Located in the Sam Houston Hotel, a National Register of Historic Places, *17 is an onsite restaurant just minutes away from the Houston’s historic museum district. This establishment honors the true spirit of Texas through its adventurous and innovative take on classic American cuisine. It takes its name from the 17 railroad lines that extended from various parts of the state and Gulf Cost. *17’s modern and elegant design provides guests with an elevated dining experience.
Start with creative appetizers that reflect the region’s specialties like its smoky tomato soup, Texas plantain crab cakes or battered shrimp. For entrees, order its braised short ribs, tomato mascarpone ravioli or seared angus filet. There is an extensive wine list curated to pair well with any dish. Recognized by Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Gourmet and many other publications, *17, is perfect for a quiet or special night out.
Limited breakfast menu
Somewhat surprisingly, there were only two tables filled at noon. You would expect that this place would do a brisk lunch business given its proximity to the courts and many high rise buildings. The room is nice and the food is quite good for a hotel restaurant. The problem is -- and it is a big problem -- is the service. We arrived at noon and all three persons at our table ordered the same thing (simple ravioli). It wasn't until 12:45 that our food arrived. Even for dinner this would have been slow, but for lunch it is completely unacceptable. While there obviously is some talent in the kitchen, this restaurant is poorly managed. No doubt, many others had discovered this long before me given that there was hardly anyone else here.
We had to ask for a wine menu and was informed there is not a wine menu. During the meal I asked for rolls or bread and was informed by the server they were out, but he could check to see if there might be some back in the kitchen. Throughout all of this, there was a max of four customers, one table with two and us. I declined the sevre's offer to go search for bread. We ordered a crab cake and it had a crabby odor. As seafood lovers know, this is not a good thing and makes me question the freshness of the ingredients. The only food highlight was tomato ravioli with cream sauce. I ordered a steak that was chewy and flavorless. I ended up eating no more than half of it and the server did not even ask about the meal. Fortunately, I was offered the last of the ravioli.
We received our check, I placed my card in the receipt tray and signed the receipt with the gratuity. So many minutes passed that I didn't realize the super re never came to get the tickets and ran my card. Not knowing this, I put away my card and we left to head to the theatre. As we nearing the end of the block, I hear someone saying "sir, sir." It's the server who rarely came by the table who said the credk card had not been run through. I give him my card, we walk back to the restaurant for him to run my card.
So I get back and ask if we were checking in for our OpenTable app. He doesn't even know what that is and asks if we use It to pay for meals. I gave the hostess my name and she checked us in.
$90.13 will get you an appetizer, one glass of wine and two entrees at 17. That's it, you get nothing else. No customer service or concern about the quality of food.
Do yourself a favor and pass on this restaurant. Unless of course you can't find an establishment in downtown Houston where you can get quality food, quality service, or even both for this amount or less.
We started at the bar across the hall inside The Sam but they would not come to the table and ask us for our drink order. The bar tender hollered out "if you want something you'll have to come to me." So... We walked over to the bar (because there wasn't another soul in the place) and said "we were looking for a place to relax (party of six) with my clients and I didn't want to be jumping up and down for drinks, could he please send someone over?" He said "no, there isn't any one". That wasn't the kind of place we were looking to gang out so we walked.
We walked across the hall inside the hotel, at *17 and sat there instead, we had dinner reservations there in a half hour anyway. We ordered apps and drinks, no one else in the dinning room. Quite place, nice little girl to serve us, food was good we each had a salad (I had the baby wedge, it was excellent - I mean really, really good) the rest of the group had various other soups (cream of mushroom soup was watered down) and salads along with our apps (most of it was good, not great, but good). We decided to eat some dogs and pizza at minute maid ballpark (or see what food was being served in the company suite).
We were on our way to a Stors game and staying at The Sam, and although stark in its appointments, the staff was exceptional and they had a comp shuttle ride to and from the ball park. It's only 8 or 9 blocks but it was very hot that afternoon so we took the shuttle - we tipped the guy $20 each way but to avoid the hassle of getting in and out of the park we would have been happy to pay double or triple - super nice driver and very easy in and put of the game.
By the way.... Have you ever been in Dallas and tried to get out after a Rangers game? Forget about it!
