PaperCity Magazine

May 2013 - Houston

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GO EAST YOUNG MAN , Oolong Art, River Oaks Shopping Center, 2005-F West Gray St., 713.526.2100; Oolong Art's exotic wares FRESH SPOTS TO SHOP GAZE AND GRAZE , THIS MONTH, WE'RE DEVOTED TO BUTTERY LEATHER, ADDICTIVE ITALIAN CASHMERES AND JADE CARVINGS; SCHOOL'S OUT RELISHING RILLETTES IN THE HALLOWED HALLS OF A FRENCH COOKERY; Kris Bistro & Wine Lounge, 7070 Allensby, 713.358.5079; AND SMOKING AHI TUNA TACOS. QUITE A4037 Westheimer Road, CREW J.Crew, Highland Village, 713.552.0797; JACK THOMPSON BRENLEE MCKNIGHT O ur favorite preppy retailer, J.Crew, has followed up its recent opening at CityCentre with yet another Houston shop — or should we say two? — at Highland Village Shopping Center. Located next door to the new Anthropologie in the space formerly occupied by Tootsies, a dedicated J.Crew Men's Shop with its own entrance will be located to the left of its sister store J.Crew, also with its own entrance, with a crossover point midway. Collectively encompassing nearly 8,500 square feet, the two boutiques were designed by the brand's in-house team to complement existing J.Crew stores around the country. The Men's Shop features a Ludlow Suit Shop, which is J.Crew's signature suit, tailored from some of the finest fabrics in the world. To ensure a precise fit, suit specialists are on hand in the store. Ladies will be excited to know that pieces from the women's J.Crew Collection, the brand's more upscale line of fashion-forward pieces in luscious fabrics with hand-appliqued touches, will also be stocked. The new shop also features an expansive women's handbag and shoe salon, plus an ample selection of the brand's addictive Italian cashmere. Kate Stukenberg F or food enthusiasts eager to encourage the next generation of chefs, we give you Kris Bistro & Wine Lounge. Billed as a modern French bistro showcasing local growers, artists, French wines and aspiring chefs, it's the brainchild of namesake chef Kristofer Jakob and Alain LeNotre, owner of the adjoining Culinary Institute LeNotre. (Francophiles take note: LeNotre is the son of the late chef Gaston LeNotre, arguably one of France's most renowned pastry chefs and entrepreneurs.) Reserve a table here, and you'll be ushered through the halls of the school, past framed photos of visiting chefs such as Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller, who live and breathe the foundations of French cuisine at the highest levels. While the students here undoubtedly yearn for the stardom achieved by those lauded chefs, one must remember this is largely a learning enterprise where these able apprentices can hone their cooking skills. The rosy-lit dining room offers a sweeping view of the kitchen beyond the doublepane glass, where students and graduates alike toil at the range under chef Jakob's watchful eye. Kris Bistro & Wine Lounge is open for lunch and dinner, with a menu that changes seasonally and a wine list weighed to apropos selections from France. You'll find classic French dishes, from starters such as house-made pâté and rillettes ($8) to a charming array of charcuterie presented like laundry clipped to a clothesline ($14), as well as salads and soups. Entrees from the sea and rivers alike include mussels marinieres ($15) and ruby trout recreated in homage to New Orleans chef John Besh ($19), while "Range Beasts" run the gamut from a cold-smoked beef rib braised sous vide ($17) to classic bistro steak frites ($22). If you give these wide-eyed chefs a little room to grow, you can enjoy a fun, wellpriced evening out. And be sure to share your comments on the surveys passed along with your mignardise at the close of your meal. Laurann Claridge UNDER THE SKIN GO-TO GRILLE José Sanchez, 2501 S. Shepherd Dr., 713.829.9980; Motormix jacket in croco-embossed leather, $1,800 Celebrated Mexican fashion designer José Sanchez has opened his first atelier in the States, right here in Houston. A craftsman of leather, Sanchez has been designing for the well-kept women of Mexico for 31 years, and he's traveled to the U.S. religiously for more than a decade to José Sanchez attend to his burgeoning clientele stateside. He's so popular in Mexico that he's been snatched up to appear as a judge in Elle Mexico Diseña, a spinoff of Project Runway by Elle Mexico set to premiere Summer 2014. We recently visited the designer at his new 1,000-square-foot showroom at the Artigiani Center, one street east of Kirby, and found a contrast of blacks and whites — glossy ebony-colored floors, stark white walls and contemporary furniture pieces — which creates an uncomplicated backdrop for his vast ready-to-wear collection of outerwear, dresses, skirts, tops, leggings and more, made from exotic skins and furs. Since the brand's inception, Sanchez has drawn inspiration from a mythically confident and self-assured muse: someone so self-assured that she wears leather as a principal texture. We're in love with his rich, buttery soft and astonishingly lightweight pieces — ideal for the woman who loves leather year-round but lives in constantly rising temperatures. Sanchez will customize any piece in the current collection. "Can you shorten the skirt and make it sleeveless?" Absolutely. When Sanchez isn't in town, his pseudoalter-ego, Luigi Santos, director of U.S. sales, oversees clients. Megan Pruitt Winder Del Frisco's Grille, 2800 Kirby Dr. in West Ave, 832.623.6168; Now that Houston has laid claim to a number of prime-meat-serving steak houses, it seems we're getting our fill of grill concepts next, most of which focus on American fare reinvented. In the case of Del Frisco's Grille (sibling of the popular Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House in the Galleria), the fare is American comfort with cocktails that tend towards the sweet and crafty. With just six outposts nationwide, the Houston locale at West Ave is the corporate giant's newest — and it's been jam-packed since GM Scott Sieck threw open the doors in late March. Chef Jeff Taylor (formerly with the company's local Sullivan Steakhouse) is following a menu you'll find at every DFG, but like his compatriots in Dallas and Atlanta, he relishes the chance to tap local purveyors to procure everything from produce to bread. The menu is divided into cheeky sections, such as "Food to Fight Over" (share plates) and "Ruffage" (salads) — a bit silly, but they give you a great range of fare to ponder. The gray-highlighted house specialties are tasty if unlikely sounding: cheesesteak eggrolls ($10), a barbecue beef flatbread adorned with smoked gouda and red onions ($13.50), and Ahi tuna tacos in a taco-shell-shaped fried wonton with avocado purée and spicy citrus mayo ($14), to name a few. There's no disputing the steak-house ties here. While only four steak entrees are offered, the menu highlights many meat dishes, from veal meatloaf and three varieties of burgers to a can't-miss prime-beef short-rib stroganoff. Topping it all off is an extensive wine list that pulls out some surprises, with attention paid at the corporate purchasing level to their leverage in buying out a supply of smaller lesser-known producers, too. Laurann Claridge MAY | PAGE 30 | 2013 JENNY ANTILL Our latest discovery is the charming micro space Oolong Art, a gallery devoted to all things Asian — especially the grand traditions of Chinese watercolor painting, jade carving and jewelry, plus the delicate celadon porcelain needed to enact the tea ceremony. Oolong is owned by Wendy and Vincent Wan; she designed the handsome, compact 600-square-foot interior, and he's a descendent of the Wan family, celebrated archaeologists in the Jiangxi Province of China who discovered a cache of Wendy Wan holds Tang dynasty kilns. This scholarly pair brings court at Oolong Art a welcome dose of the East to River Oaks Shopping Center, with price points ranging from immensely gift-able lotus-shaped censers for around $30 to important paintings on silk, soaring to $38,000. Catherine D. Anspon

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