LOCAL Houston | The City Guide October 2016 - Page 21

FOOD | ARTS | COMMUNITY | STYLE+LEISURE BRENNAN’S OF HOUSTON 3300 Smith St. | 713.522.9711 | www.brennanshouston.com Mon–Fri, 11am–2pm The Houston offshoot of the New Orleans mainstay approaches lunch in a unique way. The main dining room still requires a jacket for lunch. However, it is at the bar where the work gets done. Why? Not only do you get to order from Chef Danny’s extensive menu, you also can get $0.25 martinis. Yes. A quarter. And with the generous pour, you do not have to feel like you are cheating the expense account. You can also get Chef Danny’s $20 pairings of soup and an entrée year-round. It’s an economic way to dine in luxury. heavy. However, I was more jealous of the salmon. The beurre blanc didn’t overpower the flavors of the salmon or lump crab. With our meal, we allowed Johnny to pair our foods. Italian food and wines are an exception to the white with fish and red with meat. The Super Tuscan had an excellent balance of tannins and fruit. BASED on our experience with Damian’s, I have no doubt that Frankie B. is smiling down from Heaven and loving what his son is doing. VIC & ANTHONY’S STEAKHOUSE For lunch, I went with the Soup Trio and Cajun Cobb Salad. The trio features the turtle soup, the duck gumbo and the soup of the day (squash with housesmoked bacon). A very impressive way to sample them all. The Cajun Cobb is a grilled shrimp salad. Most people who know me would be in shock that I ordered a salad. (Vegetables are usually what food eats.) However, when combined with blue cheese, croutons, house-smoked bacon and lump crab, you cannot go wrong. Prepared tableside, it is even more impressive. 1510 Texas Ave. | 713.228.1111 | www.vicandanthonys.com Mon–Thurs, 11am–10pm | Fri 11am–11pm Finishing with Bananas Foster was a bit over the top. In a good way. Again, tableside preparation. It is not only fun to watch, it is a great ending to a fantastic meal. With so many options on the menu, we left our dining experience to Chef Michael O’Connor. We made the right decision. Grab some pralines on the way out. You won’t need them. You will want them. OVERALL, it was the sleeper (based on the martini price alone). I highly recommend it. DAMIAN’S CUCINA ITALIANA 3011 Smith St. | 713.522.0439 | www.damians.com Mon–Fri, 11am–2pm If you have dined at Italian or Cajun restaurants in Houston, you have been served by the Mandola family. The family currently operates more than 20 different restaurants, including Vincent’s, Tony Mandola’s, Ragin’ Cajun and the ever popular Carrabba’s. In 1984, Damian and his cousin Frankie B. Mandola opened Damian’s, a high-end Italian restaurant at the edge of Midtown. Johnny B. Mandola, GM and son of the recently deceased Frankie B., currently oversees the operation. Johnny met us at door and escorted us back to the late, iconic Milo Hamilton’s table, still highly coveted. From there, you see the whole restaurant and hold court in style. After looking over the menu, I went with the classics: Tomato Caprese and Shrimp Damian. The heirloom tomatoes were fresh and were well complemented by the basil and balsamic. The Shrimp Damian, sautéed in a thick butter, lemon and garlic sauce, was as good as ever. The sauce had a strong, yet not overpowering, garlic bite. For a contrast, my dining partner went with the specials: the lobster bisque as a starter and grilled salmon stuffed with crab over asparagus with a light beurre blanc. The lobster bisque was rich and creamy without being too The jewel of the Tilman Ferttita’s Landry’s restaurant empire has catered to businessmen in Houston for more than 13 years. The dining room is \XBZY]]X\[\X]\][HY\YX]B]]ܜZ[X]Z[ݙ\X\ H[[[[YYYHوH[[\\]^\Έ[HK[X[\ܘXZH[X\KY^Y]XZ[ x&\H[X\H[BX]ZH]]KHYH[ZYܙ]HݚYY[YXY]H]H[B[H[KH[X[\ܘXZH\H[[\\]^\ۈBY[K[܈X\ۋ\[\و[\ܘXYX]]Z[[X[[\\Y][^HوܘXH[^HX]\B^H[^H]ܚ]H\HX\KY^Y]XZ[ H]XZ[\HH\X^K[\[ZXKH^HYH[و\H\\[[[HY]X\H]܋^Hܚ\Y\[]]]X\H\[[Y\H[YH^ X]\[YHY\[\[ۜقH\\H[؜\\]YHH[YY][ZX[&\ˈH][XܙYZ\\\HHYH]H[ޞ\[H[[Y[HXوB\]\[\HHݙ\XY]\H\]YHY \^YYX\و؜\[[Y\KH]HHYHHۈH[Y [\]YBYH[ZX[&\˂H[[\H\[[ݙ\[Z[ΈZ]\H\XZ[HۙR[[]ZYۛۋHX\[]YYX]\Y\YH] Lp܈]H\[[YY][H\H[[\Y[\H[\X\[YYHX]YY]\H[K\YH\Y[[ZX\K]\\X]]Y[\]\]ܙ[ [K]\[\XHYHH[H[\\Y]H[B\ HYHXH\Z]\X\ݚYY\]Hܚ\[ZY\ۛ^H[H[ XYYX\]܈HYX] ^HܚY[ \B[ ՑTS HX^HHH[[X]H\[][ۈ܈H\[[\ۋHۛH[HX˂ؙ\ MHB