There’s a cozy new spot in Montrose for drinks and shareable bites like broiled Blue Point oysters covered in tamarin herb butter. After pandemic-related delays, Clique Bistro softly opened this fall at 120 Westheimer Road on the border of Montrose and Midtown. The bar is from the same owners as the also recently-opened very buzzy EaDo barbecue spot J-Bar-M Barbecue.
This time, the focus is on craft cocktails and snacks from chef Justin Santellana, who taught at Culinary Institute LeNotre. He’s serving globally-influenced cuisine like citrus scallops ceviche, poke nori tacos, braised pork empanadas, and goat-cheese-topped purple roasted beets and golden pickled beets.
The bar program is a joint effort by owner of Cafe Rabelais and Bistro 555 Christophe Paul, owner of The Boyd’s Bar Eric Boyd, and Clique’s head cocktail creator Coretta Wintz. Right now, seasonal drinks include a Mistletoe Mule with cranberry bitters, an almond milk and cinnamon syrup-laced Bad Santa, and a candy cane-flavored Frostbite with white crème de menthe.
While J-Bar-M Barbecue has room for a huge crowd, the 2,000-square-foot Clique Bistro is more of a hideaway. The restaurant can seat 70 people inside and 24 people on the covered and dog-friendly patio, which will soon be heated. Design details inside include stained glass and industrial cages as wine shelving. There’s also a secret dining room camouflaged with bookshelves that offers room for 10 people.
Clique Bistro is open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. A happy hour offers deals like $40 for a bottle of bubbles and any two bites including East coast oysters, running every Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.