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12 Exciting Winter Openings

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Blacksmith looks to be one of this winter's biggest openings
Blacksmith looks to be one of this winter's biggest openings
Blacksmith Coffee Bar/Facebook

Now that Moon Tower Inn has reopened, the time has come to take a look at some of the other restaurants people will be talking about over the next few months. Most of these opening dates are tentative, but they're based on the latest information from our usual industry sources. If anyone has suggestions for other restaurants to track, drop us a note via the tipline.

1. Coltivare
Location: 3320 White Oak
Description: This Italian concept from Ryan Pera and Morgan Weber will showcase the meats, cheeses and produce that have made Revival Market such a success. The adjacent garden will also be a big draw.
Opening Date: March/April

2. Blacksmith Coffee Bar
Location: 1018 Westheimer
Description: Blacksmith takes everything that makes Greenway Coffee great and turns it up to 11. In terms of food, former Plonk chef Erin Smith has worked with owners David Buehrer and Ecky Prabanto to design a menu that brings together Houston's diverse cuisines and pairs well with coffee. For coffee nerds, the shop features the enthusiast bar, which will allow patrons to interact with a barista as she makes coffee.
Opening Date: This Monday, January 21

3. Oak Leaf Smokehouse
Location: 1000 Telephone Rd
Description: New barbecue restaurants always attract attention, but Oak Leaf seems to have mostly flown under the radar so far (only 100 likes on Facebook). The pictures from recent trial runs show promise, but the proof, as always, will be in properly fatty brisket and ribs that do not "fall off the bone."
Opening Date: Mid February

4. Volare
Location: 2017 South Shepherd Drive
Description: Although it's a carry over from the fall preview, Volare is finally close to opening. Expect wood-fired pizzas, a strong wine list and a comfortable patio when the restaurant makes its debut.
Opening Date: Late January/Early February

5. Mr. Peeples Seafood & Steaks
Location: 1911 Bagby Street
Description: This restaurant from the same ownership group that operates Hearsay and 5115 brings a twist to the traditional steakhouse that's designed to appeal to younger diners. Specifically, that means plans for lots of non-steak offerings on the menu and a nightclub in the basement to keep the party going late.
Opening Date: March

6. Cloud 10 Creamery
Location: The Hanover developed near Kelvin and Dunstan in Rice Village
Description: Pastry chef Chris Leung adds a retail component to the ice cream business that's already found success at restaurants such as Hay Merchant and on board food trucks such as Phamily Bites. Leung has said the shop will feature an open kitchen, which suggests he'll be making liquid nitrogen ice cream in front of patrons, as he has done previously during a one-off appearance at Grand Prize.
Opening Date: March

7. La Casa del Caballo
Location: 322 Westheimer
Description: To the extent that La Fisheria demonstrates there's a market in Houston for Mexican imports, this Saltillo based steakhouse should find an audience even in a location that's already housed three failed restaurants (La Strada, Caffe Bello and Don Julio's). In addition to beef, the restaurant will serve wild game, which should help distinguish it from other steakhouses.
Opening Date: Late January/Early February

8. CK Steakhouse
Location: 1127 West 19th Street
Description: This restaurant is a collaboration between Ronnie Killen, whose eponymous Pearland steakhouse fills its dining room every night, and Ricky Craig, whose Hubcap Grill serves some of Houston's most highly regarded burgers. The menu will offer some of Killen's most famous non-steak dishes (fried shrimp, creme brulee bread pudding) along with contributions for Craig. Expect the service to tend more towards Killen's "the customer is always right" approach than Craig's sometimes ornery responses.
Opening Date: March/April

9. Bradley Ogden
Location: Somewhere in the Heights
Description: James Beard Award winner Ogden told Eater Vegas back in July that he has plans to open three, casual, farm-to-table, restaurants in Houston. We hear that final locations should be locked in soon, and the process will start moving quickly after that.
Opening Date: March/April

10. Josh Martinez
Location: An undisclosed location near the OKRA Saloon
Description: Food truck The Modular is getting off the streets and into a brick and mortar space. While Martinez is mum about the details, this tweet suggests a Japanese influence. Whether that means an izakaya style drinking establishment or something else remains to be seen.
Opening Date: Late February/early March

11. Reginelli's Pizzeria
Location: 12389 Kingsride Ln, The Woodlands
Description: The Brennan-Martin family is bringing another New Orleans import to Houston in the form of a pizza joint. In keeping with the Brennan's brand, expect a better than normal wine list, strong customer service and familiar flavors.
Opening Date: Late January/early February

12. Hollister on Washington
Location: 5555 Washington Avenue
Description: This second location of the popular Spring Branch restaurant aims to focus on serving meat and seafood inspired by the Gulf of Mexico. While that means some Texan dishes, expect Florida-style seafood preparations as well. Former Cafe Rabelais chef Jason Kerr will be in the kitchen alongside current Hollister chef Marlies Wasterval.
Opening Date: March/April