice cream while shopping in a French village. And with good reason: The owners, Odile de Maindreville and her brother Bernard Cuillier, are from Biarritz, a town in the Basque region of France. Because of this, you'll find more non-traditional dishes like a slightly spicy "beef paprika," their version of goulash, and slices of moist gâteau Basque. Lunch and dinner specials are very reasonable and the soups, stews and pastries (the latter of which are always well-stocked in the pastry case) are made in-house.
Photo by Troy Fields
The epitome of a cozy, welcoming neighborhood bistro, Roost hosts local residents -- many of whom walk or ride their bikes -- in its comfortable, low-slung dining room while they nosh on whatever weekly specials chef Kevin Naderi has whipped up. Whether it's whole roasted Cornish game hen with grilled lemon and duck confit Lady Creamer peas one night or crispy Galveston by-catch shrimp with masago mayonnaise the next, Naderi's multiethnic food shows off Houston's melting pot of cuisines with a subtle Southern touch, and the selection of intelligently chosen wines and local beers is terrific for washing it all down.
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