Houston has seen an influx of specific cuisines in 2023, with clusters of pizza joints and seafood and Italian restaurants opening all over the city. French restaurants have seen their share of new openings, too, with restaurants like PS-21, Ciel, and Eau Tour joining more iconic mainstays like Etoile, Brasserie 19, and Cafe Rabelais. Newest to the scene is Annabelle Brasserie.
The brainchild of Ben Berg, the restaurateur behind establishments like the Annie Café & Bar, Turner’s, Trattoria Sofia, and the newly opened Benny Chows, will open Wednesday, October 18, in Autry Park, the 14-acre mixed-use space located on the western edge of Buffalo Bayou Park, just east of Sheperd Drive and Allen Parkway.
Initial details for the restaurant were vague, but a representative for Berg Hospitality group says the restaurant — a more modern style brasserie that serves French cuisine — will serve an exciting French interpretation of breakfast, lunch, and dinner in an atmosphere that harnesses the bustling atmosphere of a Parisian cafe but with the elegance of European dining.
Berg Hospitality’s culinary director Brian Sutton and executive chef Russell Kirkham have teamed up to offer an “approachable,” menu for any time of the day, with an assortment of dishes, including pastries and lattes for diners on-the-go, plus a raw bar, soups, salads, and hor d’oeuvres, like veal sweetbread and escargot a la Bourguignonne for those looking for a lighter meal. Diners looking to truly indulge in an Annabelle dining experience can opt for heartier dishes, including prime cut meats like its picture-perfect cote de boeuf for two, braised beef short ribs, or Le Grande Berg’er, a burger served with raclette cheese melted and oozed on top, tableside. The restaurant will also “plats du jour” or daily specials, with items like chicken cordon bleu on Tuesdays, braised rabbit pappardelle on Wednesdays, and beef bourguignon on Sundays.
The architecture of this spacious restaurant also drills home a French disposition. Like its other restaurants, the Berg team has reportedly sourced antiques from around the world to adhere to Annabelle’s theme and has implemented a playful palette of pastel pinks, corals, deep blues, and peppermint greens complemented by rich woods, a checkered marble floor, and a ceiling lined with a canopy of flowers that will change with the seasons.
The restaurant also aims to foster a social atmosphere with various places to lounge and dine, including a 12-seat bar, a charming sunroom that seats 6, and outdoor patios located both upstairs and downstairs. Also outdoors, Annabelle’s distinct entrance, framed by two archways, features a pale pink vintage Citroën truck making it easy to spot.
Starting on Wednesday, October 18, Annabelle Brasserie will be open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays. 811 Buffalo Park Drive, Suite 100, 77019.