close
close
Turner’s Cut triumphs and Azumi arrives at River Oaks

Turner’s Cut triumphs and Azumi arrives at River Oaks

Turner’s Cut triumphs and Azumi arrives at River Oaks


Turner’s cut, 811 Buffalo Park, which opened June 28 in Autry Park, follows another Berg Hospitality Group concept, The Sylvie, which also opened June 28 in Texas Tower. Sophistication and luxury have become a hallmark of several Berg restaurants, and Turner’s Cut will join the portfolio as an opulent, indulgent steakhouse. Its white-glove service, sparkling chandeliers and well-placed antiques evoke the nostalgic glamour of the Gilded Age, along with the Gilded Era when Prohibition ignited the flames of decadence and understated playfulness.

And that’s exactly what Benjamin Berg, CEO and founder of Berg Hospitality Group, is aiming for. In a press release, he said, “Turner’s Cut is more reminiscent of luxury estate dining than a modern restaurant, but with all the custom touches and upscale food and cocktails our clientele would desire.”

Click to enlarge

Live music will be played on the mezzanine.

Photograph by Brian Kennedy

Diners enter the restaurant under a domed canopy inspired by establishments once frequented by New York high society. The exterior architecture includes a Venetian glass brick facade, while the interior combines dark and vivid colors with touches of white and gold. Behind the host counter is a large-scale artwork titled “The Chef with Knife,” an acrylic and charcoal work by New York artist Willie Berch. The design was done by Berg and Gail McCleese of sensitori, a Houston-based hospitality design firm.

Click to enlarge

King crab gets an elegant presentation at Turner’s Cut.

Photograph by Brian Kennedy

The menu design was equally visionary, as Berg brought in Franck Savoy, director of operations, to form a talented team. Savoy is the son of Michelin-starred phenom Chef Guy Savoy. He recruited senior corporate chef Eric Damidot, regional culinary director Pablo Penalosa and executive chef Chelsea Cummings to handle the dish selection.

The menu features rare cuts of beef from the United States and Japan, as well as familiar high-priced dishes like the Japanese A5 and Prime Dry Aged Ribeye. There’s the Raw Bar Cart, which allows diners to choose their preferences at the table, including sashimi, lobster, oysters, king crab and caviar. In keeping with the white-glove service, there’s the Carving Cart with bone-in prime rib, as well as the Martini Cart for the perfect drink. In addition, there are six- and nine-course tasting menus with optional wine pairings.

Click to enlarge

The Turner’s Cut bar is made of gold-cut crystal, backed by Venetian glass bricks.

Photograph by Brian Kennedy

The bar offers signature drinks, mocktails, beer and an extensive wine list created by sommelier Royston Remick, whose resume includes Houston establishments Backstreet Cafe, Max’s Wine Dive and Antica Osteria.

Click to enlarge

Short rib gets a Japanese twist at Azumi.

Photograph by Atlas Restaurant Group

Azumi4444 Westheimer, opened June 24 in the River Oaks district. The modern Japanese restaurant comes from Atlas Restaurant Group, which opened the first Azumi in Baltimore in December 2014. The hospitality group is based in the “Charm City” and operates more than 50 concepts in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Texas and Florida. Atlas currently operates two other concepts in Houston, Marmo and Loch Bar. It will close its Ouzo Bay restaurant in 2023 to transform it into Azumi.

The fine dining concept is led by Executive Chef Timur Fazilov, a chef with years of Michelin star experience and who works with renowned chef Masaharu Morimoto as Executive Chef for Morimoto in Qatar and as Executive Brand Chef for Sa’Moto. The Japanese menu will incorporate fusion elements and will focus heavily on sushi.

Click to enlarge

Chef Timur Fazilov knows a thing or two about Japanese cuisine.

Photograph by Atlas Restaurant Group

Highlights of the new menu include scallop tiradito and hirame (flounder) cruda, as well as larger dishes like wagyu short ribs and yakisoba noodles. There is also an extensive list of nigiri, sashimi and maki rolls. Diners will also be able to enjoy some of Azumi Baltimore’s signature delicacies, such as the flamed king crab roll, miso black cod and chicken gyoza. Some of the tasting options include an A5 Japanese wagyu tasting and the Toyosu nigiri platter, which offers 12 assorted pieces of the chef’s finest sushi.

Click to enlarge

The 11-seat sushi bar is a popular spot.

Photograph by Brian Kennedy

Designed by Baltimore-based Patrick Sutton, the 6,500-square-foot restaurant is sleek and dramatic, with light colors and natural materials inspired by Tokyo’s fine dining scene. White oak is used throughout the venue as a nod to its River Oaks location. In addition to seating for 80 in the main dining room and 11 guests at the sushi bar, there are two covered terraces for 66 guests, with the south-facing terrace opening to the 20-seat cocktail bar and a 20-seat chef’s table.

There are signature cocktails, an extensive wine list, 16 different bottles of Japanese whisky and over 60 sakes.

Parking is free in the River Oaks District Parking Garage or guests may choose to pay for valet service.

Click to enlarge

New combinations that provide delicious options for lunch.

