Dining out, at home, and at home – OutSmart Magazine


Brennan’s (photos from Kimberly Park)

When you want a great place to dine or celebrate a special occasion, why not visit Brennan’s? As the sister restaurant of New Orleans’ famed Commander’s Palace, this magnificent Houston landmark has delighted diners for over 50 years. With its Southern Creole menu, impeccable service and sumptuous decor, it is the place for an elegant meal, whether in the dining room or outside in the lush courtyard.

“I think it starts with our unique 1920s John Staub building and our Parisian gas lamps, but it comes to life thanks to our wonderful waiters and their tradition of Southern hospitality,” says owner Alex Brennan-Martin, the son of the Grand Lady of Commander’s Palace, Ella Brennan. .

Brennan-Martin grew up in the industry, following the same culinary path as his family members before him. But he then made a detour of several years to train at La Varrene, a prestigious culinary and hotel art school in Paris. Then he moved to New York to work at Maxwell’s Plum and the Four Seasons restaurant, first in the kitchen, then at the front of the house.

While honing his skills in New York, his family was busy adding several restaurants to their restaurant dynasty, including Brennan’s of Houston. Brennan-Martin eventually made his way south to Houston, where he discovered that the city of Bayou shared many similarities with New Orleans, including a passion for exquisite cuisine and memorable dining experiences. He has been at the helm of Brennan’s of Houston for twenty years.

“Several of our titular captains have shared with me over the years that romance happens at the table between our guests. Our job is to help them create a good memory, but stay away, ”he notes.

Start with the famous snapper turtle soup and oysters on the half-shell. Then move on to entrees such as fish from the Pontchartrain Gulf or quail stuffed with blood sausage. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you can’t go wrong with the Foster soufflé or bananas (which includes a flamboyant table top presentation).

Brennan’s of Houston has an award-winning wine program hosted by “wine guys” Rich Carter and Jason Durham. They present more than 2000 bottles from all over the world and offer more than 40 selections by the glass. Their ‘drink what you love’ philosophy is based on the belief that ordering good wine should always be fun and accessible. The wine program therefore presents a user-friendly list with something for everyone, from classic icons to unusual gems.

But Brennan’s is also known for a very specific cocktail: the martini. “Part of the story we are told is that Miss Adelaide Brennan enjoyed her martinis, and we always tried to follow her two simple requirements: good alcohol and very, very cold,” says Brennan-Martin. “Her portrait is in the bar, so in a way, she’s still watching us.”

Brennan’s is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday, brunch Saturday and Sunday, and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.

For more information visit brennanhouston.com.


Best new restaurant or food concept

ACME Oyster House
Finalists: Eighteen36, King Ranch Texas

Best 24 hour restaurant

Chapultepec Lupita
Finalists: House of Pies, Whataburger

Best bakery

Dessert gallery
Finalists: Common Bond, Leona’s Bakeshop, Three Brothers Bakery

Best barbecue

The pit room
Finalists: Goode Co., Killen’s, Spring Creek, Truth BBQ

Best deli

Katz’s charcuterie (to attach), Kenny & Ziggy’s (to attach)
Finalists: Nielsen’s, Urban Eats

Best food truck

Eagle eats
Finalists: Fusion Taco, Tasty Arepa, The Waffle Bus

Best dumplings

Dudez dumpling
Finalist: Aunt Chang’s

Best burger

The hamburger restaurant
Finalists: Barnaby’s Cafe, Goode Co., Harold’s in the Heights, Lankford’s

Best hot dog

Good dog houston
Finalists: JCI, Minute Maid Park, Love Dog

Best pizza

Pizza Birra Vino
Finalists: Bollo, BUDDY’S, Pepperoni’s, Star Pizza

Best seafood

ACME Oyster House
Finalists: Eugene’s, M&S, The Rouxpour, Truluck’s

Best steak house

B&B Butcher & Restaurant
Finalists: Morton’s Steakhouse, Perry’s Steakhouse, Steak 48

Best steak night in a bar

Free Grill at George’s
Finalists: BUDDY’S, Pearl Bar

Best Sushi

AKA Sushi
Finalists: Oishii, Osaka

Best Vegetarian / Vegan

Finalists: Korny Vibes, Soul Food Vegan, Sinfull Bakery

Best breakfast

Baby Barnaby’s
Finalists: Breakfast Klub, Chilosos Taco House, Lankford’s, Snooze am

