Bottles of red and white wine line floor-to-ceiling racks in each room of Luce Ristorante e Enoteca. The restaurant's selection is so voluminous and varied that it has earned the Notable Wine List Diners’ Choice Award from OpenTable. The Zagat-rated restaurant holds very good to excellent ratings across the board, and has picked up other awards from OpenTable, including Best Ambiance, Neighborhood Gem, and Outdoor Dining. That ambiance includes stone columns inset with glowing lights that flank vibrant paintings in the main dining room, where waiters deliver housemade potato gnocchi in a gorgonzola-cream sauce, or wild mushrooms scattered across housemade pizza dough. Outside, cement pillars hold up a wooden-lattice roof on the patio, and a fireplace proffers a nice place to warm hands before patty-cake marathons.
Texas Harbor Seafood's chefs hand bread fresh catches and assemble both individual platters and family-size portions of seafood and comfort fare. After perusing the menu, diners can declare their allegiance in surf vs. turf skirmishes, choosing from a roster of palatable options that includes a half-pound of crab legs ($8.99) or chicken-fried steak ($6.29). Twenty catfish nuggets perform original choreography from A Chorus Line before simultaneously splashing through tangy tartar sauce ($11.99). Families can feed every Tom, Dick, and Popeye with a 13-piece order of Alaskan pollock ($18.89), and individuals can keep an order of grilled salmon all to themselves ($8.99).
Chefs at the recently opened Seguin Seafood and Steak House turn to a variety of cooking methods to prepare surf 'n' turf dishes with Cajun roots. Seafood ranging from shrimp to whole red snapper acquires stylish grill stripes to give knives a sense of direction, or arrives at tables steamed, boiled, or fried with flavorful sides such as grilled vegetables and dirty rice. The culinary crew can also cook a 16-ounce T-bone steak to order or ladle out a spicy bowl of crawfish gumbo. The restaurant is locally owned and family operated, and boasts a bright-blue exterior that welcomes guests more cheerfully than a giant smiley face hovering over a pep rally.:m]]
In 1912, George Kamburis set sail from Patmos, Greece. Once in America, he made his way to Montgomery, Alabama, and began peddling ice cream from a cart. He eventually saved enough money to buy a fruit stand and then a café—the Coffee Pot. Sadly, that eatery burned down, but with the help of his brother, George soon opened a new restaurant, the Normandy Café. Today, George’s grandchildren have recreated his vision, this time giving the restaurant a contemporary name and contemporary cuisine: Satellite Bistro & Bar.
Although the bistro’s menu pays homage to the Kamburis family's Greek roots with Mediterranean dishes such as steak gyros and flaming saganaki cheese, its chefs draw inspiration from around the globe. Entrees of oven-roasted chicken, seared diver scallops, and bone-in french-cut pork chops are glazed in sauces ranging from an orchid beurre blanc to a cognac cream sauce. Latin influences show in fish tacos and enchiladas, and Asian traditions yield thai stir-fry and jumbo shrimp paired with mango and wontons. During weekend brunches, innovative creations such as ice-cream-battered french toast and panko-breaded salmon croquettes grace the table.
These modernized dishes are surrounded by equally modern decor dreamt up by Michael Hsu. Photomurals featuring an astronaut and a cityscape surround diners who perch on azure seats amid cherry-red countertops and stone pillars. On summery days, guests lounge on stuffed couches on the patio and pretend the sun is more than just a giant light bulb screwed into the sky. When the weekend comes round, musicians tickle the ivories on a baby grand in the lounge, evoking Ray Charles and Harry Connick Jr. As they listen, audiences sip wines from California and Argentina or martinis and specialty cocktails.