Eleven XI, 607 W. Gray, 713.529.5881; elevenxihouston.com
It appears the wish of chef Kevin Bryant, GM Joe Welborn and bar manager Joe Hausner for a restaurant of their own has been granted. Eleven XI is named after the wishing hour —when 11:11 pops up on your clock, it’s said, close your eyes and make a wish. Their guardian angels likely guided them to this 1940s-era house in the Montrose, once home to Bibas One’s A Meal. The trio revamped the two-story space alpha-male style with white tablecloth service inside and a soon-to-be completed covered patio with Wi-FI, TV and picnic tables with scooped-out trenches to hold anything from chilled rosé to shellfish on ice. Bryant — a former pastry chef who worked at Tony’s before migrating to the savory side — focuses here on what he describes as “southern coastal cuisine,” with oysters, flounder, crab and more seafood dotting his menu. Amidst a gastropub vibe, you’ll find apps such as beef tartar ($13), braised pork shank tossed in barbecue sauce ($11) and grilled oysters ($11), with entrees ranging from citrus-brined wild game hen ($23) and pan-seared halibut cheeks ($23) to filet mignon ($19 to $34). Attention is paid to the cocktail program, too. And for wine drinkers curious about a new vintage, they’ll graciously open any bottle on the list if you’ll commit to quaffing two glasses.
IMAGE: Beef tartare. Photo by Michael Paulsen.