PaperCity Magazine

October 2012 - Houston

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 79

DEBORA SMAIL EAT LIKE A SPARROW Sparrow Bar + Cookshop, 3701 Travis St., 713.524.6922; believe that every decade or so, a restaurant has to shake it up and do a little reinventing. Apparently Monica Pope, chef/owner of the former T'Afia restaurant, feels the same. Late this summer, she shuttered her nearly 10-year-old Midtown eatery, only to re-emerge a fortnight latter with Sparrow Bar + Cookshop in its place. Along with Becki and Jur van der Oord of Installation Antiques and the branding firm Primer Gray, Pope set about tweaking the space with pops of red, from glossy Monica Pope at Sparrow swinging kitchen doors to a couple of cozy settees by the window. The trio also judiciously employed industrial touches (i.e., an airplane wing as a light in the men's room), worn and warm elements such as seasoned tart pans for the waitstaff to carry and cool leather aprons by the Sealy-based Stash Co. to wear, as well as a patio lovely enough to idle away hours on a pretty day. Pope, who became a force locally in developing farmers' markets and spearheading our city's zeal for farm-to-table fare, continues serving forth frequently changing bites at her cookshop (a term that predates the concept of our modern restaurant). Order crave-worthy apps such as shiitake mushroom dumplings ($14) and a bright orange dip of kabocha and butternut squashes with homemade flatbread to build your own burgers and fries ($15) at lunch, or try a satisfying dinner entree of lamb belly satay ($15) or Kobe inside skirt steak napped with an avocado sauce and almond-hazelnut sambal ($16). Though Pope opens her doors for lunch, dinner and breakfast on Saturday, she begs you to drop in anytime — perhaps for bar bites in the afternoon, dessert and drinks after a show or whenever the mood strikes, 10 am to midnight. Laurann Claridge We FRESH SPOTS TO SHOP GAZE AND GRAZE , WE'RE FEELING SPLENDID, EATING LIKE A SPARROW, SHOPPING SPOT-ON TOTS, CRAVING GRILLED CACTUS, LOVING TATIANA SIMON GENTRY JENNY ANTILL IT'S A HEADY MONTH. W hether luring guests or local-food lovers, The Lumen hotel knew the way to everyone's heart was by opening The Front Room: A Park Cities Diner. Tim McEneny of design team NL GROUP echoed the property's mid-century style with limestone walls, stainless steel pillars and a marbleengulfed bar. Executive chef Scot Townend (formerly of Craft and Ristorante Nicola) conjures up modern classics three times a day, from ricotta pancakes and Florentine frittatas to shaved prosciutto and gruyere paninis and pulled pork tacos. Sip an SMU Mustang Sally (lime vodka, lime sorbet and Licor 43) while lounging on the covered courtyard patio with its university view. Lauren Scheinin Tatiana Massey in Laboratoria THE CHEMISTRY OF STYLE Laboratoria, 2803 Westheimer, corner of Virginia, 832.407.2832; Cecilia Beaven in Cuchara SPOONING? Cuchara Mexico City Bistro, 214 Fairview St., corner of Taft, 713.942.0000; Ana Beaven and Charlie McDaniel's new bistro, Cuchara, serves up Mexico City– inspired dishes that remind us of home-cooked meals: comforting, honest, yet perfectly prepared. Colorful, witty murals by artist Cecilia Beaven, Ana's sister; a serious industrial interior by Jim Herd's Collaborative Projects (Underbelly and Haven) and equally serious cocktails and infusions devised by former Anvil and Underbelly bartender Chris Frankel (who consults at Cuchara) make this restaurant a contender for a top slot in new fall dining options. Outstanding offerings range from simple tacquitos to the more complex pork mole verde and nopal with queso fresco, with special attention paid to side dishes such as black beans, white corn puree and amaranth grains. The menu also includes items for vegans (try the grilled cactus fillet stuffed with panela cheese), with a delicious rose petal salad highlighting several of the dishes. And be sure to stop at the bar for Chichicapa Mezcal and other hard-to-find tequilas. Michelle Aviña She's been compared to a Bond Girl and posed as a PaperCity cover girl awash in a stack of Warhol Brillo boxes at The Menil Collection. She's also been a patron and collagist for a mammoth Texas art volume, as well as wife to Craig Massey and stylish mom. Is there anything Tatiana Massey can't do? This month, she adds trend-spotting fashion retailer to her creative credentials. Not interested in the demure, but with an eye for the cutting-edge, progressive and important, this Russian-born beauty and former model has carved out a spacious expanse of The Brownstone for her showroom and very happening hive. The memorably monikered Laboratoria mirrors her global vision of fashion and its most contemporary practitioners and is stocked with unique talents you need to know, which are found in few U.S. retailers: Brit gal Holly Fulton's hand-screened dresses and statement necklaces; sumptuous gloves, armlets and demi-gloves by Swedish label Imoni (an unforgettable find, around $300); and sunglasses with attitude by New Zealand's Karen Walker and Paris talent Thierry Lasry. Lacy transparent blouses and a vinyl skirt by Australian brand Lover also mix with American small-batch collection Sea and up-to-the minute Moscow designer Alexander Terekhov. Adding to the allure are curated offerings by Texas visual artists Angelbert Metoyer, Susan Plum and Luis Arsenio Gonzalez. Joining Massey in these endeavors is recently minted fashion-school grad and textile expert Rachel McKenny. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm, Laboratoria is a stunning reflection of its creator's bold and beautiful aesthetic. Catherine D. Anspon JUST SPLENDID! e Splendid, 4027 Westheimer in Highland Village, 713.623.2271; Los Angeles-based lifestyle brand Splendid has opened its first-ever Texas location, an 1,800-square-foot boutique in Highland Village that stocks cool, casual clothes for women, men and kids. It all started 10 years ago in the quest to create the ultimate T-shirt. Crewnecks, oxfords, Henleys, hoodies, fleece, corduroy, chambray, sweaters, shoes and body care — it really is a Splendid world. And in a nod to the brand's roots, the store's design is straight SoCal with beach-wood fixtures, a daybed fit for daydreaming and a living plant wall. Bring the family Saturday, October 6, 11 am to 1:30 pm, for the grand opening, co-hosted by PaperCity's own Kate Stukenberg. For more details on the event, see Retail Rap in this issue. Caroline Gallay HOT TOTS JENNY ANTILL Itsy Bitsy Boutique, 2813 Westheimer Road, 713.523.3100; C hic children's shop Itsy Bitsy has settled into a new 1,000-squarefoot space on Westheimer, next door to Brownstone Gallery and More Than You Can Imagine. Owner and new mom Susan Watt, who first opened up shop around the corner on Eastside three years ago, prides herself on stocking Susan Watt with her son Joey hard-to-find looks from classic names like Florence Eiseman and Pixie Lily, as well as boho chic play clothes by Pink Chicken and organic brand Kicky Pants, with more to come – in sizes from newborn to 6x, and up to size 10/12 by special order. Also in play, Itzy Ritzy diaper bags; nursery decor by Little Giraffe, Cloud B and Maddie Boo; and blankets and bibs by Rikshaw Design and Aden & Anais. Erin Oppenheim OCTOBER | PAGE 22 | 2012

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - October 2012 - Houston