Hot potato, the earliest dish designed to be passed, is nearly extinct due to the constant ravages of grade-school appetites. Revive shifting sustenance with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of gourmet international fare and more from Cova, with locations on Kirby Drive and Washington Avenue.
Cova provides elegant mahogany tables and fills them with the help of Houston-grown, Italy-ripened executive chef Eric Lawhon. In a casually classé climate, each location serves a slightly different menu of hot and cold plates that draw on pan-European traditions with a healthy dollop of modern sensibilities, much like the United Nations Council of Inline Skating. A delectable lobster pizza combines belletoile, green onions, and lobster ($15), and the luxurious duck rillete matches blueberry compote with a rich duck confit ($9). For something a little lighter, try a dinner salad of endive with feta, almonds, and fennel vinaigrette ($10), or a simple artisanal cheese plate and a selection of charcuterie to pair with the larger option ($3–$5 each).