Inside A’Bouzy, Houston hospitality veteran Shawn Virene’s newly-opened River Oaks restaurant, more than 1,000 bottles of wine and a relentlessly chic aesthetic await.
Named for the Bouzy region of France famous for its exquisite Champagne, the restaurant is an expression of Virene’s passion for the South of France, and the space shows that off. The sleek-yet-approachable space highlights a mix of modern and vintage décor with handcrafted reclaimed wooden tables, white leather bar stools, and antique fixtures surrounded by exposed white washed brick accents and dark Mediterranean blue walls.
An artsy installation of nearly 1000 glass bubbles hangs from the center of the main dining room and bottles of Champagne anchor just about every surface both for aesthetic and practical reasons. Soon, diners can pre-order a bottle for custom engraving to be presented to a lucky recipient upon arrival. In addition, the wine room serves double duty as a private dining room and plans are in the works to install additional dividers to extend the space for larger parties.
A dizzying array of of sparkling, red, and white wine grace the menu at this just-opened see and be seen River Oaks destination fit for celebrating, well, anything thanks to a keenly designed space ideal for mingling. Of course, sparkling is the main beverage attraction and offerings start at $12 a bottle moving up to the ultimate way to impress your friends — a $2799 bottle of Krug Clos d’Ambonnay 2000. Only 5,100 bottles have been released.
Aside from bubbly, the menu highlights a blend of American, French, and Mediterranean inspiration. Butter roasted Maine lobster shares space with braised pork and beef meatballs, octopus Carpaccio, and Prime ribeye steaks. Guests can enjoy weekend brunch on Saturday and Sunday with selections like a lobster & shrimp roll, baby back ribs, and Baja diver scallops with hummus. Grab a table inside in the dining room, take in the sexy bar, or head outside to the spacious patio that, with room for 140, accommodates more bodies that the rest of the restaurant.
A’Bouzy is now open at 2300 Westheimer. Take a virtual walk around the restaurant courtesy of Eater photographer Ellie Sharp.