We invite you to enjoy short-lived cool fronts and brave the heat — with some fans and cold drinks, of course — at some of this city’s favorite outdoor restaurant lounges.
Among some of the newcomers:
HoustonChronicle.com: How did H-E-B end up with ‘best statewide barbecue’? (podcast)
Lotti Dotti, 601 Richmond: recently debuted at the former Brooklyn Athletic Club address, keeping both of that establishment’s vast patio space for summer imbibers. It’s helmed by famed local chef Adam Dorris, who boasts an extensive executive-chef resume in Houston, including posts at now-defunct Pax Americana, as well as the Heights’ Revival Market. Drinks are served at two different bars: one at the expansive back patio, which is outfitted with a larger awning to provide shade for patrons. The other is at the front patio, where a climate-controlled area comfortably seats 20 to 30 people. As for food, Lotti Dotti features a tightly edited list of offerings: five bar snacks and five main plates along with a selection of house-made charcuterie.
B.B. Lemon (Montrose), 4319 Montrose Blvd.: Sit under greenery and lemons at the new B.B. Lemon outpost in Houston, which just opened in the former Pax Americana space. The selfie-perfect patio offers the same mostly New American dishes as its Washington Avenue counterpart, with a few international dishes, including shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, falafel and Cajun chicken. Think chef-driven comfort food, especially on the late-night menu, which offers Wagyu hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches and Frito pie.
The Union Kitchen, 9955 Barker Cypress: Over in the suburbs, this sixth outpost of the Houston-based small chain just opened featuring a 2,000-square-foot patio that accommodates 130 diners ( in addition to the 200-seat interior), who can enjoy of a view of the 300-acre lake while they dine. The bar area, decked out with TVs for game days, opens up to the patio area for lovely vistas, whether it’s the waterfront deck or the game.
The Original Ninfa’s Uptown Houston, 1700 Post Oak: The newest location of the legendary Original Ninfa’s features three covered patio areas, which total nearly 2,000 square feet and seats 100 guests. The front patio on San Felipe Street is the best place to cool off with the signature Ninfarita. (Beverage Consultant Linda Salinas also has some new cocktails in the works that will debut later this summer.) You may want to call ahead, since the new outpost has welcomed large crowds since it officially opened June 10.