HOUS June 2013 : Page 86
WAYS TO SPEND YOUR SUMMER NIGHTS LIP GLOSS Sexy Katsuya is one of West Ave’s hip sites for late-night bites and booze.
Nightlife 20 Ways To Spend Your Summer Nights
The weather's not the only thing that's hot this season. Here's where to play after dark in Houston now!<br /> <br /> GO WEST...<br /> <br /> ... And Get Hungry<br /> <br /> 1 By all means, work up an appetite partying at one of the city's most popular playgrounds-the West Ave mixed-use complex, where several restaurants tout not only very happening bar scenes, but also kitchens that stay open till 11 on weekends.Try gastro-lounge Saint Genevieve's (713.524.2441) new Mumbai fried chicken or crabcake sliders. Across the way, fashion-splashed and cocktailsavvy Katsuya (713.590.2800) adds its version of the Korean bibimbop dish-a sizzling pot of rice served with pork or short rib and topped with a fried egg-this month. And new arrival Del Frisco's Grille(832. 623.6168), the more party-hearty spinoff of the Galleria's Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse which this spring bowed in the lofty site that was once Ava restaurant, touts a handsome, leatherand- wood-wrapped dining room and two patios. Expect dishes like the lamb burger, edamame falafel pita, sweet potato frites and pan-braised wild mushrooms.<br /> <br /> LOUNGE AROUND<br /> <br /> 2 Uptown Chic In a city where some nighttime haunts sizzle one moment and fizzle the next, Belvedere (1131 Uptown Park Blvd.) Has staying power.The posh, urbane lounge-a stylish crowd, varied in age, lines up along a long bar sipping cocktails made with orange- and blueberry-infused vodkas-turns 10 this year. Not laurelresting, it's added a new happy-hour menu, with snacks like bacon-wrapped sausage links served on wooden skewers with a slice of jalapeño.<br /> <br /> 3 Wine Time<br /> <br /> As its Uptown Park spot turns 10 and renovates, original Houston wine bar The Tasting Room (1101 Uptown Park Blvd.) Boasts outposts in CityCentre, Kingwood and River Oaks-and impress with its vast list including Max et Jacques pinot noir and other world exclusives. Meanwhile, beloved family-run Montrose cafe Paulie's is spinning off a next-door wine bar, Camerata, focusing on boutique bottles.<br /> <br /> 4. TIPPLE AND TASTE<br /> <br /> Word on the Street<br /> <br /> With the arrival of Houston's second Max's Wine Dive, the part of Fairview that stretches from Montrose into Midtown is a foodie-friendly block party! Max's has served comfort food-Southern fried chicken, and root-beer-braised short ribs with fingerling potatoes-and vino at its always-packed Wash Ave location for six years, and now will expand next-door to year-old Cuchara (214 Fairview St.). The Mexico City-style bistro serves tasty variations on familiar foods, like hibiscus-flower-and-cheese tacos, and stuffed and grilled cactus with salsa. Nearby, patio-savvy Boheme Café & Wine Bar (307 Fairview St.) recently expanded its upper floors to include more lounge seating. Also, it brought back its ultrathin pizzas with toppings like prawns, wild boar and cranberries.<br /> <br /> 6. Craft Beer Buzz The fad goes on. 8th Wonder (2202 Dallas St.) has brewing classes, while Katy's No Label Brewery (5351 1st St.) touts tours and seasonal sips and City Acre Brewing (3421 Folger St.) serves its beer in a Victorian mansion.Patrons fill growlers at Witchcraft Tavern & Provision Co. (1221 W. 11th St.) and Premium Draught (733 Studewood St.).<br /> <br /> MAXIMIZE YOUR MOVIE<br /> <br /> 7. Screen Play Movie theaters aren't just for movies anymore.New Palladium AVX (7301 Grand Pkwy., Richmond) has 22 screens, including six Imax ones, plus a bowling alley and a sushi bar. And Downtown's Sundance Cinemas (510 Texas Ave.) Serves a full menu of food and vino during screenings of blockbusters and art films, and also boasts an art gallery.<br /> <br /> POP A CORK<br /> <br /> 8. All That Sparkles Hip wine bars are making bubbles to pop! West Ave's Cru offers half-off prices on its nearly 75 bottles of sparkling wine on thursdays, while River Oaks-area Cha (810 Waugh St.) serves bites like duck-and-truffle Brie and, for the sweet tooth, Champagne doughnut bread pudding with Champagne flights. Cha also boasts live jazz often, and a pretty terrace with leavy treetop views. And Midtown standby 13 Celsius (3000 Caroline St.) others a rotating list of curated Champagnes.<br /> <br /> TOAST THE SUNSET<br /> <br /> 9 Dusk To-Do's Nearby vineyards boast pairings of music and wine.At Lost Oak Winery (2116 FM 731, Burleson) artists perform on Saturdays. Bernhardt Winery's (9043 Country Rd., Plantersville) lawn is home to Sunday evening orchestra sets at sunset. And eclectic musicians play Haak Winery (6310 Ave. T, Santa Fe) near Galveston on Saturday nights.<br /> <br /> DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE<br /> <br /> Oh Brother!<br /> <br /> Reality TV hunk and ATX resident Brad Womack of Bachelor fame has claimed a corner of Houston's Midtown, unveiling his 10th bar concept with identical twin Chad and their business partner Jason Carrier. Sportsminded The Dogwood (2403 Bagby St.)-it has 30 That-screen Tvs-opened earlier this year to great fanfare, seemingly attracting every PYT in town to the place's pair of patios. Dogwood is a spinoff of the brothers' highly successful Austin bar of the same name. They wanted to bring the some of the capital city's laid-back attitude to H-Town, and emphasize the indoor and outdoor aspects of the bar equally.Explains Chad, "We wanted to create an environment that felt more like a backyard gathering than a bar or nightclub."<br /> <br /> REWRITE HISTORY<br /> <br /> 11. Old-School Cool Not that you need a new reason to hit decades-old, velvetaccented Downtown classic Leon's Lounge (1006 McGowen St.). But.There is a new cocktail menu for summer, starring hibiscus. A minty-fresh hibiscus mojito, anyone?<br /> <br /> GET SERVED<br /> <br /> Cocktail Cutie<br /> <br /> Get a cool cocktail-the Cîroc Star- from a cool bartender. Handsome part-time model Nate Simmons, 25, is not just new to urbane, go-go-boybawdy gay lounge Meteor (2306 Genesee St.), where he's shaken things up since February-and we don't just mean martinis. The Iowa native is also somewhat new to the city, having moved here two years ago because of the booming job market.His Star drink combines Cîroc Red Berry, watermelon liqueur, cranberry juice and Red Bull, and boy is he ready to serve it up this summer."It's gonna be really busy," he says, "and it's gonna be hot." Expect temperatures to soar also at Meteor's competition just down the road as similarly slick F Bar (202 Tuam St.) greets the heat on its sprawling, gays for- days front patio bar.<br /> <br /> HIT THE DECK<br /> <br /> 13. Proof of Life<br /> <br /> Six-month-old Midtown lounge Proof Bar + Patio (2600 Travis St.) has gone sky-high. Not only in terms of its popularity among PYTs and party people, but literally, as its main draw is a huge second-floor deck that stretches out above downstairs neighbor Reef restaurant and of fers a supremely urbane setting with views of Downtown skyscrapers. Think modminded outdoor loungey seating areas of bold red, with umbrellas above for daytime fun, and strings of lights above that for evening. The inside space offers a clubby alternate experience, with billiards and darts-also with a sexy-contemporary vibe, complete with wallsized photographs of women's midriffs. The DJ-spun soundtrack is bumping dance music, and playful signature drinks include the likes of Devil's Sin with 90-proof Bourbon, limoncello, Sprite, and fresh cucumber. And this summer, Proof hosts a free concert series featuring '90s grunge-rock bands, like Everclear, Live and Filter.<br /> <br /> CHILL OUT<br /> <br /> 14. Push Your Luck Downtown's Reserve 101 (1201 Caroline St.) now serves frozen cocktails like the chocolate chip mint julep in childhoodreminiscent push-pop form. Slurp ' Them on the bar's brand-new patio.