- October 25, 2011
Keys to the Door: Managing partner Oscar Aguilar and partner Marta Vina; chef Emilio Chavez.
What’s Cooking: Sometimes you’d rather graze through a meal, feasting on a delectable array of small bites, rather than commit to a full entree. When that mood hits, think tapas. Doing as they do in Spain (Vina was born there, as were Aguilar’s parents), Oscar Aguilar, who also owns Decco Café in the Decorative Center Houston, and partner Marta Vina are bringing that concept to a locale off Washington Avenue. Convivio — which is Spanish for “get together,” as emblazoned on the back of the company tees — invites diners to take a seat at one of three long, rough-hewn wooden communal tables (in the spirit of those Spanish zinc-topped tapas bars) and commune with neighbors and strangers alike. Of course, there are also multiple tables for two or four you can have all to yourself, complete with a twig-like stand to hang your bag. Study the daily changing menu and munch on Spanish-inspired bites such as croquetas de gambas with a light aioli foam ($12 for a half-dozen filo-wrapped shrimp); traditional tortilla de patatas ($6) made with Vidalia onions ($6); croquetas de chorizo ($7); and the famed jamon iberico, aka the world’s finest, priciest ham, simply sliced and served ($22). The wine list, cleverly printed on a magnum wine bottle, includes well-chosen selections from Spain, Argentina and the States. Convivio even promises a kitchen open till 2 am, Thursday through Saturday. 700 S. Durham, 832.360.1750; conviviohouston.com.
Image: Photo by Deborah Smail.