While this fall promises a host of high-profile openings, a few restaurants are getting a jump on things by opening this week. In addition to Monica Pope's Sparrow Bar + Cookshop, here are some other new places to check out.
GALLERIA/UPTOWN— 1252 Tapas Bar opens its third location today in the Uptown Park shopping center space previously occupied by Berripop. At their current locations near Tomball at the Vintage Park center and in The Woodlands, 1252 has found success with their Spanish style tapas that feature plenty of meat, seafood and vegetarian selections. Open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday and until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, 1252 further hopes to distinguish itself with music and dancing: Spanish music on Tuesday and Wednesday and a DJ on Thursday and Saturday. Judging by the tweets from a media preview and VIP-party Monday night, 1252 might have found the right formula to find success where other concepts that have tried to move from the suburbs to the city have failed.
RIVER OAKS— Brio Tuscan Grille, a national chain that serves upscale Italian-American comfort food, opens tomorrow in the Upper Kirby location previously occupied by shuttered seafood restaurant Pesce. At a media preview Monday night, Brio showed off a variety of the dishes that have helped them find success at their CityCentre location. On the menu are items such as flatbread, bruschetta, pastas and grilled items (naturally). The space itself has been completely transformed, with an Italian-themed decor and expanded bar. Although it seems very similar to neighbor Carrabba's, perhaps Houstonians' love for all things Italian will help Brio find success.
DOWNTOWN— Wicked Whisk, a food truck and caterer that melds a variety of influence, has launched a pop-up now through the end of the month at the Kitchen Incubator space on Franklin Street. As KI has hosted a number of pop-ups and one off dinners, including this spring's effort by The Burger Guys, Wicked should have no trouble attracting diners who haven't made it to the truck's usual stomping grounds in The Woodlands. According to a post on CultureMap, the menu features a wide variety of dishes: "small dishes like poutine, pork belly udon and "foiellipops," or lollipops of foie gras torchon with apple brandy caramel, as well as full entrees like oxtail cannelloni, beef cheeks and surf & turf." It's open for lunch Tuesday through Friday and dinner Friday and Saturday.
· A New Restaurant Pops Up Downtown: Wicked August Sets Up Shop (For Now) [Culturemap]
· 1252 Tapas Bar [Official Site]
· Brio Tuscan Grille: Locations· All Opening Reports on Eater Houston [-EHOU-]