Photography by Andrew Hemingway

Common Bond Bistro and Bakery5740 San Felipe, opened June 26 in the Tanglewood area with a grand opening planned for August. The 5,500-square-foot restaurant is the brand’s largest to date and spans two floors, including an upstairs area that can be used for private events.

The self-service restaurant is bright and airy, with a hand-painted mural adding a pop of color alongside the turquoise and pink colors of the company’s palette. There are tables, booths and banquettes inside, plus a patio with turquoise umbrellas along the front of the store.

Click to enlarge

In time it will be playground time again.

Photography by Andrew Hemingway

Along with its new location also comes a new menu from Bistro & Bakery by Chef Jason Gould. In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings and their artisan baked goods, there are new burgers like the Classic Bistro, Bacon BBQ and Mushroom Goat Cheese. There are also new combos with a choice of a half sandwich and soup or salad. Guests on the go or returning to the office can choose from one of their lunch boxes like Tomato & Burrata, Vegan Fall Greens or Texas Club. The new menu also offers dishes like Cavatappi Pasta with Black Pepper Sausage, Creamy Tomato Sauce, Roasted Red Peppers, Pistou and fresh basil.

Summer drinks at Common Bond include a variety of frozen lemonades in peach, mango, passion fruit, strawberry or traditional flavors. For those who need a caffeine fix but a cool drink, there are cold brew coffees with sweet cream and iced lattes with cold foam. Common Bond Bistro also features a full beer and wine list.

Bagel with arms Brazos Bagel closed its Houston operations this week. The announcement of the sudden departure was made via social media by owner Zac Wilson, who posted that Brazos Bagel would be closing retail and wholesale operations in Houston. He wrote, “The reasons are varied and many. Maybe one day it will be worth digging deeper into the how and why, but for now it just is. I will miss all the joy you brought to my life, it was life-changing and inspiring.”

Wilson went on to say that his artisanal bagels will now be available, starting July 7, at the Fall Creek Farmers Market in Atascocita every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at the Buy Local Market in Humble every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. He also mentioned his partnership with Summer Lane Coffee in Huntsville. On July 1, Wilson posted again on Brazos Bagel’s Facebook page that he finally had a plan to reopen at Summer Lane Coffee, 701 Avenue M, detailing hours as Wednesday through Sunday.

In her most recent post, she wrote about the difficulties of being closed for days as a small business owner, adding, “It can be a scary time just to take the time to rest.”

He also said: “I have finally turned the corner I had been desperately waiting for and I finally feel like a real human being again.”

Wilson debuted his coveted bagels with several pop-up locations and eventually opened a brick-and-mortar location in the Heights. It debuted as Brazos Bagel on Feb. 1, 2024, but closed within the first week as Wilson sold out of the wildly popular bagels daily and then parted ways with his partners and investors, according to the site. Houston ChronicleIt then reopened on February 12 under the new name Space City Bagels and Wilson is no longer involved.

Nyammings Fusion Bistro Express2626 Blodgett, opening July 10 at Blodgett Food Hall, is an outpost of Nyammings Fusion Bistro in Wilcrest, owned by former NFL football player and chef Victor Allotey, who also owns the Empire State Jazz Cafe.

The express version of Nyammings will offer a full menu of Caribbean, Creole and soul food, including Jamaican burgers, jerk lamb chops, sausage gumbo, shrimp and crawfish etoufee and coconut bread. There is also a selection of pastas such as Cajun shrimp pasta, Mardi Gras pasta and Rasta pasta, which is prepared with a creamy jerk sauce. Entrees include blackened fish, Creole shrimp, Jamaican oxtail and Jamaican goat curry.

Drink options include Jamaican sodas such as D&G Kola, D&G Cream Soda and Pineapple Soda, as well as Coca-Cola products. There is a wide variety of homemade lemonades and iced teas in various flavors.

The Giant can feed you and a couple of friends.

Jersey Mike’s Subs Photo

Jersey Mike’s Subs1358 W. 43rd, opened July 3. Franchise owner John Enterline kicked off the grand opening and fundraiser the same day and will run through July 7 with special fundraising coupons benefiting the Harriet and Joe Foster Family YMCA.

Known for its premium meats and cheeses and locally baked bread, it also has a devoted following for its Mike’s Way order in which the sandwich is topped with lettuce, tomato and onion and then added a kiss of “su jus,” its signature blend of red wine vinegar and olive oil.

Customers can place orders online or through the app for pickup. Delivery is also available through the app and third-party delivery partners in most areas.

Click to enlarge

Trill Burgers fans can order the Triple OG through DoorDash and enjoy it in the privacy of their home without being judged.

Photography by Dylan McEawn

Trill Burgers3607 S. Shepherd, has partnered exclusively with DoorDash to offer its award-winning smashburgers for delivery. Trill Burgers’ full menu will be available on the DoorDash app and ordering hours will be the same as in-store operations, daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Co-founder and rap artist Bun B is excited to take the Trill burger experience to the next level. In a press release, he said, “You can’t always tell when you’re craving a Trill burger and DoorDash is the perfect partner to help get our burgers directly into the hands of our customers.”

It’s better than the line that normally surrounds Trill Burgers, especially in the Houston summer heat.