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14 Houston Restaurants Made for Special Occasions

As the city embraces a return to gathering together safely, one thing is clear: Houstonians are ready to dine out and celebrate, making up for everything they missed in the last year and a half and then some. With a combination of food, atmosphere, and service, great restaurants have the power to make memorable moments into memories that last a lifetime. Luckily for residents of the Bayou City, restaurants are excited to welcome diners back with greater capacity and revamped menus, with many offering specials and hosting events to give diners the much-needed hospitality and expertly prepared meals they’ve been missing. Whether it’s a brunch meetup or a late-night dinner, from private first dates to family-sized major wedding anniversaries, work promotions to closing on a new house, these restaurants provide a variety of options for special occasions, no matter what they might be.

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OpenTable
11 Restaurants
Updated July 15, 2021
Restaurants:Batanga, Tourão, a'Bouzy
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:Tapas / Small Plates, Brazilian, Contemporary French / American
Neighborhoods:Downtown, Midtown / Montrose, River Oaks
A photo of Batanga restaurant

Batanga

$$$$
Tapas / Small Plates
Downtown
3.9
1391 reviews
This one-time 1880s saloon near Market Square Park retains its draw as a place to eat, drink, and be merry, with the added appeal of tapas, an exciting cocktail menu, and downtown’s largest outdoor patio. Batanga recently revamped its menu, adding dishes such as smoked beer can chicken arepas to complement classics like ahi tuna nachos and paella. On Friday and Saturday nights, the restaurant comes alive with people celebrating to the sounds of live Latin music in the form of samba, bossa nova, salsa, and merengue, among others.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Tourão restaurant

Tourão

$$$$
Brazilian
Midtown / Montrose
4.7
505 reviews
Group celebrations are the name of the game at family-owned Tourão, a Brazilian churrascaria serving up choice cuts of meat in the traditional rodizio style. Servers, known as gauchos, appear at the table throughout the meal with skewers of prime beef, pork, lamb, shrimp, and poultry, a selection guaranteed to satisfy any carnivore’s appetite. There’s nothing quite like an all-you-can-eat meat feast to mark an occasion. Head in on a Friday or Saturday night for live Brazilian bossa nova to accompany the meal.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of a'Bouzy restaurant

a'Bouzy

$$$$
Contemporary French / American
River Oaks
4.7
1964 reviews
Known for its affordable and extensive Champagne offerings, a’Bouzy was created with celebratory meals as its defining feature. In addition to the more than 250 bottles of bubbles and a hefty wine list of around 1,000 labels, the French-inspired lunch, brunch, and dinner menus encourage sharing for the table and lingering to enjoy the experience.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Brenner's Steakhouse on the Bayou restaurant

Brenner's Steakhouse on the Bayou

$$$$
Steakhouse
River Oaks
4.7
5117 reviews
After more than seven decades of operation, this steak and seafood mainstay remains a go-to for diners because of its top notch service, quality sourcing, and romantic atmosphere. With its location on Buffalo Bayou, it feels like a hidden retreat inside the city, made better with signature entrees such as blackened pork chop, Gulf red snapper, and a large variety of steak cuts and sizes.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of BORI restaurant

BORI

$$$$
Korean
Spring Branch
4.8
580 reviews
Family-style group dining is a key feature at chef Steve Won Heo’s Korean steakhouse, where each table includes a small grill for diners to cook thinly sliced cuts of meat to taste. With a focus on quality and style, the menu includes specialty dry‐aged steaks, marinated boneless short rib, and even A5 Wagyu from Japan. Extensive happy hour specials include a variety of dishes, such as seafood pancakes, bibimbap, and kimchi fried rice, in addition to a selection of soju and Korean wine.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Upper Kirby Bistro restaurant

Upper Kirby Bistro

$$$$
Contemporary American
Upper Kirby / Shepherd Corridor
4.4
541 reviews
Featuring a menu that takes inspiration from the African diaspora, Upper Kirby offers soul food with Creole, Caribbean, and African American influences. The wood-fired oven churns out everything from coconut curry wings to Creole salmon and smoked turkey collard greens. Weekend brunch-only dishes such as oxtails and grits, crab cake benedict, and the stuffed blueberry waffle make this a favorite destination for groups on the weekends.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of La Lucha restaurant

La Lucha

$$$$
Seafood
Heights / Washington
4.8
1019 reviews
Some restaurants hold a significant space for the memories they create, and that was the inspiration behind chef Ford Fry’s restaurant, La Lucha. Inspired by a long-closed childhood favorite known for fried chicken and big fried seafood platters eaten with family, Fry’s menu offers a modern take on Gulf Coast classics, all best when shared. It’s the perfect spot to create new memories during special occasions.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of 1751 Sea and Bar restaurant

1751 Sea and Bar

$$$$
Seafood
Heights / Washington
4.5
912 reviews
Nothing says “celebration” like a seafood tower, and the options at 1751 Sea and Bar are second to none. In addition to classics such as crab legs and shrimp, the menu’s premium oysters and caviar service are available for truly special splurge-worthy moments, along with items such as cured salmon, seared snapper, and scallops.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Brennan's of Houston restaurant

Brennan's of Houston

$$$$
Creole / Cajun / Southern
Midtown / Montrose
4.8
3660 reviews
Since its opening in 1967, Brennan’s has been a go-to for marking milestones over a table filled with Gulf Coast specialties in a fine dining setting. From Mardi Gras parties to marriage proposals, birthdays to a long martini lunch with friends, the attentive service, elegant environment, and consistently excellent Creole fare can make any meal feel celebratory.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Rainbow Lodge restaurant

Rainbow Lodge

$$$$
American
Heights / Washington
4.8
4466 reviews
Along the banks of the White Oak bayou, a century-old log cabin is home to one of the city’s favorite fine dining restaurants. Given the cabin’s historic origins as a hunting lodge, wild game plays a central role in the restaurant’s menu, alongside the beloved smoked duck gumbo and more traditional surf and turf. Check in for monthly wine dinners and rotating Sunday suppers, which feature specials such as chicken fried steak. On nice summer days, the large outdoor patio makes a lovely spot to enjoy live music on Friday nights beneath the great big Texas sky.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of MAD restaurant

MAD

$$$$
Unspecified
River Oaks
4.7
1875 reviews
This high-energy, Spanish-influenced restaurant serves as an homage to Madrid and its nightlife, creating an atmosphere that makes diners feel like guests in a luxurious funhouse. MAD’s modern menu includes lots of impeccably composed plates that aren’t always what they seem, like the MAD tomato, which is actually a strawberry-gazpacho mousse creation with pesto. Other standouts include dishes such as the Segovian-style suckling pig empanadillas, Ibérico de Bellota skirt steak, and grilled lobster tail with crispy angel hair pasta. Tables in the indoor dining room are a hot commodity, as the striking interior presents a riot of color, with neon lights, custom sculptures, and an original Picasso. It all comes together for a thoroughly fun atmosphere for celebrations.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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