Houston Restaurant Weeks Lasts Through September

Houston Restaurant Weeks has been extended through the entire month of September and Houston foodie fiends are ecstatic. While many restaurants are continuing their HRW menus through the month, it’s best to check first before venturing out. The list of participating restaurants and their HRW menus can be found on the HRW website.

We reached out to some restaurants around town about their menus and our list reflects the abundance of diverse cuisines, from casual take-out to fine dining. Many of the restaurants are offering their HRW menus to go for curbside pick-up and delivery. We recommend using some common sense about what travels well and what doesn’t so that a special meal isn’t a messy disappointment.

Houston Restaurant Weeks was founded in 2003 by local media personality and philanthropist, Cleverley Stone. Stone passed away in May 2020 from uterine cancer, a diagnosis she was open about with her fans in order to impress upon women the importance of getting regular medical exams. Her last wish was that Houston Restaurant Weeks would continue after her death because it is the largest annual fundraiser for Houston Food Bank, having raised more than 16.6 million dollars since it began.

Her daughter, Katie Stone Cappuccio, took up her mother’s mantle this year with a few minor changes. Due to the crushing losses incurred by the restaurant business during the pandemic, the contribution from each prix-fixe menu is one dollar, down from the previous years’ donations of $3 to $7, depending on the menu price. This allows restaurants to attract customers with the HRW menus while giving them the ability to benefit financially from the event in a time when they need it most. Many restaurants have also extended the HRW menus for take-out and delivery.

Hit the saffron trail at Aria Persian Grill.EXPAND

Hit the saffron trail at Aria Persian Grill.

Photo by Owl Photography Studio

Aria Persian Grill
12303 Westheimer
832-781-4829
ariapersiancafe.com

This small, family-owned restaurant recently opened in mid-May during the height of the pandemic. This is its first HRW participation and a great way for newcomers to Persian cuisine to experience the fresh flavors. For lunch, guests can start out with appetizer choices such as cucumber yogurt, a mixed vinegar pickle of carrots, cauliflower, cabbage and garlic or the herb plate, a salad of fresh herbs, walnuts, olives and feta served with flatbread. The $20 lunch meal also includes a choice of the Koobideh kebab, made with ground lamb and beef or the Jooje, a kebab of grilled chicken breast. The $35 HRW dinner menu includes a choice of two starters and an entree. For dinner, there’s the Soltani plate with koobideh and barg (beef tenderloin) or the Vaziri, a combination of koobideh and jooje. The dinner menu also includes a dessert course with choices of saffron rice pudding, saffron pistachio ice cream or saffron chai mocktail. Word is the pistachio ice cream is not to be missed.

The Cleverley at Brennan's is a vegetarian option.EXPAND

The Cleverley at Brennan’s is a vegetarian option.

Photo by Kimberly Park

Brennan’s of Houston
3300 Smith
713-522-9711
brennanshouston.com

Brennan’s has a lot going on this summer with its new executive chef, Joey Chavez, his five-course tasting menu and a special $99 Wine and Dine dinner menu for two which includes a three course meal and a bottle of wine. However, it is also extending its HRW menu so Houstonians have an extra month to make it to this New Orleans-inspired institution. Guests can choose its elegant dining room or pretty courtyard for dining. There’s a cool front coming next week so that’s a pleasant option.

The $45 HRW dinner menu at Brennan’s includes a first course with options like its famous Snapping Turtle Soup, Chicken and Andouille Gumbo, Shrimp Remoulade or Salmon Belly Tataki. The Pan Seared Crispy Frog Legs can be substituted for an additional five bucks.

Brennan's strawberry mille-feuille is berry pretty.EXPAND

Brennan’s strawberry mille-feuille is berry pretty.

Photo by Kimberly Park

Entree choices include Grilled Gulf Fish, Wood Grilled Filet of Beef, New Orleans BBQ Head-on Shrimp and Honey Ham Brined Pork Loin. There are a number of desserts from which to choose including Creole Bread Pudding, Bayou City Petit Beignets and its popular Brennan’s Bananas Foster.