Best brunch

Gloria’s Latin cuisine
Finalists: Bar Bohème, Eighteen36, Piggy’s Kitchen, Traveler’s Table

Best place for lunch

Urban restaurants
Finalists: Barnaby’s Cafe, Gloria’s, Tacos Doña Lena

Best dessert

Dessert gallery
Finalists: Chocolate Bar, Leona’s Bakeshop, Urban Eats

Best British

Red Lion Pub

Best Cajun

BB’s Tex-Orleans
Finalists: Acme Oyster House, Ragin ‘Cajun

Best Central / South American

Gloria’s Latin cuisine
Finalist: Casa do Brasil

Best Cuban

El Rey
Finalist: Café Piquet

Best Chinese

Ginger Coffee
Finalists: Ambassador, China Garden, P. King

Best Japanese

Roka Akor
Finalists: Aka Sushi House, Osaka, Nippon, Uchi

Best thai

Thai Nidda cuisine
Finalists: Khun Kay, Thai Spice, Thai Village

Best Vietnamese

Silverlake PHO 518
Finalists: Kim Son, Mai’s, Pho Saigon

Best Greek

Niko Niko
Finalists: Eighteen36, Helen Greek Food and Wine

Best Indian

Indian cuisine Tarka
Finalists: Himalaya, Pondicheri, Surya India

Best italian

Cibo e Vino by Giacomo (to attach), by Riva (to attach)
Finalists: Maggiano’s, Northern Italy

Best Mediterranean / Middle East

by Fadi
Finalists: Aladdin, Zoë’s Kitchen

Best Mexican

Tacos Doña Lena
Finalists: El Tiempo Cantina, Gloria’s, Hugo’s, Teotihuacan

Best place for a romantic date

by Brennan
Finalists: Bludorn, Giacomo’s Cibo e Vino, Traveler’s Table

Best dining experience (Virtual or in person)

Dudez dumpling
Finalist: 210 Fusion (Chef NaTosha Barber)

Best restaurant for Inexpensive food

Jenni’s Noodle House
Finalists: Barnaby’s, La Tapatia, Raising Cane’s, Tacos Doña Lena

Best restaurant for an elegant dinner

by Truluck
Finalists: B&B Butchers & Restaurant, Brennan’s, Eddie V’s, Morton’s, Traveler’s Table

Best restaurant for al fresco dining

Finalists: Backstreet Café, Eighteen36, Postino Heights

Favorite food delivery

Finalists: Favor, Uber Eats

Most friendly restaurant staff

Barnabas Coffee
Finalists: Gloria’s, Tacos Doña Lena, Urban Eats


Best female IInsurance agent

Shenice brown
Finalist: Jennifer Majors Baca

Best Male Insurance Agent

Lewis Way
Finalists: Dustin Harwell, Jeremy Henry, Jason Rocha, Patrick Torman

Best Air Conditioning and Heating Company

Plumbing & Air Village
Finalist: Newport Air Conditioning & Heating

Better architecture Design company

Morning architects

Best Florist

Perfect petals by Geo
Finalists: Gaye Jackson, Webwood Flowers

Best furniture store

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Finalists: Cantoni, Donna’s Home Furnishings, Nadeau

Best furniture store on a budget

Alabama Furniture
Finalist: Gallery Furniture, IKEA

Best gardening /Nursery supply

Joshua’s native plants & Garden Antiques
Finalists: Another Place in Time, Buchanan’s Native Plants, Fountains and Statuary

Best interior designer

Jacob Medina (to attach), Jean Quila (to attach)
Finalist: Donna Dorrell

Best architect

Morning architects

Best Landscaping Company

AJ’s landscaping
Finalist: Suzanne Longley

Best Pest Control Company

Natural antiparasitic care
Finalists: Amrid Pest Control, Bulwark Extermination

Best plumber

Loop plumbing
Finalist: Village Plomberie

Best Pool Company

Venture Pool Co.
Finalist: Ultima Pool Service

Best Home Security Company

Fortress Shield Security
Finalists: Alert 360, ADT

For a full list of winners, go here.

This article appears in the October 2021 issue of OutSmart magazine.


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