Thai Pop-Up Dinner in Houston by New York Chef Hong Thaimee

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Photo by Narin Nirundarangkul
Chef Hong Thaimee of Ngam in New York City's East Village.

There are pop-up dinners and then there are must-not-miss pop-up dinners, and this coming Sunday and Monday, Paper Co. is going to be playing host to two must-not-miss pop-up dinners that will showcase the cuisine of visiting chef Hong Thaimee of Ngam Thai Restaurant in New York City's East Village.

Thaimee, whose restaurant, Ngam, was named Best Thai Restaurant in New York City by The Village Voice in 2013, is acclaimed for her scratch-made modern Thai cuisine utilizing fresh, locally sourced, sustainable products. She has competed on Iron Chef America against Bobby Flay. She has been a guest chef at the James Beard House. Her cuisine and restaurant have received numerous accolades in the press, where she has been featured in Saveur, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and more.

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Openings & Closings in Houston: A Stand-Alone Restaurant for Asia Market

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Gary Wise
Although the cramped, casual dining area inside a small grocery store has always been "part of the charm," it's good news that Asia Market is expanding to a full-fledged restaurant.

An email from Asia Market on February 23 shared the joyous news that after years of being part of a grocery store-restaurant combination, the restaurant part is finally getting its own building. Asia Market has long been known for its shamelessly spicy curries and is a favorite of Thai food aficionados and industry professionals alike. The new location will be at 4822 Fulton right next to the Metro Red Line station, making it easy to get to from downtown and other stops on the line. Check out the new building and the interior demolition in progress here. The grocery store will remain in the existing location at 1010 West Cavalcade.

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A Preview of Foreign Correspondents Restaurant Coming to Houston

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
A bowl of Gaeng Om Fak Tong, which roughly translates to dry golden squash curry. This rendition from a Foreign Correspondents preview dinner included butternut squash from Gundermann Farms, ground Asian rooster meat and no coconut milk. It's just one of the Thai dishes that Houstonians will be introduced to when the restaurant opens in two or three months.

Way back in September 2013, Treadsack, the group behind Down House and D&T Drive Inn, announced that P.J. Stoops would be the chef for Thai restaurant Foreign Correspondents. Seventeen months later, it's still not open, but the good news is that it's now only two or three months away. Construction is under way at 4721 North Main, and diners got a preview of what's to come at a Kipper Club dinner this past Saturday night.

One of the P.J.'s most significant accomplishments -- and the thing he may perhaps still be best known for in Houston -- is that he helped bring awareness to fish known as bycatch. During commercial fishing operations, the nets bring in more than just the intended targets. For example, an expedition might be after lucrative, popular red snapper but a Warsaw grouper might come along for the ride.

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Openings & Closings: Montrose, How Much Mexican Food Can You Eat?

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo courtesy of El Tiempo Cantina
El Tiempo president Roland Laurenzo and executive chef and son Dominic Laurenzo are going to be very busy in the Montrose for a while.

Well, this was surprising. A press release from Roland Laurenzo that came out on Wednesday, February 18 says that there's a delay in the construction of the new apartments that were replacing El Tiempo 1308 Cantina. The release reads (and yes, it's really in all caps): "1308 WILL BE STAYING OPEN UNTIL END OF THIS YEAR, MORE OR LESS." Furthermore, the plans to open in April at the the old La Casa Del Caballo space at 322 Westheimer continue apace.

That means the Laurenzos are about to pull off a hat trick of concurrently running two Mexican restaurants that are within a mile of each other for most of this year--and one of them is quite large.

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Houston Has Another Big Batch of James Beard Semifinalists

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
Will another Houston chef come home wearing a James Beard medal around his neck in May as Chris Shepherd did last year? Only time will tell. This year, Bobby Heugel (second from left) has yet another reason to be happy, as the bar he co-founded, Anvil Bar & Refuge, has been named a semifinalist a third time.

Last year, chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly brought home the first James Beard: Best Chef Southwest award for the first time since Robert del Grande did it in 1992.

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Gatlin's BBQ Kicked Out of Its Space; Will Make Do With a Food Truck for Now

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Mai Pham
Don't you know you can't keep a good pitmaster down?

Don't look for Gatlin's BBQ at 1221 W. 19th Street anymore. According to Syd Kearney at the Houston Chronicle, it's gone--for now.

After five years in the same space, it's had to close up shop. Back in December, Greg Gatlin announced that he was making a much-needed move to a 4,200 square foot space at 3510 Ella Boulevard. Lines at the little house on 19th for brisket, ribs and stellar dirty rice were commonplace.

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A Sneak Peek of the New H-E-B and Table 57 Restaurant

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Photo by Phaedra Cook
The opening of the new H-E-B and Table 57 restaurant is just around the corner.
When it comes to its new, 91,000 square foot location at 5895 San Felipe at Fountainview, H-E-B is making sure there's a whole lot of fun in-store for shoppers. The company is touting this location as its "finest store in Houston."

It was a stroke of good fortune that when it came time to develop Table 57's menu that a respected, longtime Houston chef happened to be available to help. Chef Randy Evans had just struck out on his own after his prior restaurant, Haven, was sold by its main investor. McClelland asked Evans to consult on Table 57's new menu. The executive chef is Allen Duhon. The restaurant, by the way, is named for the zip code of the address.

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The El Gets a Superior Menu

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Phaedra Cook
The El Cantina Superior's has a fun, irreverent menu that falls as much on the side of "Tex" as "Mex," like with these Chopped Brisket and Jalapeño Sausage Enchiladas.

I didn't go to The El Cantina Superior (let's just call it "The El" for short) when it initially opened at 602 Studewood. The feedback from others who had was consistently lackluster. The only visit I made was during the Houston Press Tequila & Tamales event.

Since then, the F.E.E.D. TX group has taken over operations. The group is known for Liberty Kitchen, Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette and BRC Gastropub, so it sounded like a fair bet that the menu would have something good to offer.

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Openings & Closings: Clutch City Squire Loses Its Grip

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by David Rozycki
With both the Georgia's Market downtown location and Clutch City Squire gone, the 400 block of Main looks like a ghost town--but not for long.

The plywood mounted around the front door was a big hint. Clutch City Squire at 410 Main has closed. that entire side of the block look like a ghost town. The parade of new bar openings marches on, however. Eater Houston reports that a replacement bar is coming: an upscale cocktail place called The Commoner.

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D'Artagnan Celebrates Its Houston Distribution Center With a Feast

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photo by Chuck Cook Photography
Cured ham is just one example of the fine food that D'Artagnan supplies to the trade.

For 30 years, D'Artagnan, which is based in New York, has been a godsend for chefs who want scarce, high-end ingredients to execute classic recipes that call for them.

Well, now supplies from D'Artagnan are closer to home. The company has been on an expansion track, first opening a distribution center in Chicago and now in Houston close to George Bush Intercontinental Airport. It's easier than ever for Houston chefs to obtain items like foie gras, pâté, cured ham and game meats.


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