PaperCity Magazine

September 2015 - Houston

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A lthough Evan Turner doesn't have an ounce of Greek blood in his veins, his all-consuming passion for more than half a decade has been the food and wine of a culture that's the modern birthplace of civilization. A veteran of the restaurant industry in Houston (and beyond), his new Rice Village taverna, Helen Greek Food and Wine, celebrates the land of his childhood, where he spent his formative years as an expat with his family in Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece — the very place he learned the language and grew to love the simple, healthful fare. (Later, he appreciated its wine varietals as well.) Turner, the wine director/partner in this new venture — along with chef William Wright and operating partner Sharif Al-Amin, has amassed a selective wine list of exclusively Greek bottles (and wines by the glass) and can boast the second largest Greek wine list in America. The Erin Hicks-designed narrow restaurant space is lined with comfy banquettes and pretty painted brick walls that soar to great heights, creating a warm, intimate bar/dining experience for lunch, dinner and brunch. The menu is divided into three parts: Tastes (small plates), Share (slightly larger portions) and Feasts (no explanation needed). We grazed through the dinner menu and loved the changing trio of dips, which ranged from smoky eggplant to an earthy chickpea spread ($9), and the collard-green dolmades — a Southern twist that replaces the grape-leaf-wrapped bundle with rice, fresh corn and raisins topped with a lemon egg sauce ($6). Next, share the Gulf Coast catch of the day ($35) or my very favorite, the perfectly cooked (sous-vide/then wood-grilled) octopus doused with charred thyme oil and served with the large tomato- laced white beans called gigante ($36). Of course, Hellenic feasts abound, from Greek village salad ($28) to make-your-own gyro ($40) and the soon- to-be-signature lamb ribs, built for the table to share ($50). Wrap it up with the baklava sundae, served in cool kitsch paper Greek diner coffee cups ($6). Laurann Claridge SEPTEMBER | PAGE 8 | 2015 It's Greek TO US Extraordinary residential real estate service and knowledge. Every time. 713.553.4255 m a r y h a l e m c l e a n . c o m Tanglewood – Call For Information • House: 7,084 square foot • Lot: 14,356 square foot • Built in 2007 • Mediterranean- style house Meg Grant Lawrence was always "the friend with the good handwriting." You know, the one who's enlisted to address the baby shower invites and goes the extra mile on each birthday card envelope. After spending her youth in Sarasota and boarding school in Virginia (at Georgia O'Keeffe's alma mater, Chatham Hall), Lawrence received an MBA in luxury brand management at ESSEC in Paris, interning at Chloe and Chanel, and accepted a position at Audemars Piguet, working for the brand in L.A. and Houston. After the birth of her son, Lawrence changed course and started "scribbling" again. Friends encouraged her to turn her talent into a business, and Pour L'Amour Creative was born. Lawrence's love of luxe stems from the handmade aspect and the "intangible quotient" that such goods evoke — elements she has applied to her calligraphy and stationery business. Her designs feel fresh and whimsical: Names written in gold calligraphy on agate pieces serve as escort cards, while a blank paper canvas is watercolored in an ombré pattern before her metallic lettering is applied to a dinner menu. Good friend Lindley Arnoldy made the introduction to Missy Bellinger, who has enlisted Lawrence to design the print materials for the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation 2015 Catwalk for a Cure. PLA Creative offers calligraphy, hand lettering, stationery design, and bespoke party design. Pour L'Amour Creative, 713.294.0491, Anne Lee Phillips A DASH OF INK, A DOLLOP OF The new MFACafe at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, opens this fall in the Rafael Moneo-designed Audrey Jones Beck building, in the former Cafe Express space, (which closed in August). Operated by Caffe Fellini's Paolo Fronza and Matteo Alessandri, the cafe will serve up northern Italian fare and a slew of coffee creations in the adjoining coffee bar. Until the opening, a pop-up cafe in the lobby serves salads and sandwiches … Rumor has it that architect Michael Landrum and designer Garrett Hunter have teamed up to take over a retail space on West Alabama just steps away from their Menil bungalow office/studios. The design gallery, named Tienda X, will stock one-of-a-kind pieces, rare antique and vintage furniture, commissioned pieces and finds from the prolific duos' travels around the world. Think Los Angeles meets Houston, and expect to see important design that explores both minimalism and avant-garde grandeur … Addie D'Agostino's beloved Relish Fine Foods near Cotton Club on San Felipe — where we get our chicken salad sandwiches, Texas Steak Salads and market sides to go (Orchettiette, kale and beets, roasted cauliflower) — has finally secured a larger space on Westheimer near Kirby in the former The Bird & The Bear restaurant space, which shuttered late August. Relish remains in its current space for the next six to nine months as they reinvent the new location … Tarakaan pan-Asian restaurant and lounge inspired by New York's Buddakan, opens September 9 at 2301 Main Street in the heart of Midtown (in the former location of the Knoll Furniture showroom designed by Stanley Tigerman); the chef is Micah Rideout (Uchi, Songkran Thai Kitchen) … James Beard award-winning chef Bradley Ogden's long-awaited Pour Society debuts dinner service September 1, lunch follows September 8, and brunch, September 16. The gastropub blends revamped Southern dishes with a refined sports bar atmosphere. Chefs Greg Lowry (Tony's, Triniti) and Matthew Lovelace (Triniti) lead the kitchen. THIS JUST IN… RETAIL RAP & RESTAURANT BUZZ T he first annual Heart of Fashion, a three-night fête of designer runway shows, debuts Wednesday through Friday, November 18 through 20, at Million Air Houston, a private aviation hangar near Hobby Airport, with the requisite square footage and luxe factor. At the helm of Heart of Fashion is Vivian Wise, who spearheads the event and spins it into a philanthropic effort, with a designer lineup that includes Abi Ferrin, Norisol Ferrari, swimwear label La Isla, Paola Contreras, Angel Sanchez and Peter Cohen, as well as retailers Neiman Marcus (bringing in Cushnie Et Ochs), Tootsies, Sloan/Hall, Elizabeth Anthony, Norton Ditto and Valobra. Produced by Todd Events, Heart of Fashion takes its design cues from Paris and Rome, with 99,000 square feet of hangar space converted into a Mad Men '60s mod fashion time warp. A percentage of ticket sales benefits Meals on Wheels, Legacy Community Health Services and Butterflys and Bandages, which assists those suffering from Epidermolysis Bullosa. Tickets $75 to $400, based on rows; tables from $2,800, at Matthew Ramirez HAVE A HEART SWEET DREAMS Rock candy isn't just for kids anymore. You can have a sweet treat made just for your pinkie finger this fall, when David Yurman debuts the scented pinkie ring. Choose your flavor — bubblegum, spearmint, grape and cotton candy, with the scent infused in the resin of each 14K gold ring. Wouldn't you like to be a kid in this candy store? $900, at the David Yurman boutique. Francine Ballard Whimsy Helen Greek Food and Wine, Rice Village, 2429 Rice Blvd., 832.831.7133, Stuffed vegetables Chef William Wright Wine director/partner Even Turner BONNIE BAKHTIARI BONNIE BAKHTIARI BONNIE BAKHTIARI Meg Grant Lawrence

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