Top 10 Restaurants in Downtown Houston
3. Line & Lariat
Photo by Troy Fields Mustard-roasted wild boar chop with sauerkraut at Line & Lariat.
Chef David Luna's modern Texas fare at Line & Lariat showcases the best the Lone Star State has to offer, from surf to turf. Try the Gulf-caught red snapper or cobia for lighter fare that doesn't skimp on flavor, or go whole hog with an antelope steak or mustard-roasted wild boar chop. You'll find everything from German and Mexican to cowboy and Cajun influences on the menu, which ranges from pulled pork tostadas (which make a great bar snack with a pint of locally brewed beer) to filé gumbo filled with Gulf shrimp and local chicken -- all of it served in a converted two-story bank lobby that's simply the most stunning dining room downtown.
2. Quattro at the Four Seasons
Photo by Mai Pham Venison carpaccio at Quattro.
Lunch is rather standard at this downtown hotel restaurant, offering Continental business fare. Dinner is where Italian-born chef Maurizio Ferrarese is allowed to shine, however, and when the prices reflect the quality of Quattro's simple, streamlined dishes and house-made pastas. Ferrarese's signature short rib ravioli with black truffle and corn purée is a favorite, as are his perfectly executed risotto dishes. Sunday brunch is a popular draw, too, with a lavish buffet that's justifiably famous.
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt Roasted squash at Oxheart.
Chef Justin Yu joined forces with his pastry chef wife, Karen Man, to create a restaurant that's wholly Houston except for one notable thing: Instead of sprawl, the tiny Oxheart only seats 30 people. Yu and Man highlight locally grown produce and locally raised meats on their veggie-heavy menus, which change from week to week. Three different chef's tasting menus are available at night, priced from two affordable four-course menus to a more extravagant affair with seven courses. All three tasting menus are available with wine pairings, which are as joyfully unusual as the food: a sweet Blandy's Sercial Madeira paired with a dusky, savory sunflower seed soup, for example, or Kalin Cellars Semillon drunk with a rabbit saddle cooked with green garlic ash. Oxheart is one of the restaurants chiefly responsible for bringing waves of national attention to Houston's current dining scene, which is all the more satisfying given the restaurant's entirely humble setting and cozy appeal.
Check out our other Top 10 neighborhood lists:
Top 10 Restaurants in Montrose
Top 10 Restaurants in the Heights
Top 10 Restaurants in Rice Village
Top 10 Restaurants on Washington Avenue
Top 10 Restaurants in the East End
Top 10 Restaurants in the Galleria
Top 10 Restaurants in Midtown
Top 10 Restaurants in Memorial
Top 10 Restaurants in Upper Kirby
Top 10 Restaurants in Greenway Plaza
Top 10 Restaurants in The Woodlands
Top 10 Restaurants in Spring Branch
Top 10 Restaurants in Little India
Top 10 Restaurants in Far Northwest Houston
Top 10 Restaurants in Chinatown
Top 10 Restaurants in EaDo
Top 10 Restaurants in River Oaks
Top 10 Restaurants in Garden Oaks/Oak Forest
Top 10 Restaurants in Westchase
Top 10 Restaurants in the Third Ward
Top 10 Restaurants Near Hobby Airport
Top 10 Restaurants Near Intercontinental Airport
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306 Main St., Houston, TX