Morning, noon, or night, people find something special to eat or drink at Cork Grinders. As day breaks, cups of Katz coffee and custom-made breakfast sandwiches fill the room with their aromas to wake up anyone who walked in still sleeping. By night, the restaurant's team switches out their coffee drinks for wine and locally brewed beer and the room takes on a lounge-like vibe. Much the of the dining action surrounds the panini press, which grills tasty sandwiches such as the Nola with house-made crawfish and the Texan with bacon, cheddar, and barbecue sauce. But the room itself is a draw all on its own, too. With a drink in hand, diners ensconce themselves in cozy seating framed by distressed walls and high ceilings, often listening to musical acts play on the small stage.
Lauded for its “timeless” feel by Houston Press, Chelsea Wine Bar’s creative menu of old-fashioned comfort food pairs perfectly with the restaurant’s weekly live music offerings and waterfront views. Satisfy sandwich-size cravings with the roast-turkey panini, topped with swiss cheese and basil pesto ($6.50), or the brie, tomato, and spinach panini ($6.50). Herbivores and dairy enthusiasts can skip carnivorous options and munch on the cheese flatbread pizza ($5), baked goat-cheese platter ($10), or warm brie plate ($10.50). Dessert-deigning diners can reminisce on childhoods spent roasting marshmallows over the warm glow of the television with the chocolate-mallow conglomeration of Susie’s s’mores ($6.50), which is complemented by a wide selection of gourmet coffee beverages from delectable white mochas ($3.50) to potent double espressos ($2.75).
The menu at Bakkhus is loaded with traditional Greek recipes with modern twists and shouts. Start off a meal with an appetizer such as fire feta dip, which adds Serrano peppers, olive oil, and spices to the Greek cheese for a spicy pita-chip-dipping delight ($7.95), or a hot plate of loukanika, the Greek sausage ($8.95). Evening diners sup on a traditional gyro platter ($13.95) or the snapper Santorini ($21.95). But Bakkhus's lunch specialties perform the Herculean feat of freeing Prometheus from plastic-baggie handcuffs. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week, come in for a Mykonos burger (half pound Angus patty marinated in red wine and topped with jalapeños and pineapple, $8.95), a plate of kefte pasta (angel hair with Greek meatballs and crumbled feta, $9.95), or an old-school gyro pita complete with tzatziki ($7.95) with a side of spanakopita ($4.75).
The Terrace Cafe's multitalented owner and chef, whose grandparents started Sonny's Place, whips up delectable, contemporary American fare in an atmosphere geared toward the entire family. Plunge cutlery into the café's signature Tex-Mex pasta, thick with noodles buried beneath a hearty heap of homemade chili, zesty jalapeños, gooey cheese, and crunchy nacho chips ($15.95 for a half order), or sample the eatery's signature, multigenerational recipe for spaghetti with meat sauce ($14.95 for a half order). The double-meat, bacon-swiss burger ($10.95) quells carnivorous cravings, and the bacon-swiss-chicken melt ($11.95) reminds taste buds how much owners need them. Feast on the Shrimp Artery Clogger ($13.95) to delight in Jacques Cousteau's greatest gift to humanity: deep-fried shrimp.
The award-winning boutique winery specializes in personalized pours and earthy aromas that waft from each bottle or glass. Rather than growing its own grapes, D'Vine Wine starts with high-quality juices to create its renowned reds and crisp whites. Belly up to the bar for a tasting slide of four premium selections ($10) or invest in a bottle to share with friends. Prices average between $20 and $25 for most regular bottles, while reserve specials can run $40 to $60. Try a dessert wine ($28¬–$30) to end meals on a sweet and buzzy note, or opt for ice wine ($30).
At the dine-in movie theater Star Cinema Grill, concession stands are obsolete. By pressing a button, customers signal a server and are able to order restaurant-style without disrupting their viewing experience or screaming at an usher for a lobster bib. From angus sliders to ice-cream floats, Star Cinema Grill's menu appeases all ages with its gourmet-pub cuisine served amidst the glow of screenings and first-run film releases.