Etoile Cuisine et Bar opened quietly in Uptown Park on Saturday night. Chef Philippe Verpiand closed his restaurants in San Diego to move to Houston after a trip here convinced him that the city's economic health meant better prospects for his future. The space itself is casual, with whitewashed wood and wine racks designed by Verpiand's wife Monica.
The menu provides diners with a variety of choices. At dinner, it's divided into "La Tradition," featuring classics such as lobster bisque and steak frites, and "La Saison," which has a more modern, rotating menu. When lunch service begins November 12, the menu will blend both options and add sandwiches. Currently in development is a bahn mi that will blend Monica's Vietnamese heritage with Philippe's French charcuterie for an example they promise will be the best in Houston.
Etoile is open for dinner from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. When it begins, lunch service will be from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. daily.