1.) Radio Milano - Chef Jose Hernandez is serving what could be the best modern Italian cuisine in Houston so far. Located on the second floor of the swanky Hotel Sorella, pastas drowning in heavy sauces won't be found here. Crab enveloped in a huckleberry gelee; pizzas with truffle cream topped with proscuitto and aged balsamic; veal cheeks served over creamy polenta in an osso buco broth are a sample of the out-of-the-box contemporary offerings served. Not-to-be-missed house-made pastas: tagliatelle with uni cream, lobster and citrus infused pane frito; gnocchi with pomodoro, grilled octopus and parmigiano reggiano. 800 Sorella Court, 713-827-3545.
Opened: October 24
2.) Milano Bar - Situated below Radio Milano is the ground-level bar serving Italian wines, cocktails, grappa and other Italian spirits. Cocktails are crafted with house-made syrups and bitters. The bar has its own menu with Italian cheeses and charcuterie, along with standards like pizzas, burgers and truffle parmesan fries. On the weekends, a prix-fixe price less than $30 includes entry, live entertainment, a cocktail and endless overstocked menu items from neighboring Radio Milano. 800 Sorella Court, 713-827-3545.
Opened: October 24
4.) Robard's Steakhouse - The upscale steakhouse is a tribute to Texas native, Howard Robard Hughes, Jr and a nod to the Prohibition era. Serving handcrafted cocktails (the Texas pear margarita with ancho reyes liqueur, fresh lime juice and prickly pear syrup is a must try), boasting a wide range of wines from its thousand bottle glassed-in wine cellar and an impressive menu of dry aged steaks and chops, the eponymous restaurant is setting new heights in The Woodlands. There's an on-site butchery and dry aging room in addition to a smokehouse, making the New York strip, veal rib chop and other in house dry aged beef must-have dishes. Tenderloin tips basted in chimichurri with roast butternut squash, lemon rosemary brick chicken and seafood pot pie with lobster and crab are among the steak alternatives available. 125 Autumnwood Ct, The Woodlands, 281-364-6400.
Opened: October 20
4.) Pappas Meat Co. - Not to be confused with its more upscale sister restaurant, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, the latest concept from Pappas Restaurant is a more accessible casual steak restaurant. The menu includes bone-in ribeye, porterhouse and more hand butchered steaks. Incorporated into the steak heavy menu are burgers, sandwiches, ribs and a sizable offering of Southern dishes. Fried green tomatoes with a spicy remoulade and goat cheese, pork chops with smothered onions and mushrooms are a few updated classics available. Save room for the sweet potato pecan pie, one of five homemade desserts served. 12010 East Fwy, 713-455-0944.
Opened: October 22
5.) Red Ribbon Bakeshop - The Philippine-based bakery, which has a cult-like following is dishing out Filipino baked goods near the Reliant Stadium. The grab-and-go bakery is the first location in Texas, offering cheesy ensaimada and butter mamon, a soft butter and chiffon sponge cake. Most bakery items aren't made in-house, they're pre-packaged. Cakes are available for purchase but house favorites like mango and ube overload (purple yam cake) are available by the slice. 8001 South Main St, Ste 101, 713-218-8500.
Opened: October 25
6.) Zoës Kitchen - The fast-casual Mediterranean concept opened its first location in the Heights. Focusing on health-conscience items, salads, kabobs and hummus are some of the options to choose. Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan selections are available. Beer and wine are also served. 250 W. 20th St, Ste 400, 713-864-2540.
Opened: October 23
7.) Michael's Coffee and Wine - Partnering with local roaster Amaya Roasting Company, the Humble coffee shop is striving to serve to best coffee available in town. On the menu: drip coffee, french press, cappuccino, chai latte and cold brewed iced coffee, pairing perfectly with house-made fruit pastries. Other drink choices include frappes, smoothies and iced horchata.Over fifty boutique wines are available and with over thirty craft beers on the menu, nine of those on tap, the coffee shop caters to hop lovers. Every Wednesday, flights of select wines are $20 and Thursdays are beer flights night. 9502 N Sam Houston Pkwy E, Ste 114, Humble, 281-436-1271.
Opened: October 18
8.) Macondo Latin Bistro - After moving a block over into the shuttered El Gallo Rojo space in August, breakfast and the robust Columbian influenced fare once served is available Downtown again. The menu still has Latin fusion favorites like the mango pico chicken and their take on the shredded beef dish ropa vieja but familiarity expands beyond the food menu. Columbian coffee is one of the offerings from the coffee bar while the juice bar provides healthier options. 917 Franklin St, 713-229-8323.
Opened: October 13
9.) MOD Pizza - The Seattle-based pizzeria opened its first Houston-area location in North Houston's Vintage Park, with several more to open soon. Same price individual artisan-style pizzas is the restaurant's specialty, where customers can customize their own pizzas from scratch. Don't want to design your own pizza? Choose one of the top pizza creations from the menu: Jasper (mozzarella, mushrooms, spicy italian sausage and red sauce) or the Dillon James (mozzarella, asiago, fresh chopped basil, garlic, sliced tomatoes and red sauce). Salads are available and are made on demand. Local craft beers on draft and wine are also on the menu, but you'll want to give the chocolate, strawberry and vanilla hand-spun milkshakes a whirl. 10123 Louetta Rd, Ste 700, 281-826-5001.
Opened: October 23
10.) W’kana Xpress - G’reat W’Kana Cafe owner/chef Sunil Srivastava and wife Anupama have set up shop in the Energy Corridor. While their Meadows Place restaurant remains open, the pair are exploring a new concept: fast casual Indian dining, similar to the dng Factory on Richmond Avenue and in Missouri City. Instead of dosas, the husband and wife team are making made-to-order kati roll (think the Indian version of burritos with a Chipotle feel as Houston Chronicle's Alison Cook analogized) Curry combos and thali dishes are also on the menu. 13346 Briar Forest Dr, Ste 180, 281-759-5262.
Opened: October 20
11.) Taco Me Crazy - Cadillac Bar has joined the food truck ranks with the debut of their Tex-Mex -centric food truck. Popular dishes from the restaurant served include: fajita tacos, blackened seafood tacos, shrimp tacos, burritos and quesadillas, all served with a side of rice and choice of salsa. Craving sweets? Sopapilla topped in chocolate sauce is an option. The truck's daily locations is shared on Facebook and Twitter.
Opened: October 21
For more recently opened restaurants, check out Eater Houston's Hottest Restaurants in October map.
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