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Up Receives No Stars from Cook; Down House Service Kinks

The bar at Down House.
The bar at Down House.

Houston Chronicle food critic, Alison Cook rewards no stars to the swanky restaurant in Highland Village, Up and finds the menu, "a cautious, predictable document designed for a well-heeled demographic that seeks a swanky night out, on a stage fit for preening, without wanting surprise or a messy passion for food to intervene."

While the menu may have been designed with socialites in mind, the view offers, "a glimpse of Houston’s skyline out the east end window wall; and when the sun goes down and Up’s lights do, too, the sense of light and air and changing colors is rare stuff indeed."

While Cook has problems with the lack of creativity at Up, she does find a "few strikingly good dishes to be had (including what may be the best salade nicoise in town)," as well as a shredded short rib pizza that was "absolutely swell."

Katharine Shilcutt of the Houston Press found Heights coffeehouse, bar and restaurant, Down House "has already made a tremendous impact in the short two-and-a-half months that it's been open."

However, it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies for Down House when Shilcutt "wasn't dazzled by the twee dining room," finding "it smacked of over-exertion in all the wrong places." She also runs into service issues, "Being left alone for 20 minutes during that initial lunch service ."

How about the food? Stay away from the "atrocity of a salad" and the "boring tomato-basil soup" and order the burger, which "was the stuff of sweaty-foreheaded, dilated-pupil, burger wet dreams." Shilcutt also speaks highly of the breakfasts, the late dining options (until 2 a.m.) and predicts, "it's bound to be pleasantly packed for at least a few years to come."

· Restaurant Review: Up [29-95]
· Full House [HP]
· All Week in Reviews Coverage on Eater Houston [EHTX]

Down House

1801 Yale Street, , TX 77008 (713) 864-3696 Visit Website


3995 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX