As part of a multi-million dollar expansion, Four Seasons Hotel Houston opened up Bayou & Bottle, a bar and restaurant with celebrity Chef Richard Sandoval at the helm. Sandoval has over 40 restaurants all over the world including Dubai, Mexico City and Denver, but this is his first restaurant in Texas.
The Four Seasons Hotel Houston has been busy because along with Bayou & Bottle, it also debuted a Topgolf Swing Suite which is the first of its kind anywhere in the nation. The suite features two simulator bays that can be rented hourly and hold up to 15 people. There are comfortable lounge chairs, large TVs and golfers can enjoy food and drinks from both the bar and restaurant.
The décor in both areas is beautiful and very stately. There is a lot of dark colors and leather, but it is broken up with pops of color and beautiful white marble that flows throughout. The Four Seasons went all out on the expansion to make guests feel special and paid attention to even the smallest of details; check out the whisky and bourbon lockers in the back. Even the toilet paper is unique – it is definitely something you won’t see anywhere else. Also, Bayou & Bottle boasts the longest bar in Houston, so there is plenty of room to get comfortable and have a drink.
During my visit, I tried the Lobster Tacos which had a great creamy flavor, but were small enough that you didn’t feel like you were eating too much. Also, I tried the Flora & Fauna from the Signature Cocktail menu and although it is a new addition for spring/summer – it is already a menu favorite.
I sat down with Chef Richard Sandoval to talk about his restaurant and why it took him so long to get to Texas.
What brought you to Houston?
The same owners for the Houston Four Seasons Hotel own the one in Punta Mita, Mexico and I have a restaurant there. This opportunity came up and they approached me. We had a working relationship, so it made sense.
You have restaurants everywhere – why’d it take you so long to get to Texas?
I have been approached before to open restaurants in Dallas and Houston, but most of my restaurants are in the north. I didn’t have the structure here to open one, but opening in a hotel they have the structure in place already. Now that I am here I love it and am looking forward to expanding – I love Dallas and I have been coming to Houston since I was a kid.
Do you have a menu staple across all of your restaurants?
The common denominator is Latin flavors and ingredients. I am from Mexico so those flavors are my signature. None of my menus have the same dishes, but they all have the same influence. The Bayou & Bottle menu probably has the least amount of Latin dishes on the menu. Houston has a huge Latin community with some very well-known Latin chefs who do very well and I felt that the last thing Houston needed was another Latin restaurant. I wanted to go in a different direction, but you still get a taste of what I do with several dishes on the menu like the Lobster Tacos, Guacamole with tortillas and ribeye bites and the Oxtail has cilantro on top for flavor.
You have restaurants, cookbooks and TV shows – what do you enjoy doing the most?
The cooking part, for sure – I am more of a behind the scenes guy and I do a lot under the radar. I enjoy being in the background cooking and creating food more than anything.