Healthy and Hungry in Houston
Pictured: Chef Bryan Caswell of Reef
Pictured: Oysters at Reef
Shepherd does all of his own butchering and charcuterie, and you'll find his cuts peppered among local farm fare. Gulf bycatch (fish like rainbow runner, sea bream, and tripletail that often get mistakenly caught in commercial nets and thrown away) are matched with Southern chowchow or okra masala.
After dining, pick up a jar of the restaurant's house-made preserves or pickles on your way out.
Pictured: Chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly
The chefs, Terrence Gallivan and Seth Siegel-Gardner, teamed up at Gordon Ramsay's Maze and have worked for a long list of big names (Scott Conant, Charlie Palmer, and Marcus Samuelsson among them). The location is a coming home for Siegel-Gardner, who grew up in the Montrose neighborhood, just a few blocks away.
Pictured: The Pass & Provisions' lively bar
James Beard Award nominee Anita Jaisinghani named her new restaurant "Pondicheri" after the southern Indian town (now called Puducherry) that she frequently visited as a child. The cuisine reflects a love of a wide range of flavors from all over India, focusing on snack food, or chaat. The barley salad with beets, walnuts, and mint is stunning, and vegans love the Vishnu thali (sampler platter) with a kokum fruit, curry leaf, and coconut curry; Brussels sprouts; smoked eggplant; daily dal; sambhar; and carrot paratha.
Pictured: A sampler platter at Pondicheri
Pictured: Lamb shanks at Phoenicia Specialty Foods