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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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ARA restaurant at Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston

4.1
46 reviews
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$30 and under
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Global, International
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Fit for Foodies
Featuring hardwood floors, chocolate-brown leather booths with red bolster pillows and a menu highlighting global cuisine, ARA restaurant is situated within the Royal Sonesta Hotel Houston. ARA restaurant offers an exceptional dining experience in the heart of the city's vibrant Uptown District.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Global, International, International
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Hours of operation
Breakfast: Daily: 6:30am - 10:30am
Lunch: Daily: 11:00am - 2:00pm
Dinner: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(713) 627-7600
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Peter Laufer
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Private party facilities
Chef Peter Laufer oversees TableOne, our Chef's Table within the kitchen of the Royal Sonesta Houston. Groups from 6 to 10 can enjoy the live action of the kitchen while the Chef's prepares a special menu created just for your occassion. Reservations required and a special consultation with the Chef before preparing this dinner.
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Private party contact
Peter Laufer: (713) 627-7600
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Between San Felipe & Westheimer
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Parking details
Self parking available in our attached garage. Valet parking available as well.
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Chef's Table, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room

Specials

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Mon - Thu 5:30PM - 7:30PM

What 46 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on all time ratings
4.1
food
4.2
service
4.0
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Quiet
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on February 23, 2018

Convenient and high quality dining. Limited menu, but enough to please everyone in my group of 6. What they do, they do well.

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2.0Dined on February 14, 2018

My fiancé and I had such a wonderful time last year, we decided to experience it again. Next year we will definitely not return to the ARA for our Anniversary and Valentine’s Day Celebration. The service was subpar, the food, though delicious, was lukewarm—at best. We waited upwards of 10 minutes for refills and our waitress was barely pleasant.

Very disappointed in the service, the food and the entire experience.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

The hostess and waiter were really friendly. The table was decorated with rose petals and hearts. Music and lighting was low, creating a romantic atmosphere. The starter bread was warm and delicious. Food came in a large quantity and was well cooked. The wine list is quite pricy though.

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5.0Dined on December 24, 2017

The place was amazing and the feel was so friendly.....the staff made you feel welcome and wanted..the chef personal check with you to make sure your food was how you wanted..the waiter and the chef went way beyond there job duties to make you at home...I loved it

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4.0Dined on March 21, 2017

I always enjoy going to ARA. They use local ingredients as much as possible and there are some vegetarian options as well. The mushroom broth with noodles is really delicious. The menu changes seasonally and depending on availability.

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3.0Dined on March 1, 2017

Dining atmosphere very elegant. Grilled asparagus very thin but tender. Very pricey for an average tasting steak! Waiter was not very attentive as to who ordered what.

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4.0Dined on December 16, 2016

A very pleasant surprise. Waitstaff is very knowledgeable & helpful.

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4.0Dined on December 8, 2016

The food was good and the service was very good. A nice place to eat, nothing very special however. If you are a guest in the hotel a good place for a good meal.

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5.0Dined on December 5, 2016

We ate on a Monday night, so it was not crowded, but we certainly were not the only guests. Our server was great and attentive. Food was really good. Tenderloin steak very good.

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4.0Dined on November 7, 2016

Really nice meal. Enjoyed the vegetarian selection (Mushroom with noodles in miso broth). Enjoyed the tomato and mozzarella salad as well. The mozzarella was soft and really delicious! Fairly attentive staff as well.

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5.0Dined on October 11, 2016

The waiter was professional, knowledgeable. Overall excellent service

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5.0Dined on September 10, 2016

Took the wife for our anniversary and I couldn't have been happier. Lobster/crab cake was wonderful and the lobster/crab/scallop bisque was as well. She had the Bryan farm chicken and I had the Beef tenderloin with a lobster tail. Our meals were cook perfectly and my beef was the best I've EVER had at a restaurant. I've been to Vic and Anthony's, Pappas Steak house, Perry's etc and the steak at ARA is the best. It was so good I didn't use the Bernaise at all and even asked the waiter what spice they used and the chef made an appearance and talked with me and my wife about the meats they use and how they are prepared. Two bottles of wine later dessert was excellent. We had lava cake with REAL dark chocolate center and handmade Ice cream with berries. Writing this review has made my mouth water and wish for another occasion to book a reservation.

