River Oaks dining scene as posh as its clientele
March 24, 2016
River Oaks dining scene as posh as its clientele

The River Oaks dining scene has never been so hot.

State of Grace, native son Fry Ford's big kiss to his childhood culinary haunts, has been the hottest ticket in town since it opened in November.

With the talented Bobby Matos executing his vision in the kitchen, the Atlanta-based restaurateur pays tribute to long-gone establishments such as Felix Mexican Restaurant and Hofbrau.

Sleek bistro meets upscale lodge, the handsome State of Grace is across the street from Fry's alma mater, Lamar High School. The menu offers dishes such as deviled crab on the half shell, roast duck with mole and grilled octopus.

Down the street at 4444 Westheimer, the lifestyle center River Oaks District is poised to be Houston's next dining destination.

"As with everything River Oaks District, each restaurant was hand-selected with Houstonians and visitors in mind," saidColin Moussa, ROD director of marketing. "We're a city that is recognized for award-winning cuisine. So whether you're looking for a handcrafterd burger, a blend of fusion food, the ultimate steakhouse experience or just a cocktail after shopping, River Oaks District has something to please your palette."

Already open is iPic Theater with its posh Tuck Room, which is offering shareable plates created by James Beard Award-winning chef Sherry Yard and over-the-top cocktails by master mixologist Adam Seger.

Dallas transplant Toulouse Cafe and Bar opens any day now. The cafe will transport diners to Paris with its large menu of French favorites such as Escargots Toulouse, Dover Sole Meuniere and Croque Madame.

Other River Oaks District restaurants scheduled to open later this spring include:

Taverna, a family friendly Italian dining room from the folks behind Toulouse; opening April.

Austin-based Hopdoddy Burger Bar, whichspecializes in inventive sandwiches, shakes and craft beer; opening April.

Dallas-based The Porch, which will serve in southern comfort fare; opening May.

Le Colonial, a sophisticated French-Vietnamese restaurant that is part of a small upscale chain; opening May.

Steak 48, brothers Jeffrey and Michael Mastro's two-story steakhouse; opening April.

SumoMaya, a concept out of Phoenix, is a "Mexican Asian Kitchen" offering a fusion menu with ceviche, sushi and tacos; opening late summer.

Two River Oaks favorites, Berryhill Baja Grilland Relish Fine Foods, also are making moves this spring.

The tiny original Berryhill cantina on Revere is moving across the street. The restaurant known for its California-style fish tacos and tamales will move into the space at 2300 Westheimer that was formerly Harwood Grill.

Relish Fine Foods, which first opened onSan Felipe in 2011, is opening a restaurant in thespace at 2810 Westheimer that was last occupied by The Bird & The Bear.

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