Brennan’s also has a two course $20 HRW lunch menu on Thursday and Friday plus a weekend $20 HRW two-course brunch. The restaurant has created a vegetarian and gluten-free entree in honor of Houston Restaurants Weeks’ founder. The Cleverley is a dish of eggplant caviar, cornmeal fried roasted eggplant, mushroom rice and Ponchartrain sauce. It is available on all three HRW menus.

H Town Restaurant Group: Three of Hugo Ortega’s restaurants are offering HRW menus. Xochi is still temporarily closed.

Backstreet Cafe uses Texas Gulf shrimp in this iconic Southern dish.EXPAND

Backstreet Cafe uses Texas Gulf shrimp in this iconic Southern dish.

Photo by Paula Murphy

Backstreet Cafe
1103 S. Shepherd
713-521-2239
backstreetcafe.net

Houstonians love this restaurant not only for Hugo Ortega’s cuisine but also for its shaded patio. H Town Restaurant Group has also been very firm with its COVID safety protocols. For Houston Restaurant Weeks, the cafe is offering a variety of menus. The Classics ($35) offers a choice of appetizers like duck spring rolls, tortilla soup or a wedge salad. The entree course includes options such as red corn chicken enchiladas, braised beef short ribs or Texas Gulf shrimp and grits. There are two desserts to choose from: butterscotch bread pudding and hazelnut chocolate banana pudding.

Backstreet Cafe's white wine menu features chili-rubbed scallops.EXPAND

Backstreet Cafe’s white wine menu features chili-rubbed scallops.

Photo by Paula Murphy

For guests who prefer a curated menu, there is a White Wine Menu ($35) and a Red Wine Menu ($35) with optional wine pairings. The White Wine option offers a three course meal beginning with lobster chowder, followed by chili -rubbed scallops and topped off with a summer peach and huckleberry crisp. For red wine lovers, the menu starts with smoked chicken hash, grilled steak for an entree, ending with a chocolate tart. The wine pairings are an additional $26.

The Vegetarian Menu ($35) offers an heirloom tomato panzanella salad, then Eggplant Parpadelle and Texas goat cheesecake for dessert. The Brunch HRW is offered Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with items such as migas and salmon tacos.

Caracol's Canita de PeurcoEXPAND

Caracol’s Canita de Peurco

Photo by James Heard

Caracol
2200 Post Oak Boulevard
713-622-9996
caracol.net

Caracol is also offering different HRW menus so there is something for everyone. The $45 dinner menus range from seafood feasts to carnivore comfort food. The Entre Las Olas ( Between the Waves) starts with an amuse bouche of watermelon gazpacho then a first course of fish tamal with Veracruzana sauce. The entree is a dish of pan seared scallops with hoja santa sauce and the dessert course features a beautiful and colorful Pastel de Mango y Pistachio. The cocktail pairing is $26.

Another HRW menu Nuestro Estilo (Our Style) starts with the same amuse bouche followed by Mango Habanero Ceviche. The main course is Canita de Puerco, a meaty bacon-wrapped pork shank. This prix-fixe menu ends with Flan Horchata. The Classics Menu  offers a starter option of wood-grilled pork rib or oysters followed by entree choices like butterflied fish filet, slow-cooked short ribs and sauteed shrimp. The fire-roasted lobster is a luxury substitute for an additional $20. Dessert can be Churros Rellenos with dulce de leche or Mexican-style french Toast with brandy-infused cherries and ice cream. Add wine parings for $26.

The Vegetarian Menu begins with Ensalada Verano, a salad of heirloom tomatoes, roasted corn, Mexican squash dressed with hoja santa. The entree is a wild mushroom tamal and the dessert is El Coco, a coconut and chocolate lover’s dream.

Caracol has a less expensive brunch menu ($20) on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It begins with gazpacho and offers entree choices such as chilaquiles, fish tacos and wood roasted ribs.

Hugo's cocktail Chihuahua CampfireEXPAND

Hugo’s cocktail Chihuahua Campfire

Photo by Paula Murphy

Hugo’s
1600 Westheimer
713-524-7744
hugosrestaurant.net

Hugo Ortega’s namesake restaurant offers a number of Oaxacan  and Mexican regional dishes on a variety of HRW menus. The Vegetarian ($35) starts with squash blossom soup, followed by a watermelon salad, with an main of sopes with beans, cheese and Mexican squash, ending with corn and cottage cheese dumplings and caramelized pear. The wine pairing is $24.

