Houston boasts at least 17 five-star hotels, all of which offer restaurants to compete with the 11,000 independent dining spots in town. Despite numerous lists, blogs and surveys, a few stand out with consistent accolades from visitors, guests and professional reviewers. Here are a few that offer consistently excellent food and fond memories.
The Sam Houston Hotel
1117 Prairie St.
Houston, TX 77002
The Sam Houston Hotel was first opened in 1924 and is on the national register of historic places. It has long earned its reputation as a boutique hotel offering tasteful elegance. Renovations were completed in 2013. The *17 Restaurant has a modern, luxurious style that consistently earns comments using the terms “romantic” or “amazing.” Couples enjoying first dates, anniversaries and special moments report excellent food and courteous professional service. The *17 attracts a cultured, sophisticated clientele. Knowing that many diners are enjoying a meal before a performance, the restaurant offers a shuttle service to the theaters.
Hotel ZaZa Houston
5701 Main St.
Houston, TX 77005
The ZaZa is located in the heart of the Museum district where diners at the Monarch can view the splendid Mecom Fountain and the Museum of Fine Arts. The ZaZa is also a short walk from the Museum of Natural Science and only a few blocks from Hermann Park and the campus of Rice University. The Monarch is one of Houston’s finest boutique restaurants open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Executive Chef Jonathan Jones offers unforgettable fare with equally unforgettable names.
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1300 Lamar St.
Houston, TX 77010
The Quattro is an exciting escape to Italy in the midst of Houston’s Financial and Business District. The restaurant is on the third floor with floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of Houston’s active downtown, within walking distance of Minute Maid Park, the Toyota Center, Discovery Green and the House of Blues. Chef Maurizio Ferrarese offers a full range of antipasti, pasta, pizze and secondi from his native Italy ranging from viettlo y tono tonnato to his award-winning old fashioned risotto. Quattro is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.
Omni Houston Hotel
4 Riverway Drive
Houston, TX 77056
Noe Grill is a relatively new restaurant in the prestigious Omni Hotel northwest of downtown Houston. The web site describes it as “globally inspired cuisine with a Pan Asian undertones and a locavore approach.” The chefs offer a “sustainable” menu relying on ingredients provided by growers, artisans and fisheries located within 500 miles of Houston. Expect a creative, eclectic menu with photos and descriptions available on the web site.
Sugar Land Marriott Town Square
16090 City Walk Blvd.
Sugarland, TX 77479
The Burning Pear has been frequently described as “underrated,” “best in the land” or a “Town Center Secret.” Located in the center of Sugarland, a suburb only 15 miles southwest of downtown Houston, guests enjoy some of the best of American-style pork chops, spinach and friend green tomatoes, complemented with a choice of wines imported from all around the world. Most reviewers are satisfied with the prompt service and food cooked to perfection.
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Marc Pembroke is a freelance writer covering all things Houston. His work can be found on Examiner.com.