Houston Art and Dining

Shopping in the city.
Attention to detail at Anvil.
Beautifully bustling À Bientôt.

Haute Houston

Fine art and fine dining create a well-oiled culture capital.


By Kirk Reed Forrester 
Photography by Shannon O’Hara

Long known as a business boomtown, Houston now boasts a thriving arts and culinary scene. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1001 Bissonnet Street; 713/639-7300) has morphed from a regional draw to a national powerhouse, thanks to a new A-list director and ambitious exhibitions. Walk through leafy Montrose neighborhood and enjoy the mesmerizing Rothko Chapel (3900 Yupon Street; 713/524-9839), the Cy Twombly Gallery (1501 Branard Street; 713/525-9400) and the internationally acclaimed Menil Collection (1533 Sul Ross Street; 713/525-9400), a serene museum housing wow-factor works.

Get the personal treatment at tiny Oxheart (1302 Nance Street; 832/830-8592), where plates of New American cuisine are delivered by the wunderkind chef himself. Like the sign outside says, Underbelly (1100 Westheimer Road; 713/528-9800) is “Reppin’ H-town with Love”; with the city’s only in-house butcher, don’t miss their charcuterie. Finish the weekend with an over-the-top Mexican brunch, a killer margarita, and live mariachi music at Hugo’s (1600 West-heimer Road; 713/524-7744), a local institution.

Posh types head to Tiny Boxwoods (3614 W. Alabama Street; 713/622-4224) for a cappuccino or glass of rosé in a charming garden setting. At Anvil (1424 Westheimer Road; 713/523-1622), creative bartenders make their own bitters and liqueurs. Drinking a Sazerac never tasted so noble.

With 400 stores, the Galleria (5085 Westheimer Road) proves that everything is bigger in Texas. Local favorite Kuhl-Linscomb (2424 W. Alabama Street; 713/526-6000) offers chic wares ranging from antiques to apothecary. For a more boutique experience, head to À Bientôt (2501 River Oaks Boulevard; 713/523-3997) for accessories, Coquette (1848 Westheimer Road; 713/527-7377) for elegant clothes with an edge, or Dao Chloe Dao (6127 Kirby Drive; 713/807-1565) for flirty styles by Houston’s own Project Runway winner.

Originally appeared in Virtuoso Life magazine, January 2013.

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