The Top 5 "Power Dining" Locations in Houston: Where to See and Be Seen

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Photo by Quattro
Last week, the New York Times published an article about D.C. restaurateur Ashok Bajaj with the subtitle "A New Delhi-Born Restaurateur Brings Power Dining to D.C." Several of us read the article, but not because we were super interested in Mr. Bajaj's latest opening. We had no idea what "power dining" was.

Unfortunately, the article used the term as if it's a common part of speech.

"Oh Susan, I was out power dining the other day, and you'll never guess who I ran into!"

"Goodness, Roger, I do love power dining!"

"As do I. It's my favorite thing to do after power walking and power washing."

A quick search online showed that power dining has nothing to do with speed or force. According to Forbes, power dining refers to "magnetic restaurants that influential people (be they bankers, producers or fashion designers) use to impress, cajole or intimidate others in their field."

Hmm. I can think of a few Houston restaurants that fit that mold. Restaurants where the wealthy, influential and beautiful flock to see and be seen. No need to travel to New York or L.A. to power dine. We've got your top five spots right here.

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Photo by Vic & Anthony's.
5. Vic & Anthony's
The glamorous steak house is situated downtown amid the hustle and bustle of business people and tourists eager to see what Houston is all about. The steaks are consistently voted some of the best in the city by diners and critics alike, and the opulent dining rooms with intricate stained glass, mahogany, white linen table cloths and glittering chandeliers match the elegant clientele. Men enjoy throwing around money and company cards at Vic & Anthony's, and why not, when the oversized dining chairs and oversized portions invite oversized wallets and personalities.

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Photo by Quattro
4. Quattro
Quattro at the Four Seasons often offers special prix-fixe dinners for those seeing shows at the Toyota Center, and given that it's in a fancy hotel, it sometimes hosts visiting celebs. When wealthy out-of-towners need an upscale place to stay downtown, they choose the Four Seasons, and when they need a classy meal, they head to Quattro on the third floor. There's an elevator that goes only to and from the restaurant ('cause why mingle with the plebs in the lobby if you don't have to?) and the floor-to-ceiling windows offer a great view of downtown Houston. Oh yeah, and the food, courtesy of chef Maurizio Ferrarese, is pretty awesome, too.

Location Info

Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse

1510 Texas St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Petroleum Club of Houston

800 W. Bell St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Quattro

1300 Lamar St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Eddie V's Prime Seafood Restaurant

12848 Queensbury Lane, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Tony's Restaurant

3755 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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32 comments
jcd8822
jcd8822

It has been some time since I lived in Houston.  I guess the next time I come home I will have to try some of these restaurants.  I remember the Petroleum Club from my days at Gulf Oil Corp. and I remember Tony's.  I do miss the restaurants and the fine places to shop for groceries.  Funny how we take it all for granite until we no longer have access to the good places to dine and shop.  I was just telling someone last week about the potatoes salad one could order from Neilson's Delicatessen in Highland Village years ago.  It was the best on the planet.

powergrip
powergrip

my mom is a member of the petroleum club. maybe if it was 1988 then i would consider it a power lunch place.  brasserie 19 should be on this list.

Houstess
Houstess

What's shocking is that a food writer had to google power dining.  A whole lot of power lunches go on at Tony Mandola's on Waugh.  I know this because I see it there all the time.  

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

Re-run, so I will rerun my comment. At least only one of the places is the same (though another has gone out of business).


When I want to hobnob with the upper crust, I head to Moon Tower Inn.  They don't offer valet, so I just hang my bike from one of the ceiling hooks on the patios.  While waiting to place my order, I do my best to snicker at those who attempt to order an American domestic macrobrew.  Those unwashed plebeians!Be sure to dress to impress.  You never know when someone prestigious might see you stepping out of the portapotty.

http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/2011/06/top_5_places_to_see_and_be_see.php

Colby Jack
Colby Jack

Can't fit them all on one page? I am pretty sure my brain can process 5 paragraphs. Can't say the same about the rest of the world, though.

John Wells
John Wells

Should be retitled: "The Top 5 'Most Overpriced' Locations in Houston"

Kathy Bailey Musselwhite
Kathy Bailey Musselwhite

Tonys, really? Some of the worst food and terrible service I have ever had. Article is a joke.

Nina Afrique
Nina Afrique

Why include a member's only club as part of it? Been to all of them except the Petroleum one.

Jon Bowers
Jon Bowers

Are Jugalos welcome or can we mock these people on our own?

Albert Vasquez
Albert Vasquez

This has to be one of the most shallow articles I have ever read.

Ray Hadfield
Ray Hadfield

Those are the 5 places I will never go to......

bcwalker1987
bcwalker1987

Brennans Houston. I met a President (GB Senior) there. You don't get much more powerful than that.

Cornelieus Napolitano
Cornelieus Napolitano

Right now the elite of Houston are at their summer homes in Colorado, Martha's Vineyard, Argentina, etc.

mikhastur
mikhastur

"power dining" is no new thing in Washington, DC.

kagan34
kagan34

I'd like to think that 'Power Dining' and 'Power Lunches' are a relic of the 80's when Gordon Gecko infected too many minds with 'greed is good' and universities turned out too many MBAs who went on to do anything to make a buck. See and be seen was part of that ethic, more about appearances than doing actual work and turning out a real product. However, the vapid celeb culture nowadays, and the mindless media that celebrates it, ensure that it will be with us for a while. The whole flash pomp scene makes me appreciate real doers like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.

tinyhands
tinyhands

I agree - Eddie V's is a great place to take your rented Ferrari and pretend like you're classy enough to belong in a place like Brennan's.

Florida63
Florida63

Have you not heard the term "power lunch"? Being a food journalist, I thought you were being sarcastic when you said you were not familiar with "power dining".

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@tinyhands Haha interesting! So where would you go to power dine? Or to laugh at the other people who are power dining?

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@Florida63 I've heard of a power lunch, but I've never heard the term power dining thrown around. No one in the office had either. Though I am the only food journalist here, so perhaps I'm the only one who really should be expected to know it. Consider me educated!

tinyhands
tinyhands

@KaitlinS @tinyhands I think that if you have to make an effort to power dine you're doing it wrong. If it comes naturally to you, then they probably already know you at the old money places in town like Tony's, Brennan's, Brenner's, Mark's, & DaMarco. Capital Grille probably belongs in that category as well. Yes, rightly or wrongly, I equate real power with old money, not just money.


If I want to laugh at the other people who think they're power dining? No question: Pappa's Bros Steakhouse. Not a bad meal, mind you, just dripping with desperation to be accepted by its betters. Runner up: Ruth's Chris, who waited FAR too long to move off Richmond Ave. and into the Aloft.

vonSchliessen
vonSchliessen

@KaitlinS @tinyhands 

I've enjoyed a few power hours at La Griglia in River Oaks---it's fun laughing along with folks who are vocalizing their laughter while not moving any facial muscles. Power over wrinkles via botox, hooray!

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