Before my visit, I reviewed yelp and it gave it horrible ratings. Nevertheless, I proceeded because I visited the restaurant in 2007 before it was remodeled and was impressed by the service, food and professionalism. This visit was horrible. It was my wife and I 4 year anniversary; we were the only one in the restaurant, its apparent that the restaurant staff, management and valet could use a course in proper etiquette for services in an upscale hotel environment. The presentation of the food was horrible as well as the taste, this was not a culinary chef. The valet driver didn't provide curbside service; I had to remind him to open the door for my wife. The music selection to set the mood and lighting were terrible. This is the Sam Houston hotel, no hotel guest ate in the restaurant, and were seen leaving or sat in the bar. I know this hotel reopened , surely you didn't have your service expectations considered. I was so embarrassed and disappointed. I hate to be harsh but allow me to provide examples: The waitress has never worked in a fine dining restaurant. The bread and butter plate was empty until I reminded the waitress; I ordered the medium well New York Strip with spinach and potatoes. My steak was well done and the spinach never arrived. I notified the waitress, she brought it as side dish, and the Chef must have wasted the entire salt bottle on it. The triple chocolate cheesecake was actually a New York cheesecake with chocolate icing on it. The cake tasted like it was made from my daughter's easy bake oven. The wedge iceberg lettuce was awful. I elected to taste and keep the food on the plate until the end of the date. I tried to keep the event humorous, as my wife suggested that this was an entertaining 4 year dinner and she sorry that it didn't go well. The valet attendant was rude and nonchalant. Please take this review as constructive criticism and provide your staff training in hotel services.
Good place for breakfast although menu is a little limited
The hotel is awesome, and the 17 restaurant is just as great. Treated very well. Large seelection of drinks from the bar. Prices were surprisingly reasonable also
For being the only ones at the restaurant it took forever to be served. The food was just mediocre. I'm sure its better for for breakfast as most hotels are.
17 is a good quiet place for a meeting when you need to discuss business. The food was decent, but the service left much to be desired. Our service didn't come check on our coffee or juice. We had to chase him down.
Umberto (Chef and relatively new to 17) brought a personal touch to our dinner.
His Braised beef dish was excellent with a his recipe for seasoning that
reminded me of the rubs (his is unique) from historic Memphis.
I would recommend 17 as a good place to converse with the Chef and make sure you get his
braised beef dish.
Very quiet, mostly because we were the only ones in the restaurant. I had a hamburger, which was slightly above average. Their chicken soup was great because it tasted like it was home-made. My guest had a roasted chicken plate which was much more food than he could handle. Service was very good because the waitress was very nice and personable.
Did not have a chef. Only a su chef prepared our dinner. Out of pasta, served plain quinoa, served popcorn costco like shrimp and I returned my meal. Asked for medium well steak and came back medium rare. Manager was very pleasant and adjusted our bill and offered to drive to and from us to our concert. She said they are in the middle of revamping the restaurant. Suggestion is close and reopen when you have it together!
Small dining room with a large tv, slow service, limited lunch menu, and a noisy floor buffer in the lobby didn't contribute to a very satisfying lunch.
Would have been a better experience if we were not the only table there on a Saturday night.
The room was great (except for the TVs--what's the point?). I liked the menu. The rosemary foccacia was nice. However, the tuna Nicoise that I ordered was missing both the green beans and the olives and was overcooked. This, after waiting about half an hour for the food when there was only one other table occupied in the restaurant. I asked the server about the green beans and he never addressed this omission. My companion's salad looked good but she said it was way overdressed (after she ordered dressing on the side). I really wanted to like 17 but will not be back.
The place smells, the service is slow, the food is bad...
It was quiet very nice wait staff and awesome food. I will most definitely be back.
I celebrated the Valentine's day 2014 at the 17 with my love, and it was veryyyy romantic and the place was nice. The Waiter Oliver was so kind and I fell comfortable when i found out he was fluent in French as well! It reminded of France! I will definitely go back!!!
After dining here in 2010 and falling in love with the food and service, I thought it would be a wonderful treat for Valentine's Day. Unfortunately the food didn't live up to my expectations (it was a fixed menu this night) and the service was truly disappointing. We sat there with empty drinks and a non-bussed table for most of the evening. The small group for dinner was intimate and there were rose petals on the tables, so it was very romantic at least. Not sure we'll be going back anytime soon...
Booked for Valentines day after looking at reviews, majority were favorable, and proximity of concert hall. Our request for seating was honored and the ambience is lovely, very romantic. The food however, was terrible. Soup, greasy; the salad, although tasty was terribly presented. My guy ordered the same salad; his was lovely, mine looked liked they had thrown the ingredients on the plate. Not much of the 4 course meal was any better, though the creme brûlée was very tasty. Overall very disappointing, a waste of money.
The Sam is extremely impressive and the Staff was top notch! We will definetly return soon! The best Filet I have ever had and my wife's Risotto was amazing. The personal touch of having a sedan take us to the Hobby Center and back was perfect. We won't stay anywhere else when we are downtown.
Quiet - the dining area had been divided and a buffet was set up. The Christmas buffet was strange - an odd mix of foods, no gravy for the mashed potatoes and only a single dressing for the salad. There was a quiche, oysters, and a very different kind of benedict - not the usual and certainly not what you would expect for Christmas dinner.
We tried 17 with family for brunch on Christmas Day. I love the look of the restaurant; it is an intimate dining room, with only about 10 tables. The holiday decorations were lovely. Brunch buffet was laid out in the adjacent room. It wasn't very crowded. The service was excellent, attentive and friendly. The food was overall pretty good-- but not outstanding. The offerings on the buffet were fewer than I would have hoped. I would go again to try it on a day when they are having a regular dinner service. I think the romantic ambiance would be great for a date.
