Eunice, a new Cajun-Creole brasserie from New Orleans-based BRG Hospitality, will officially debut next week in Upper Kirby.
The restaurant helmed by Chef Drake Leonards is located at 3737 Buffalo Speedway. Leonards is making the move to the new 7,000-square-foot restaurant and bar in Houston after spending time at New Orleans eateries August, Domenica, Borgne, Shaya and Luke, also owned by BRG (formerly Besh Restaurant Group). The parent company rebranded and distanced itself from namesake restaurateur John Besh after he was accused by 25 staffers of sexual harassment. Although Besh stepped down in an official capacity after allegations broke, he is reportedly still a part owner in newcomer Eunice and other BRG concepts.
Eunice, named for Leonards’ hometown in Louisiana, features interior seating for more than 100 and terrace seating for 40. Interiors were designed by Gin Design Group, which was also responsible for Oxheart. The “soaring, light-filled space” features blue interiors accented with dark wood beams and plentiful windows. Diners will find a U-shaped bar, tufted furniture, banquets, and table seating, linen lanterns, specialty wall treatments, and Leonards’ family antiques.
Leonards got his start as a dishwasher in his hometown, before landing spots in kitchens in New Orleans and New York. He spent two years living and working in Germany’s Black Forest, Spain, France, Switzerland, and England before returning to New Orleans in 2012 “to focus on the intricacies of regional Gulf cooking” at La Provence and then as executive sous chef at Restaurant August, according to a press release.
Leonards’ cuisine meshes “nostalgic flavors from his childhood and European influences from his training” using seafood, fowl, meat, and produce sourced from the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast. The menu features a full raw bar with oysters, fish crudos, tartares, and ceviches. Diners can also look forward to traditional New Orleans gumbo, crispy quail, and shrimp and grits. For dessert, seasonal tarts, pies, and house-made ice creams are on offer. The bar program focuses heavily on whiskies and bourbons, plus cocktails made with local ingredients.
Eunice officially opens on Monday, October 1 and will operate Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday 3 to 10 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.