It’s a month dedicated to love. Not just for couples but for all. To love those around you – your mom, sister, brother, grandma, lettercarriers, delivery guy, your barista. You could go the cynic route and bash the whole month/day, but why not just see the beauty in loving what you’ve got and those you have in your life. If you choose to take your loved one to dinner, special menus and seatings are out there everywhere; do the research and make your reservation so you aren’t left out in the dark. Last year, we just went to a favorite, with no specials or fancy menu – just a place that is special to us. This month if movies are a love you share, then you don’t want to miss a screening at the city’s newest cinema. Looking to indulge on sweets? Two restaurants make the cut with intoxicating treats. Don’t know where to go but tired of the same old thing? I have a Trattoria that will not only surprise but also delight! Wishing you and yours a LOVELY month.
501 Texas Avenue 713.223.3456
Say hello to a new theatre experience. If you are going to be paying what feels like an exorbitant price to go to the movies, you might as well get some “perks.” In quotations because these aren’t free after all. This comes in the form of vouchers for underground parking, reserve seating/pre- buying tickets online, comfortable seating, gourmet food offerings and a bar! This is the most comfortable movie experience to date. Yes, other theaters have some of these qualities but River Oaks can be cramped and the seats need work and Studio Movie Grill, don’t get me started. At Sundance, our seats were side by side with a “table”on both sides so we didn’t have the next moviegoer right on top of us. The layout when picking your seats would lead you to believe seats are absolutely separate but the only separation is those aforementioned tables strategically placed between every couple seats. Only downfall? Sometimes there’s a line at the bar, but thankfully that means they’re busy because we are hoping they stay around a LONG TIME.
Trattoria Il Mulino
945 North Gessner Rd. 832.358.0600
Let me count the ways I can rave about this Italian gem. If you live on the West Side or don’t mind making the trip, this is located in the Westin Memorial City. The easiest way to park is valet right at the front door of the hotel, and the restaurant is through the lobby and off to the left. We held one of my few girls’ Christmas dinners here. A long table down the center of the venue held court to our feast consisting of meatballs, arincini (risotto and surprise center of Bolognese-stuffed fried meatballs) and arugula salad. For dinner three of us split their Branzino – beautifully filleted fish with just olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon plus their intoxicating pesto gnocchi. The balance was perfect!
Laurenzo’s Family Restaurant
4412 Washington Avenue 713.880.5111
The perfect nightcap is this delicious brownie dessert. Atop a warm brownie are scoops of vanilla ice cream, warm caramel sauce and a cherry. It’s not overly sweet but absolutely addicting. Basic but, well done. Who says you can’t just have dessert?
Segari’s Restaurant & Bar
1503 Shepherd Dr. 713.880.2470
You either hate or love it. If your only reason for hating it was because the prices weren’t on the menu then that doesn’t even count. You’re biased from the get go. And reasoning says that if the prices weren’t there, I’d expect it to be pricey. Calling it like it is, folks. We had a girls’ dinner that took up a large chunk of the small intimate space (i.e., perfect for Valentine’s) over the holidays and was impressed by not only the food but also the staff. And when I say staff, I mean one guy running the whole place. Plus it was packed! We started with a platter of utterly fresh cold seafood – shrimp, jumbo lump crabmeat, claws with lemons and various sauces for dipping. And you have to try the bread. The girls could not get enough of it as well as this dessert. I’m not usually a fan of bread pudding but there is nothing like this one. It’s smothered in a whiskey sauce that is divine! I have no clue what my tab was but for the company, service and fare, it really didn’t matter.