Two of our table ordered risotto. When the entrees came out the waitress said, "The chef wanted me to tell you than we have ran out or rice so he made the risotto with barley'. No rice, no creamy texture, no warning. Given that we had an event to attend (and the other four members of our party had received their entrees) one of us excepted the bland barley salad and the other went without an entree. No wonder there was nobody else in the entire restaurant two Saturday before Xmas with the theaters right around the corner! This was our second, and last time, at the restaurant.
Food as always is just great, as the wine list.
Service was very slow. I appreciate being allowed time to linger over my plates, and a leisurely meal keeps you from getting too full, but the dishes arrived very slowly here. The evening at the restaurant was slow as well with very few customers, so I don't understand the drag.
The salad, appetizer and main courses were ok, but not fantastic. When we saw the apple pie on the dessert menu, we said,"Why not?" Although we would generally never order this at a restaurant. Unfortunately, although the presentation was fresh, the filling was anything but... Maybe the wrong variety of apples was used, or our fears that a canned filling was used are correct. Would certainly not order it again. Which won't be an issue.
This was our second time eating there. Both times unmemorable. I feel like they try so hard, but just miss the mark. The offerings are limited and although the complexity isn't ignored, it is poorly executed. The food is not bad, I just don't believe anyone will return. We were unable to use a deal because it was restaurant wee so we did that and then came back a second time with our deal. Service was good.
Very nice ambiance, and the waiter was very good. Good wine recommendation and a great table for a romantic dinner. Food was pretty good, but I would not call it excellent. Braised short rib was tender but just slightly dry. Salmon was good. Our dessert choice was questionable. Still not quite sure what it was...sort of cookie crossed with cake. Should have tried something different. The waiter knew us by name when we arrived which was nice...and my gf got a kick out of being called mrs blarney :) really enjoyed the waiters service, he was excellent. 50-50 on whether I would recommend with so many other great restaurants around.
This was the perfect restaurant for a party of one that wanted that extra special attention and they did provide.
Nice quiet place at lunch; easy to talk business
We went there for HRW dinner prior to attending a show at the Hobby Center. Our server, Rodolfo, was excellent and recommended a delicious bottle of wine to accompany our table's dinner selections. The food was quite tasty and we all ordered different items to sample. I was thoroughly pleased with both the amount of food and the beautiful plate presentation.
More props to Rodolfo: He must have heard us chatting about our recent engagement and brought us over glasses of champagne to celebrate - how sweet is that??? He also informed us that there was a complimentary shuttle from the hotel to the Hobby Center that we could use in order to avoid dealing with finding parking over there. Bottom line - food and service are great at 17!
Amazing food. The chilled curried squash soup was one of the best things I have eaten this year. Miss the old dining room- feels like a hotel coffee bar now. What gives with the tacky flat screen TVs with static images of generic wine barrels framed as 'art'. Chef should find a better venue and service to match the level of the amazing cooking.
This restaurant is very conveniently located for dinner before seeing a show or concert in the theatre district. We came for Restaurant Weeks and the food was delicious and the service impeccable. I would consider this restaurant classy without being stuffy or uptight. It's a fairly small place which keeps the noise down. As a bonus, we found out when we got there that the hotel in which the restaurant is located has a shuttle that will take hotel guests or diners to the theatre and back after the show.
17 was a disappiontment. The portion sizes were unacceptable with the exception of the grilled peach salad. The soup was about 3 oz. The semifreddo was about 1 oz. The tile fish entree consisted of 6 bites (maybe 4 oz). The food lacked taste though the base ingredients seemed okay. The coffee was very good. The waitress was sweet but did not know much about the foods being served. The floor laminant had warped, so the floor surface was uneven and unstable which felt dingy.
Chose to go here during Houston Restaurant Weeks, because I've had decent brunch here and I was interested to taste dinner. The 1st course was good all around and the desserts were extremely small, but VERY good. We were all happy with those courses, but the entrees left us all wanting more. My fish was slightly overcooked and dry, with no sauce and very salty. The lamb two other people had was also overly salted and the New York Strip another had wasn't seasoned well. It was the disappointment of the evening. We were all on the fence about going to dine here again.
On the plus side, the service is excellent, the wine list is really expansive and the atmosphere is relaxing.
Delicious appetizer and dessert, entree as a bit tough.
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at 17. We selected the fixed menu for Houston's Restaurant week at 17. Service and food were outstanding.
Not only was the food delicious and the presentation beautiful, but we were treated royally. We met the chef, who came by the table to be certain that we were happy with our meal.
We will be back, and soon!
Short ribs were delicious and the brussels sprouts were the best I'd ever had. My husband enjoyed his rack of lamb and lobster bisque soup. Save room for dessert - we highly recommend the creme brulee trio!
Went there with old friend from DC. Service and food were outstanding The space was quiet enough for a good long visit. We were never rushed and enjoyed the evening immensely. Will go back often.