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2 Stars for Andes Cafe; Coltivare 'Almost' Worth the Wait

Coltivare [Max Burkhalter]

The Houston Press's Kaitlin Steinberg heads to Coltivare: She writes that the "long lines remain a bit of a mystery to me, since I've found that not everything on the menu is a surefire hit." She laments that a few of the dishes suffered from "a heavy hand with the salt shaker," and says that where "Coltivare shines for me where the pizzas and pastas are concerned." Overall, Steinberg says the place "is still new, and it's quite an impressive spot for its youth."

The Chronicle's Alison Cook awards Andes Cafe two stars: Cook remarks that while this place is not the "modest context in which I expected the prodigiously talented David Guerrero to surface next," as a "longtime East Ender" she loved "the pure welcoming usefulness of the coffee and juice counter." Cook writes that "Guerrero's dips and sauces vibrate with flavor," but complains that an arepita was "hopelessly tough" one night and that a "dish of sun-dried alpaca jerky (no, really) was so intensely salty/sweet that it gave the palate no place to rest." Overall, Cook says that the Peruvian lomo is done in fine style and that "the chef's ceviches are as brilliant as ever." She concludes by noting that "Andes Cafe already feels like something important to its neighborhood."

More reviews: The ladies of Urban Swank check out pastry chef Rebecca Masson's latest Lucky Dog benefit dinner. The Press' Minh Truong visited newly opened Café Hélène in Midtown, and concludes that "it has the foundation to do well. The food is good enough to compete with its neighboring Vietnamese restaurants." The Gastronaut's Katharine Shilcutt also visited Café Hélène and says that it "has stepped in to take Midtown's Vietnamese game to a whole new level."


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