Our second stop in the Houston whirlwind trip was wine bar and restaurant Underbelly.
Chris Frankel, bartender at Anvil and Underbelly suggested we try his version of an Americano (above), which was staggeringly delicious. Apparently it’s more of a “spiced cocchi americano imitation” instead of the campari-based americano. Whew! So damn tasty.
Yep, that’s the meat locker you can see from the main dining hall. So many delightful meats. I had the butcher’s cut — a part of pork neck cooked like a steak. It tasted like a steak. Juicy and thick. Z’s fish was also to die for. Win and win.
I’ve been waiting for this new Rainey St. bar to open for some time now. Happily, I found the design inside to be quite pleasing. Takes you right back to the turn of the century. A couple of centuries ago. Yep.
For Portland Cocktail Week, back in October, we split our hotel time between the historic Benson Hotel, and the hip Ace Hotel. If we go back next year, I’ll definitely skip the Ace. For the same price as the Benson, we downgraded to a dorm-size room with paper thin walls, and a rough bed wedged under the window on the floor. Not so good for sleeping and hanging out in the hotel. Damn hipsters.
The lobby on the other hand, was fantastic! Loved the quirky details, honest Pacific Northwest color palate, the adjacent Stumptown coffee shop, and ultra-comfy couches. Perfect place to grab a coffee and refuel between events.
Addie Broyles wrote up a great First Look at the new Easy Tiger Bake Shop and Beer Garden, which opened late January. I hit up the media preview night as well, to check out their drinks program.
I suppose I should have expected that it would be a lovely space (based on the upscale diner chic look that it’s sister restaurant, 24 Diner brought to the previous Waterloo Icehouse space on West Sixth), but I will admit I was taken back by exactly how delightful the interior design was.
The interior was designed by local (via Los Angeles) decorator and designer Veronica Koltuniak. Koltuniak also did 24 Diner. I won’t get into too much detail on why everything works so well, because you can read Nicole Villapando’s story on the design on Statesman.com.
Frank is the latest hip place to eat downtown. They’re all about good meat.
Some local design I love, by some amazing graphic design firms.