Vallone's [Max Burkhalter]
Voted the most anticipated opening of the year by Eater readers, Vallone's has finally debuted to the public. The names attached to the project are part of the allure, since chef Grant Gordon and business partner Scott Sulma have ties to Houston institution Tony's—Tony Vallone's other namesake restaurant. The general manager here will be Chuck Criswell, formerly of Eddie V's front-of-the-house staff. The group hopes to bring the same brand of scratch-made classics and consistently flawless execution with which Tony's is associated to this new project. Inside, the 12,000-square-foot interior includes large dining areas and a smaller dining room for private parties. The décor, by architect Shafik Rifaat, is an elegant mix of dark wood, dark leather and distinctive art, like the copper pots and pans melded into neat rectangular frames. A high-ceiling entrance greets guests with a glass panel showcasing a 2,000-wine-bottle wall along the stairs. Outside, the signature Tony's awning adds a dramatic first glance.
As far as the food, apart from 55-day dry-aged steaks, house-made pastas and fresh vegetables, the establishment has an extensive menu of seafood offerings and creative sides. An unconventional meat cart flaunts premium-grade cuts with a Ferris wheel display. To taste for yourselves and decide whether Gordon's take on a contemporary steakhouse is as promising as his work at Tony's, call 713-395-6100 to make dinner reservations; lunch service begins on December 4. Here now, take a complete look inside the newly opened Memorial-area restaurant.