PaperCity Magazine

May 2019- Houston

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Page 125 of 131

124 W hat came first, the curious name, or the spice rub that bears it? In the case of chef Jonathan Levine's two restaurants — both dubbed Jonathan's The Rub — the name did. The inspiration was Shakespeare's "To be or not to be" soliloquy in Hamlet ("To die — to sleep, To sleep — perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub!"). I'm told Levine's mother, a former English teacher with a penchant for reciting Shakespeare to her children, suggested the moniker "The Rub," and her son simply put his name before it. For the last decade, Brooklyn- born chef Levine has gained quite a neighborhood following at his original Hedwig Village BYOB location in a rather nondescript strip center. Here, his Italian-American comfort fare melds with flavors from nations around the globe. Levine, joined in the business by his son Sam and daughter Jessica, opened a second restaurant in the new Memorial Green development on Memorial Drive. They worked with architecture firm Gensler on the design; the expansive space, with its soaring ceiling and curvaceous banquettes beneath diminutive lamps, feels like a cozy neighborhood haunt. On exec chef Eric Laird's menu, you'll find familiar dishes along with the new. Start with a shrimp Louie salad dressed at the table with house-made Russian dressing, a classic that doesn't skimp on the shrimp ($19), or order the sweet chili shrimp with jumbo crustaceans enrobed in toasted panko crumbs and doused with an orange sweet-and-sour sauce ($14/$26). The Rub Lunch is a choice of chicken- fried steak or country-fried chicken, a rich dish coated with bacon-speckled white gravy with sides ($24). Desserts, reasonably priced at $8, are the homey, c o m f o r t i n g s o r t a n d include Nutella cheesecake and coconut cream pie. Jonathan's The Rub, 12505 Memorial Dr., 713.808.9291, RUBBING IT RIGHT S ibling entrepreneurs Nick Adair and Katie Adair Barnhart of Adair Concepts (Adair Kitchen, Eloise Nichols, Bebidas, Skeeters Mesquite Grill, Los Tios Mexican Restaurant) grew up in Bellaire, just a stone's throw from their latest restaurant concept, the fast-casual eatery Betsy's at Evelyn's Park. They're the offspring of Bellaire residents and restaurateurs Betsy and Gary Adair, so you could say these two acorns didn't fall far from the live oak trees that shade Betsy's gracious patio. There are more seats outside than in at the Lake Flato- designed vintage-inspired yellow house, where crowds queue for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The outdoor setting invites picnics under the green-and-white-striped umbrellas and at the wooden tables, where you can share a pizza, a groaning cheese board, or keep things light with smoothies and salads, with most entrees priced $8 to $12. Named for their dear mama, Betsy's is open every day, rain or shine, taking advantage of their proximity to the community park on the former Teas Nursery grounds. Betsy's at Evelyn's Park, 4400 Bellaire Blvd., Bellaire, 713.660.6692, PARK PLACE JULIE SOEFER EATING WELL BY LAURANNCLARIDGE 6 NEWISH SPOTS TO DINE Jonathan Levine Nick Adair, Katie Adair Barnhart Seafood cioppino with squid ink pasta Californian pizza

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