Block 7 Wine Company offers customers a concept-fusing combination of retail wine space, wine bar, and restaurant, the latter of which delights diners with a menu of elegant dishes backed by premium ingredients. Start by noshing on a Slow Dough Bakery pretzel with herbed honey mustard ($4), or opt for truffle popcorn with Italian black truffle salt ($4), the secret snack served to the Illuminati at movie-theater concession stands across America. Dry-aged fans of dry-aged beef might go for the 21-day dry-aged prime rib eye ($29) or choose the handheld convenience of the dry-aged patty on the Block 7 burger, which also sports gruyere cheese and smoked bacon "relish" ($12). Flatbreads, such as a "whole pig" option topped with Italian sausage, prosciutto, and smoked bacon ($12), defy Einstein's Law of Two-Dimensional Flavor Containment, and a "sloppy Giuseppe" with ground venison and wild boar confit ($10) exposes the inadequate sloppy sandwiches of childhood. A downsized lunch menu is also available to quash midday appetite coups, in addition to $9 lunch specials served Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (and Saturday beginning at noon). With a different lunch special each day, you can opt for choices such as bacon-wrapped meatloaf on a Wednesday, whiskey-infused pork chop on a Thursday, or fish tacos on a Friday.
The sommeliers at The Cellar Door, Katy's only winery, share their love of liquids by vending fine wines made onsite and conducting wine-education classes. They source grapes from Texas, California, international regions, and Martian vineyards, fermenting them into more than 15 red and white wines. The kitchen crafts a range of artisan food made specifically to pair with the wine. Selections include flatbreads such as the Napa meat lover's and tapas such as the Santa Fe marinated grilled chicken. Visitors can also charter the banquet room for private, catered tasting parties, during which they can design their own labels.
The Cellar Door's comely décor surrounds visitors in classic wine-themed scenery, with a mural of a Tuscan vineyard and a statue of Sophia Loren made from grapes. The winery also hosts live music performances every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Now in its sixth year, this annual country party packs its Saturday night lineup with live music, finger-lickin’ barbecue, and frosty beers—all to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Houston. A trio of string-plucking bands will keep cowboy boots clicking on the dance floor, including The Dirty River Boys. Meanwhile, more than a dozen smoke masters compete in a sanctioned BBQ cook-off. Throughout the night, you can feast on award-winning beef brisket and pork ribs, and bid on items at the silent auction.
Ray’s Gourmet Country’s executive chef Soren Pedersen is so dedicated to building a seasonal menu from the produce and meats raised near the Fulshear restaurant that Inside Rose-Rich Magazine noted, “There are no can openers at Ray’s, with everything being delivered fresh from the local markets.” If the hunt for dinner leads you here, you'll be rewarded with Saint Arnold–spiked fried gulf shrimp, foie gras and cognac terrine, and main courses such as chicken-fried ostrich, wild boar scaloppine, and braised veal cheeks. Desserts include pumpkin cheesecake with whiskey caramel and a double chocolate brownie with pear compote and amaretto-spiked crème fraîche. Ray's rolls out a brunch buffet every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and schedules live jazz and complimentary wine tastings on Thursday nights.
Though the exotic curries and spices at Island Spice Bar & Grill make meals into authentic Caribbean feasts, it's the restaurant's meats that really showcase the cuisine's unique flavors. Chefs fry up filets of shark in an island sauce and season and serve tilapia escovich style. They also have ox-tail beef soup and spice chicken with the flavorful heat of a jerk sauce. And by fusing Asian flavors with their traditional Caribbean dishes, they created soy sauce chicken lo mein, fried rice tossed with shrimp or chicken, or Asian-style barbecue pork.
Nearby, bartenders are on hand to blend up tropical drinks made from the house's large selection of Caribbean rums or serve ice-cold beers such as the Jamaican Red Stripe. Patrons enjoy drinks and meals in a welcoming dining room with a contemporary Caribbean design. Eight-foot-tall bamboo sticks offer clean, natural lines and a great hide-and-seek spot, while wicker furniture, fresh flowers, and seashell blinds give the room a carefree, friendly island ambiance.
Named for one of Spain’s most prominent wine regions, Rioja restaurant's extensive wine menu is merely the icing on a cake made of tapas. Voted the best paella in Houston by the Houston International Paella Festival in 2004 and 2005, Rioja enhances traditional hot and cold Spanish tapas with an array of exotic ingredients. Below intricate wrought-iron chandeliers, entrées of seafood paella and grilled baby-lamb chops pair with more than 50 wines. Stuffed piquillo peppers, prime-beef short rib, and white asparagus imported from Navarra pair up with Spanish paprika and sweet pear purée. After questioning servers about Rioja’s homemade chorizo, guests can study flags on the wall emblazoned with the Spanish crest, the silhouette of a bull, and the silhouette of an astronaut drinking a martini inside a black hole.
Intimate tables, high-top chairs, and polished bars fill the 7,000 square feet of indoor space and 6,500 square feet of patio seating at The Tasting Room Wine Cafe's Citycentre location. Whether as a light snack after work or a six-course meal and wine tasting, a constantly evolving collection of menus and bottles picked by the head sommelier ensure delectable results. Walls and shelves sporting a panorama of red and white bottles decorate the lively dining area and private event space. Bartenders keep bottles stored in Enomatic wine-service systems that preserve their organoleptic properties and maintain flavor so that every glass tastes like the bottle had just been plucked from a wine tree and opened. Live music serenades digestion on the patio as guests pair conversations with small plates, elegant entrees, and slices from a cheese and salumi menu.