Driving through downtown Gables on a Saturday night, you can’t help but notice the crowd accrued outside of what seems to be a trendy hotspot. You may find yourself asking what the stir of all the commotion is before realizing it’s but another Saturday night for celebrity restaurant and bar, Houston’s. Its central and prime location, bordering the corner of Miracle Mile and Ponce, places this restaurant alongside the elite worthy enough to merit a spot on the strip.

Upon arriving, there’s an optional valet, and as you make your way into the restaurant, your attention is sidetracked from the hostess to the bar. The bar exudes a welcoming atmosphere, perhaps due to its displayed TV sets or friendly bartenders, just tempting you to take a seat. As opposed to many enclosed bars, this one was designed to incorporate itself into the restaurant section with petite side tables surrounding it providing for conversational space or perhaps an appetizer or cocktail. Expect a wait – but know it’s well worth.

The restaurant’s layout is spacious and uncluttered, comprised of modern yet comfy booths and tables. The architectural design gives way to vaulted ceilings with spot lighting setting its dim ambiance. The contemporary dcor plays off of the displayed different time zones, listing distinguished cities in the U.S. and the world.

The kitchen is open to view and the chefs visible to all. The scent of food exits the kitchen permeating throughout the restaurant, drifting towards the bar. Their gourmet menu offers a varied selection though somewhat limited. Few restaurants feature truly exemplary entrees as Houston’s does. I’d definitely recommend the spinach dip as an appetizer to start off the meal. The entrees range from steaks such as the New York Strip to grilled marinated chicken and fish platters. Though not inexpensive, the medium price stays in the $20’s. The Hawaiian Rib Eye steak was near to perfection – it didn’t lack in either tenderness or juiciness and was tousled with steamed broccoli. Aside from their decadent entrees, Houston’s also prides themselves in their extensive wine selection encompassing nearly half of the menu.

The service is flawless, from the beginning till the end. Go for lunch, take a date for dinner, or just hang out with friends before heading out for the night. Houston’s surpassed my expectations and is definitely climbing my Top 10 list.

Christie Asencio can be contacted at