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5.0Dined on April 10, 2016

Enjoyed the food. Elegantly plated and great taste. Service is superb.

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5.0Dined on March 5, 2016

This was our 3rd visit and it has always been excellent! The lamb was perfect and the risotto with vegetables were the perfect compliment. The duck and hand made pasta was wonderful as well. Each time we have gone, we try a new combination of flavors with the homemade ice cream and are always happy we did! I have recommended this place to several people and have gotten great feedback that everyone enjoyed it.

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4.0Dined on February 25, 2016

The food was good but the service was very very slow. Slow to get drinks and refills and the kitchen was slow to get the food out. For the price, it was disappointing.

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5.0Dined on February 1, 2016

We booked a group dinner at the ARA restaurant, I contacted the ARA in advance to have a sent menu for our party. The menu was fantastic even included our company logo. The food was fantastic and the service exceptional. I highly encourage you to enjoy the friendly-outgoing service and exceptional food.
Very satisfied customer.

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3.0Dined on December 25, 2015

the menu on web site was not available on the day. food was nothing special.

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2.0Dined on August 2, 2015

Long wait before they sit us. The bread was chewy from the microwave. I asked the waitress if the sauce in the Tandoor Cauliflower (v) 16$ (Coconut Rice, Saffron Mint Yogur, Vindaloo) could be done vegan and she said no problem, we can do that. Instead the just removed the sauce: they brought me three small pieces of steamed cauliflower and the coconut rice and they still charged me 16$.

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4.0Dined on July 27, 2015

Had the Texas Grilled Cheese, although I am a native Texan, I had never heard of or seen one of these. Perhaps it is a chef invention. Tasty. For such a grandiose hotel I expected to be wowed by this restaurant's design and was not. Lots of competition in the city, so no wonder we had a nice quiet lunch!

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4.0Dined on July 16, 2015

We all enjoyed our dinners. All perfectly prepared and served beautifully! Our waiter was attentive without being overbearing and the dining room is actually quiet enough to hold conversation! Our evening would have been perfection except for the valet who was having a conversation with his buddy instead of bringing our car up. We finally started walking to get it ourselves! You can self park and so think next time we will do just that.

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4.0Dined on May 23, 2015

Nice restaurant with a very good selection of entrees and side dishes. I had the Bryan chicken which was very tender and juicy accompanied by gnocchi and asparagus. My wife had the lamb chops that were grilled perfectly with a tasty reduction sauce with grilled vegetables and mushroom risotto. Had the entire restaurant to ourselves since the hotel had a wedding going on so received superior service and was very romantic and quiet.

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5.0Dined on May 16, 2015

This restaurant had a great menu with great selections. I truly enjoyed my meal!

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5.0Dined on April 23, 2015

The dinner at Ara was absolutely amazing!
The service was exquisite thanks to Marty and the food was delicious thanks to Peter Laufer, everything from yummy Signature Tortilla Soup and Bryan Farm Chicken Breast to mouthwatering House made Ice Cream & Sorbets was so tasteful, that we are going to come back and try other items from the menu
Of course, our special compliments are left to 16 oz. 100% Black Angus Rib Eye Steak Prime, from now on the best steak in Houston for us.
Every dish was served in such a beautiful manner, that even the Baked potato as a side was begging for a picture.
We definitely recommend this restaurant for the quiet dinner for special occasion or simple night out during the week.
They also validate your parking ticket, which leaves even better impression after all.

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5.0Dined on March 7, 2015

It was one the best meals we have had in a long time. My wife said that she had the best meal in the last five years.

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5.0Dined on February 19, 2015

Pleasant environment to sit and enjoy a glass of wine before you order your meal. Servers are attentive, but not overbearing. Food was excellent, as was the wine. Great place for a special occasion or a romantic evening.

