3 things to know about Houston cuisine: new Italian, good French and more


Editor’s Note: The Houston restaurant scene is changing quite rapidly. In order to prevent CultureMap readers from missing out on anything, let’s stop and take a look around for all the latest news we need to know.

Concura Italian Bites opened near Highland Village at 4340 Westheimer Rd. Named after the Italian word for “with care,” owner Jessica Biondi has used Italian furniture and artwork throughout the intimate space. Executive chef Angelo Cuppone (Roma) draws his share of inspiration from the Adriatic coast while serving traditional dishes such as Pappa al Pomodoro, Vitello Tonnato, Carbonara di Pesce and Polpo e Patate con Olive Taggiasche.

“Think of Concura as a place where you come to get together with friends. The welcoming atmosphere will make you feel welcome and at home, ”Biondi said in a statement. “Eat, drink and smell Italiano – that’s our motto.”

Concura is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. Reservations are available through Resy.

Zoa Moroccan Cuisine will open its second location in the Houston area on September 1 in Bellaire at 6700 S. Rice Ave. Founded by Chef Youssef Nafaa, CEO of the Bella Restaurants Group (Mia Bella, Coco’s Crepes) in 2020, Zoa offers traditional Moroccan dishes translated into a casual format of bowls and sandwiches. Diners can choose to assemble their own Chipotle style or opt for a predefined mix of ingredients.

Zoa uses all halal proteins including beef, chicken and lamb which are paired with a wide range of vegetables including roasted root vegetables, candied onions, feta cheese, and tomato cucumber salad. , as well as sauces such as harissa, mint-avocado yogurt or garlic aioli.

The restaurant was a hit with diners. It was ranked 52nd on the Yelp list of Texas’ 100 Best Restaurants.

The gardener, the gourmet vegetable restaurant at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, will add lunch service to its offering starting September 3. Developed by chef Alain Verzeroli, who holds a Michelin star at New York location Le Jardinier, the restaurant’s lunch menu includes dishes such as avocado toast with purple peas, a risotto of Carolina Gold rice with roasted squash and a premium version of shrimp and grits.

“When you bring a new concept to a city of a culinary reputation like Houston, you never know how it will be received, but we were honored to see our vision of the Gardener come true,” Chef Andrew Ayala said in a statement. “With the new breakfast service, we’re excited to expand not only the number of reservations we can offer, but also the way our customers experience the restaurant.”

Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Wednesday to Saturday. Reservations are available through Resy.

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