There’s also the Street Foods menu ($45) with Tostada de Ceviche featuring the catch of the day plus braised suckling pig for an entree. The dessert is gaznate, a crispy horn with a coconut filling. The wine pairing is an additional $26.

The Spirits of Mexico ($45) offers lime cured shrimp, slow-cooked short rib with duck fat potatoes and clay pot coffee flan. An agave pairing is available for $25.

Hugo’s offers an HRW brunch menu ($20) Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. beginning with a choice of squash blossom or chicharron soup with a number of entree choices including Huevos Poblanos, Tacos de Birria, Carnitas and Tacos de Papas. The brunch dessert is tres leches.

Kin Dee's interior is modern and exotic.EXPAND

Kin Dee’s interior is modern and exotic.

Photo by Elvis Campos

Kin Dee Thai
1533 N. Shepherd
281-826-2655
kindeethaicuisine.com

This recently opened Heights restaurant is offering four courses for an amazing $35. Guests can choose between Papaya Sal, Mini Salad Wrap or the Golden Basket for the first course. The Golden Basket is stir-fried chicken with sweet peas, corn, onion in a golden cup. For the second course the options include Chicken Satay, Grilled Pork Skewers and Grilled Thai Meatballs. The third course choices are Spicy Pork Sauce Noodle Soup, Red BBQ Pork Dry Noodles, Southern-style Green Curry with gluten-free rice noodles or Northern-style Curry with egg noodles and a choice of coconut chicken quarter, chicken breast or tofu. The fourth and final course offers Mango Sticky Rice, Coconut Ice cream with Thai-style topping, or Thai Toasted with Pandan Cream.

The Beet Salad at Maison Pucha is a work of art.EXPAND

The Beet Salad at Maison Pucha is a work of art.

Photo by Cristian Pucha

Maison Pucha Bistro
1001 Studewood
713-637-4976
maisonpucha.com

This French-style bistro gets some Ecuadorian flair from its sibling owners, chef Manuel Pucha, pastry chef Victor Hugo Pucha and general manager/beverage director Cristian Pucha. Anyone on social media, especially any food-lovers sites, has seen the praises of this restaurant’s HRW menus and the multitude of foodie photos. And, its HRW menus offer Houstonians the opportunity to savor some beautifully cooked and presented dishes for reasonable prices.

Salmon gets gussied up at Maison Pucha.EXPAND

Salmon gets gussied up at Maison Pucha.

Photo by Cristian Pucha

The lunch menu, available Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., is $20 and offers three courses, beginning with first course choices such as hummus and vegetable terrine, beet and goat cheese salad or tomato gazpacho. Guests can substitute the Shrimp Ceviche “Ecuadorian Style” for an additional five dollars. The second course includes options like “C.C” Tofu Thai Salad, which is gluten-free and vegan. There’s also Applewood Smoked Atlantic Salmon and Chicken Fricassee. Steak Frites can be had for an extra five dollars.
The dessert choices include Crepes a l’Orange, C.C Heights Garden Fruit Medley and Pistachio Vanilla Creme Brulee. The souffle with Ecuadorian chocolate, passion fruit creme angalise and homemade vanilla ice cream is a seven dollar upgrade.

The creme brulee comes with petite madeleines.EXPAND

The creme brulee comes with petite madeleines.

Photo by Cristian Pucha

The $35 dinner menu, available Tuesday through Sunday beginning at 5 p.m., offers three courses with many of the same items as the lunch menu but also options such as Vegetable Bouillabaisse, or a C.A.B. Petit Filet Mignon. Guests can substitute Hudson Valley Seared Foie Gras as a starter for an extra $7.

The $20 brunch menu is available Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offers three courses with similar choices to the lunch menu plus additional items such as French toast with bourbon vanilla custard and fresh berries and Maison Eggs Benedict with a green plantain patty and espelette hollandaise.

There are plenty of meat and vegetarian options at Phat Eatery.EXPAND

There are plenty of meat and vegetarian options at Phat Eatery.