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2.0Dined on February 18, 2015

Hopefully this is not the norm but quality of service was similar to a struggling chain restaurant. This doesn't bother me at restaurants that charge less for their food. For ARA, this should be completely unacceptable quality of service. No menus ready for reserved tables and while the wait staff are really nice people, I found the front to be generally highly inattentive. The food was quite good so I'm hoping this was an off night for the service. It looked like they had a conference so the volume might have been a bit overwhelming. However, it is hard to justify going to places at this price point if you don't get quality service along with it regardless of the situation.

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2.0Dined on February 5, 2015

So this place isn't quite working. I ordered a cauliflower salad. Everything in it was really good, except the cauliflower, which was undercooked and too hard. I also ordered the salmon with the tarmarind sauce which sounded interesting. It wasn't bad but it sat on some really bland "curried" lentils and watery spinach, which kind of ruined it. As you can see from these dishes, they're trying to do something interesting, but they just aren't pulling it off. I would say the service was attentive, and I regret I didn't pick up on the waiter's suggestion to go for the steak. Perhaps that would have worked out better.

If you're not staying at Royal Sonesta, I wouldn't go out of my way to eat at this restaurant. And don't pay extra for the "breakfast included" packages. The breakfast is actually much worse than the dinner.

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4.0Dined on January 9, 2015

This place recently changed their menu and name to ARA. It was not crowded on Friday night which was a nice change and led to a relaxing dinner. Food was very good, although not out of this world good. We had a restaurant.com certificate we used. Would go back again with the certificate, questionable without.

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5.0Dined on December 3, 2014

A buddy of mine was in town, and we choose Ara for dinner. The Galleria location was a big plus, and it is a great spot to enjoy a nice meal and still be able to have a conversation. The menu selection has broad appeal, but we went with steaks. The steaks were cooked to perfection!!

Even if you are not staying at Royal Sonesta, this is a nice restaurant gem to enjoy a great meal. I often eat business lunches here because of the diverse offering and quiet atmosphere.

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2.0Dined on November 16, 2014

Based on some of the reviews I selected this as a brunch location thinking it was something special. I was very disappointed to simply find a rather mundane menu and atmosphere. This is a rather typical, unimaginative hotel restaurant with stark lighting. We left after a mimosa and a review of the menu to have brunch elsewhere so I can’t comment on the quality of the food but based on the limited menu choices I wouldn't expect anything special. At noon on Sunday the place was practically empty. Only 4 tables were occupied. I would recommend this place only if you're staying at the hotel and want the convenience of an in-house restaurant.

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4.0Dined on November 13, 2014

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5.0Dined on October 18, 2014

An outstanding restaurant living up to the Royal Sonesta heritage. Our food was carefully crafted with a wonderful blend of flavors. The ribeye was an outstanding cut, subtly seasoned to enhance the natural flavor and cooked to perfection. Stripped bass with fennel sauce was fabulous!

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5.0Dined on September 3, 2014

Home made ice cream (without all the chemical additives) with unique flavors, amazing! The butternut ginger ice cream was fabulous. Food was excellent and highly recommended, the steaks so tender and juicy. Will go again.

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5.0Dined on August 1, 2014

My mother and I came here for Houston Restaurant Weeks and we loved it. Out waiter was great and the food was awesome as well. We went during lunch time and there wasn't many people there but it was still nice. Warning: it's cost $8 to park in the parking-garage but the ARA validates

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4.0Dined on May 17, 2014

I really enjoyed the restaurant food it was great! Even had a chance to meet one of the Chefs! :)

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5.0Dined on December 24, 2013

It was Christmas Eve so it was quite quiet but the service & food was very good. The Chilean Sea Bass was amazing & it was the original Patagonia tooth fish! I truly enjoyed it!

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5.0Dined on November 6, 2013

lobster and grapefruit appetizer foie gras tamale,scottish salmon with lentils weinerschnitzel and finally apple galette were all perfectly prepared and presented

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2013

Had a great Valentine's day here. Special occasion had a limited menu, but very good. Wonderful live piano player. Coordinated in advance with the friendly hotel concierge who helped ensure that the flowers bought online made it to our table before we arrived. All went very smoothly.

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5.0Dined on July 16, 2012

I had dinner when it changed to Royal Sonesta, great service, great food,

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2.0Dined on April 8, 2012

The food was definately below average. It was a huge disappointment. I would not recommend this restaurant at all.

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