Ben Berg, the restaurateur who revitalized Houston institutions like Turner’s and the Annie Café & Bar, is partnering with the Bastion Collection to reimagine and divide Post Oak’s French restaurant, La Table, into two new establishments.
Bastion Collection’s international portfolio includes fine-dining heavy hitters like Le Jardinier in Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Miami. Berg says his restaurant group, Berg Hospitality, will close La Table’s current 9,000-square-foot two-story restaurant on July 2 and reconstruct it over the next year into a second-floor restaurant with a revamped menu and look, including new lighting, furniture, and an outdoor terrace.
The goal, says Berg, is to make La Table more approachable and distinct in terms of French cuisine, while “also pushing the fun.” This means remodeling the dining room’s traditional formal European decor. “We want more hints of what you’d expect out of a French brasserie but to keep it sophisticated and subtle,” says Berg. He added that La Table’s general manager Valerio Lombardozzi will stay on board.
“He’s the best service manager in the whole of Houston,” he says.
The second restaurant Tavola, the Italian word for “table,” will take the downstairs space, serving Italian fare with a lively brasserie-style bar and decor that incorporates touches of Roman influences and Berg’s hometown of New York City.
“It’ll be a bistro, but louder — with music and a fun atmosphere,” Berg says.
Though operating as two separate restaurants, “we think we’ll work really well together,” says Berg, noting that the French and Italian restaurants will be friendly competitors and contribute to the ongoing debate about which European country does food and wine best.
Construction for both establishments will begin in fall 2022, with the openings slated for spring 2023, bringing even more options to restaurant-packed Post Oak.