Katharine Shilcutt tries to discern why Bombay Pizza is thriving when so many downtown restaurants have closed recently. "I don't know exactly what Bombay Pizza's secret to success is, but I have a pretty good idea. And it starts with the food, which hits four important points for the downtown demographic, particularly by day: It's inexpensive, accessible, convenient and delicious. If you've never tried saag paneer on a pizza, you've quite frankly been missing out." [Houston Press]
Alison Cook awards rodizio restaurant Chama Gaúcha two stars, finding that the quality of its food far surpasses rivals like Nelore or Fogo de Chao. "The spectacle of a skewer loaded with comma-shaped picanha cuts always cheers me, the sirloin capped with a delicious curl of fat. So does a skewer stacked high with little double lamb chops, usually with one rare enough for me, its distinctive lambiness sketched out with a bright herbal marinade." [Houston Chronicle]
John Demers acknowledges that he was skeptical that Chris Shepherd could successfully embody "the soul of Houston" at his restaurant Underbelly but decides that Shepherd has achieved his goal. "On this night, however, even as Korean, Vietnamese, Thai and Indian accents vie for our attention, a bit from Japan wins out. There's a seared golden tilefish fillet, perfectly cooked of course, set atop a swirl of soba noodles with a spiced ginger broth poured all around it at the table. If you need any further proof that Shepherd and his crew don't just cook "foreign" recipes but inhabit the heads and hearts of those who invented them, this remarkable dish is it." [Houston Modern Luxury]
The Leader Eater finds that the newly opened Heights location of Sonoma Wine Bar does a good job catering to people who are more oenophobe than oenophile. "Following on the concept employed at the original location on Upper Kirby, Sonoma has featured wine flights, taking a cue from whiskey and beer bars where you can get a sampling of flavors in smaller-than-normal portions."
THE BLOGS: Hank on Food enjoyed his meal at the new Brio Tuscan Grille on Kirby.