Over 100 restaurants are participating in this year’s Restaurant Weeks. Tasting menus range from $20 lunches to $45 dinners and a part of the proceeds from each meal will go to the Houston Food Bank. The menus will only be served until Sept. 7, so with limited time left to taste, the Thresher has picked the top spots to visit before Restaurant Weeks are over.
Though Triniti’s sister restaurant, Sanctuari, has been getting more press lately for its wildly inventive cocktail menu, chef Ryan Hildebrandt has quietly put together an excellent $20 prix fixe menu at Triniti. Usually among the most expensive menus in Houston, Triniti’s lunch menu for Restaurant Weeks defies expectations by being soulful, simple and elegant for a fraction of the restaurant’s normal price. Catfish hush puppies with bacon jam and summer corn souffle with blue crab soup are both standouts on the savory half of the menu. However, the biggest draw of all may be pastry chef Samantha Mendoza’s dessert menu. The orange dreamsicle, served with kumquat ice cream, cherry meringue and almonds is an especially refreshing end to the satisfying summer lunch.
Location: 2815 South Shepherd Drive
Deal: Three-course lunch for $20
Perhaps the best deal for students is located in Rice’s own backyard. While other establishments opted for bare bones two- or-three course meals for their $35 prix fixes menus, Kubo’s is offering a decadent four-course tasting menu. The highlights include an exotic seafood ceviche, unagi pie, king crab sashimi salad and yuzu cheesecake, as well as Kubo’s signature nigiri and sashimi.
Location: 2414 University Boulevard
Deal: Four-course dinner for $35.
Brasserie 19 built its reputation on excellent old -school French cooking and its restaurant weeks menu is no exception. Classic dishes like foie gras torchon, trout almandine, duck confit and creme brulee all appear on the $35 prix fixe. Given the prohibitively expensive nature of the regular menu, the Restaurant Weeks menu is likely the best chance students have to try one of Houston’s top French bistros.
Location: 1962 West Gray
Deal: Three-course dinner for $35.
The self-described “rugby gastropub” Springbok is a change of pace for both downtown dining and drinking. Chef Seth Greenburg’s bold South African cooking translates well to Springbok’s $35 dinner menu. Restaurant Weeks customers can sample antelope in a South African bread bowl, sous vide hanger steak, chocolate stout cake, strawberry soup and even a flight of South African wines for an extra $15 to $20.
Location: 711 Main Street
Deal: Three-course dinner for $35, wine pairings optional for $20 or $30 per couple.
El Meson’s upscale Spanish cuisine has long been luring in diners from its flashier neighbor Mi Luna. Its Restaurant Weeks menu builds on its tried favorites, including theEl signature paella, and adds a number of offbeat appetizers for good measure. Chipirones, cuttlefish cooked in sepia ink sauce and peppers stuffed with lamb, pine nuts and raisins are among the best reasons to try El Meson’s three-course dinner menu.
Location: 2425 University Boulevard
Deal: Three-course dinner for $35.
Dosi Restaurant & Soju Bar
The most alluring spot for adventurous eaters will likely be Dosi Restaurant and Soju Bar. The restaurant specializes in neo-Korean cuisine and house-infused soju, a liquor whose name translates literally as “burn liquor” from Korean. Dosi’s Restaurant Weeks menu pairs year-round favorites like kale tapioca chips, seared scallops with black sesame and candied onions and a 12-oz. ribeye with gochjuang butter with a selection of their house soju. The dessert menu is even expanded, offering strawberry cheesecake dumplings and goat’s milk shaved ice in addition to their signature red bean donuts with salted lime glaze and chai pudding.
Location: 2802 South Shepherd Drive
Deal: Three-course dinner with drink pairings for $35.