<br /> <br /> LINE" UP<br /> <br /> Ingenue 2.0<br /> <br /> Houston actress Julia Krohn will spend a lot of time at Hermann Park this summer." The science museum, the zoo, that choo-choo train," says Krohn, noting her and singerhusband Charlie's 2-yearold son Hayden's favorite activities. The H-Town native, who's performed in New York and locally at Stages and the Alley, will also star as Christine in A Chorus Line in the park's Miller Outdoor Theater for TUTS. It's the same role her actress mother played on Broadway in the '70s! Showgoers can watch her follow in Mom's footsteps, from a hillside perch. "I was in one show in the park when I was in high school at HSPVA, and I watched my parents perform there," says Krohn." There's just a different kind of excitement about performing there." Chorus runs July 16-21.<br /> <br /> PLAY WITH DOLLS<br /> <br /> 16. Speakeasy Does It Snag dinner and a show at Prohibition (in the Galleria). Enjoy in-house neoburlesque troupe the Moonlight Dolls, tasty noshes like truffled fries, and the menu of craft cocktails including a stellar Old Fashioned and the Berry Blue Bliss with four shots of Johnny Walker.<br /> <br /> BE THERE...<br /> <br /> ... And Be "Square"<br /> <br /> The pedestrian-friendly Downtown district of Market Square has a lot on offer for nightlife aficionados. Pop by new Goro & Gun (306 Main St.) to grab a beer and fill up on gourmet ramen in the new space's Texas-meets- Far-East interior. Around the corner is late-night tapas haunt Batanga (908 Congress Ave.), serving up bites like chicken tacos and crispy calamari on its massive 3,600-square-foot patio. Head inside and cool off at the front-to-back bar with a tasty Finn's Revenge, a concoction of vanilla rum, coco milk, lime, mint, basil, and ginger beer, topped with a sprig of cilantro. Catty-corner to that stands Hearsay gastrolounge (218 Travis St.), home to Wednesday Ladies Nights featuring mint-garnished, fruity Flaming Leahs. Nearby, Okra Charity Saloon (924 Congress Ave.) Serves local beers and mixed drinks under its 1882-built barrel-vault ceiling as young professionals and PYTs crowd around the unique U-shaped bar. And new Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar (308 ½ Main St.) serves up fresh and fruity frozen drinks, best enjoyed on the lively patio while watching the MetroRail whiz by.<br /> <br /> CALL THE SHOTS<br /> <br /> 18. "Life" Is Good The Van Delden brothers-Jeff and Darren, the duo behind Midtown's Wonder Bar and Red Door- have opened casual-cool patio-savvy "bar and kitchen" concept The Good Life (610 Gray St.). The place boasts uniquely edible cocktails-think colorful gourmet Jello shots served on spoons-and a menu on which Roost's Kevin Naderi consulted. Find comfort eats like sloppy-Joe hot pockets, "dirty nachos" and bratwurst-in-a-blanket, and sharable happy-hour specials that rotate daily.<br /> <br /> TAKE IT OUTSIDE<br /> <br /> 19. Music at Miller The Houston Symphony celebrates summer in style with outdoor concerts at Miller Outdoor Theatre (6000 Hermann Park Dr.). On June 21, hear family-friendly tunes from Carmen and Beauty and the Beast, and the following weekend, Brahms' classic concertos. Ring in Independence Day with booming cannons and patriotic melodies July 3.<br /> <br /> LISTEN UP<br /> <br /> Acoustic Cool<br /> <br /> When his band, the 71s, broke up at the end of last year, lead singer Keeton Coffman, 32, found himself with some spare time. "I spent a lot of energy planning and touring and doing the webpage," says the College Station native and UT grad of his time with the rock quartet, which released five albums in its six-year existence. When "all that went away," he started writing, and ended up with material for a dozen songs that will be released digitally over the next couple of months, in phases. ("I want to release bits of a conversation, instead of a full-length record at once," he explains.) This summer, continue to hear him live, as he plays regular acoustic sets at venues like the House of Blues and Rice Village's Brian O'Neill's a few nights a week."I like quiet rooms lately," he says, noting House of Blues' Crossroads restaurant. "People come, and they want to hear art.They want to be engaged with lyrics. That's really neat."