April Hitlist: 9 New Restaurants To Try

April Hitlist: 9 New Restaurants To Try


Curated picks of restaurants, exhibitions, and things to do in Houston. Discover 9 new places to try this April.


Named after Thailand's most famous festival, SongKran Thai Kitchen offers authentic Thai cuisine with a menu that signifies this auspicious and celebratory festival and Chef Jett's special memories growing up in Bangkok.

Using fresh ingredients like garlic, shrimp paste, thai chilies, lemongrass, galangal, coconut, rhizome, Executive Chef Junnajet Jett Hurapan creates vibrant dishes passed down from both his grandmother and father. Expect dishes like crispy whole red snapper with three flavor sauce, Braised compart duroc pork with pickled napa & garlic, and Wagyu beef with spicy coconut curry, thai eggplant & kaffir line. There is also an extensive vegetarian menu for those avoiding meat.


Hunky Dory's chef Richard Knight created a menu that contains new versions of classic British dishes. Their dedication to quality, local sourcing, and fresh ingredients makes that their menu changes every season. They currently serve delicious hearty meals like fish & chips, black pudding, and the chicken & eggs that are grilled on their impressive wood-fired heart grill to give it that smoky flavor. Though the majority of the dishes revolve around meat, there are some tasty vegetarian options you can order like the roasted butternut squash with buttermilk porridge.


State of Grace is the ninth restaurant by Houstonian and Atlanta restaurateur Ford Fry's growing portfolio of restaurants, and the first to open in Houston. The opening menu, created in collaboration with executive chef Bobby Matos, is nostalgic in that it draws from Fry's memories as a youth dining in Houston. It reflects Gulf Coast, Houstonian and other local influences, such as Vietnamese and Mexican. State of Grace is one of the hottest restaurants in Houston at the moment.


Very seldom does a restaurant impress on both sides of the menu, boasting stellar entrees in conjunction with equally-exceptional cocktails. Black & White Mediterranean and Seafood Bistro, a new dual-concept restaurant now open in The Heights, truly brings this ideal pairing to fruition.

Armed with an arsenal of the highest-quality, farm-to-market, organic ingredients, Chef Justin Wilson has been enlisted with the unique task of offering two totally different dining experiences under one roof. Through both his extraordinary skill and attention to detail in presentation, the final product does not disappoint.


Master sushi chef Chris Kinjo is back with Houston's second incarnation of MF Sushi, and this time it's in the Museum District. If possible, this venue is even better than the defunct Westside location. Designed by MC2 Architects, the elegant restaurant has a separate bar, main dining room and a 12-seat wooden sushi bar. Reservations are suggested and are a necessity for a seat at the sushi bar for the chef's omakase dinner. The price will set you back about $100 to $150 per person, depending on how many courses you desire, but it's still the best way to enjoy the offerings. Start with a lychee martini while you wait for the precisely plated dishes, which might include an inky black seaweed salad, live uni, baked green mussels in eel sauce, bluefin tuna sashimi, unagi nigiri, duck breast or A5 Kobe beef. Yes, you can drop in and snag a booth and order  la carte, but the omakase experience should be on your bucket list.


Executive Chef PJ Stoops serves up farm-to-table Thai fare in the Houston Heights neighborhood. With a menu focused on Northern and Northeastern Thai dishes, Chef Stoops takes advantage of Houston's similar climate, sourcing nearly all of his Thai ingredients from the Gulf Coast, providing both an authentic experience for Thai aficionados and an exploratory journey for those new to the cuisine. Dinner offerings include: Snacks such as Stuffed Sticky Rice [Khao Bai], coconut sticky rice stuffed with lightly salted and grilled mackerel, caramelized shallots, and fresh cucumber; Pounded Salads/Cold Dishes like Spicy Fruit Salad [Tam Phonlamay] with mixed seasonal fruit and shredded  vegetables; Chopped Salads such as Isaan Duck Laap [Laap Bpet Isaan], minced duck cooked with shallots, chilis, toasted rice powder, and herbs; Soups and Curries like Lemongrass and Tamarind Fish Soup [Tom Saep], chunks of white fish and gulf shrimp in an aromatic broth made with lemongrass, ginger, galangal, makrut lime leaf, and tamarind; and Meats & Seafood like Frogs Fried with Lemongrass [Gop Tawd Samynphrai], featuring whole Louisiana frogs battered and deep-fried with lemongrass and makrut lime leaf.


Butchers & Restaurant Located on the emerging East End of Washington Ave in the historic Dittman Bakery, the dual concept specializes in high quality meats and elevated customer service.

The Butcher Shop specializes in custom hand cuts, house-made and house-cured meats and sausages, as well as a charcuterie, importing the finest Italian prosciuttos to unique gems like the Gourmet Tennshootoe from The Hammery in Tennessee. Standout cuts include Texas-bred Wagyu beef from the Gearhart Ranch in West Texas, Japanese Kobe straight from Japan and in-house dry-aged USDA prime beef all hand cut daily in The Butcher Shop.

In the restaurant, patrons can enjoy an elegant dining experience paired with a menu boasting Wagyu Carpaccio, raw bar selections, fresh seafood and steakhouse classics such as Ch teaubriand for two, Surf and Turf beef Wellington, and the Carpet Bagger steak. The lunch menu, which is entirely different from the dinner menu, includes unique hamburgers, meat-driven pastas, salads and sandwiches along with noteworthy dishes like a bone-in chopped steak.


Inspired by Laborde's rural Louisiana upbringing and frequent visits to oyster houses and fish shacks along the Gulf Coast, Bernadine's cuisine celebrates Southern culinary traditions, featuring a full raw bar, contemporary touches on classic comfort food items, and a bevy of dishes featuring locally sourced Gulf fish. Fostering a catch of the day philosophy, Laborde works closely with CHOAM, Treadsack's Gulf seafood distribution company, to deliver the freshest seasonal seafood and bycatch, and serve an ever-changing selection of daily specials.


Peska is the latest venture for the restaurateur Maite Isita and her family. What started out as a small fish market; has now grown into 4 restaurants in Mexico City and Acapulco. They saw an opportunity to head stateside and Houston was a no brainer for the Isita siblings. Houston is our second home, and we have been waiting patiently for the ideal location to introduce Peska Seafood Culture here. Drawing on the international diversity of Uptown and its appeal to both business and leisure travelers from around the world, the menu will focus on the best of globally sourced seafood and cuisine that blends the cooking styles of the Mediterranean, Europe and South America.

What can you expect from this restaurant? Well, the seafood is fresh and taste like it came from the ocean to your table. Their ability to influence different cooking traditions from around the world and still keep their signature style is remarkable. The concept behind Peska is a great one; clean and delicious seafood minus the fluff. They offer table side fish consultation and they also have a fish market!   

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