2014 saw a slew of new restaurants open in the Houston area. While some faded away quickly, others rose to prominence in the highly competitive restaurant field of Houston. Here are some of the most noteworthy new openings from this past year.
1513 W. Alabama Road
Houston, TX 77006
Who says that there aren’t any good places to eat in the museum district? Bistro Menil operates in the same center as the famed – and free – Menil collection. Like the collection itself, the food served at this restaurant has a European flair that suits American palates. The main dining room is also as artistic as the collection nearby with two new textile installations that are designed to create a relaxing atmosphere for diners at the Bistro Menil.
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Fluff Bake Bar
304 Gray St.
Houston, TX 77002
Fans of Rebecca Masson’s sweet treats sold at Revival Market and other places around town have been anxiously waiting for the late fall opening of the standalone store since its announcement this summer. Guests will be able to pair the delicious desserts Rebecca makes with fine beers and wines for an adult version of dessert. The treats sold here rival those of the finest restaurants in Houston, some of which are where Rebecca Masson has had experience working. Unlike most bakeries that sell grab-and-go snacks, the Fluff Bake Bar encourages people to come, sit, stay and savor the decorative and tasty desserts that are served plated as they would be in a restaurant.
3613 E. Broadway St.
Pearland, TX 77581
Just like the best mom-and-pop barbecue joints around town, the much-anticipated Killen’s Barbecue is only open until the barbecue sells out, which means that you need to get there early and expect a wait. The food is simple, consisting of meats you can order in sandwiches or by the pound and side dishes such as cole slaw and potato salad. Does Houston really need yet another barbecue spot? Apparently, the answer from Chef Robbie Killen is “yes.”
The Chicken Ranch
6500 N. Main St.
Houston, TX 77009
Made famous by Marvin Zindler, The Chicken Ranch is not a brothel; it’s a restaurant that specializes in chicken. It recently opened this fall, and the owners, Paul Sedillo and Joshua Martinez, hope it will become an iconic restaurant in Houston. While many restaurants hope to diversify their menus, The Chicken Ranch wants to do one thing and do it well. You will want to go here if you are craving fried chicken, because what else could a place called The Chicken Ranch serve?
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1008 Prairie St.
Houston, TX 77002
Prohibition is perhaps the most unusual new restaurant that opened this year. This site combines a bar and restaurant with a supper club and theatre, which features burlesque performances. If the name Prohibition sounds familiar to you, it’s because this name was used for a cocktail bar the owners had until the beginning of the year near the Galleria. This past Halloween, “The Masque of the Red Death” was performed at Prohibition, complete with food service. Check the Prohibition website for more showtimes and the latest on food and drink offerings and the full opening.
Crystal Hessong ia a freelance writer and a lifelong, fourth generation Houstonian. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.