Photo by Chuck Cook

Phat Eatery
23119 Colonial Parkway
832-913-6382
phateatery.com

This Malaysian restaurant from chef Alex Au-Yeung is offering a four-course $35 HRW meal, available daily for lunch and dinner. Guests can whet their appetites with a choice of roti to start. There’s the very popular Roti Canai, Indian flatbread with curry dip or the roti with chicken dip. There’s also the roti with beef rendang. The second course offers beef, chicken or tofu satay, Salt and Pepper Calamari or Kerabu Prawn, a cold jumbo prawn with pickled green papaya and mango in a tangy nyonya sauce.

For the third course, diners have Beef Rendang, Malay Chicken Curry and Coconut Prawn from which to choose. There’s also a gluten-free and vegan Curry Vegetable Casserole made with King mushroom, shiitake, eggplant and green beans.

For dessert guests can try one of the housemade ice creams such as the Ube, Panadan, or Durian flavors. There’s also the Kaya Pancake which can be made vegan on request.

Reservations are a good idea.

No one can resist juicy meatballs in marinara.EXPAND

No one can resist juicy meatballs in marinara.

Photo by Jeremy Parzen

Roma
2347 University Boulevard
713-664-7581
romahouston.com

Shanon Scott’s restaurant has Angelo Cuppone in the kitchen making authentic Italian dishes in a romantic, cottage in Rice Village. Whether guests choose the comfortable patio or the cozy dining room, they will enjoy the casual, yet elegant atmosphere and unpretentious cuisine. For HRW, the restaurant is offering a three-course dinner menu for $35. Diners can begin with Polpette di Manzo, meatballs in marinara with mozzarella, pecorino and basil. Or opt for the Mozzarella in Carrozza: crispy, lightly breaded and fried mozzarella. There’s also the option of the Suppli alla Romana (rice balls with green peas and tomato sauce) or the house salad with a light vinaigrette.

The second course offers choices such as Orecchiette alla Arrabiatta, pasta in a spicy tomato sauce or Fettucine alla Bolognese. There’s also its popular Spaghetti Carbonara or the smoked gnocchi with shrimp in a saffron sauce. For the third course, guests will have to decide between a breaded chicken breast with roast potatoes and mushrooms, seafood soup with shrimp, clams and mussels, filet of salmon atop citrus-braised cabbage or a short rib stew.

Guests should also check out its website for wine specials. The restaurant offers dine-in and take-out plus delivery through UberEats, Favor and GrubHub.

The Pink Matcha Cake at Tobiuo is something a little different.EXPAND

The Pink Matcha Cake at Tobiuo is something a little different.

Photo by Patrick Dang

Tobiuo Sushi and Bar
23501 Cinco Ranch
281-394-7156
tobiuosushibar.com

This Japanese restaurant is offering a $45 prix-fixe menu with three courses. Diners can choose between Hamachi Kosho, Wagyu Tataki or Diced Shrimp for a starter. For the second course, there’s sashimi (gluten-free is available), a ten-ounce New York Strip or an eight-ounce pan seared salmon. Dessert options include Brownie Mousse Cake, Banana Meringue or the pretty Pink Matcha Cake.

Walk-ins are welcome but it’s best to make reservations.

Hawaiian Pancakes at Traveler's Table are a tropical treat.

Hawaiian Pancakes at Traveler’s Table are a tropical treat.

Photo by Kirsten Gilliam

Traveler’s Table
520 Westheimer
832-409-5785
travelerstable.com

This unique restaurant offers diners a culinary passport to explore foods from around the world. Its HRW brunch menu ($20) has two courses. The first offers choices such as homemade biscuits with honey butter and jam, Cafe Sua Da Coffee Cake, Morning Churros or a tropical fruit plate with sweet coconut cream. The second course features options like the Custard Lava French Toast with jackfruit creme angalise, Hawaiian Pancakes with guava Chantilly cream, Cajun Eggs Benedict, Indian Eggs Masala and Kimchi Egg Fried Rice.

For the HRW dinner prix-fixe, guests can begin with Brazilian cheese bread, chicken karaage or Peking-style duck gyoza. Entree choices include Soft Shell Crab Pad Thai, Butter Chicken, Beef Cheek Ravioli and Viet Cha Ca, turmeric-dill grilled fish with vermicelli. Dessert offers sweet treats such as Mango Lassi Panna Cotta, New Orleans Bourbon Bread Pudding and Hawaiian Haupia Coconut Pudding.

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