With ample patio space, delicious fare and a wine list to swoon over, The Tasting Room at Houston’s CityCentre proves more than a haute spot to people watch.
Located on the western edge of the shopping haven CityCentre sits the sprawling wine bar, The Tasting Room. Boasting multiple sommeliers on staff, the boozy establishment has an extensive wine list, with a coveted stock of more than 150 bottles – many from around the world.
Not Just For Happy Hour
But, you’d be wise to know The Tasting Room isn’t just a happy hour spot. It’s also a gourmet delight with dishes like Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza, Southern-style brunch options like Chicken and Waffles, and a bevy of other commendable dishes. They’re also branching out, with an artisanal in-house market for locals to grab items like tampandas and hard-to-find pastas, along with, of course, a lovely bottle of wine.
Abundant Space and Dapper Interior
With more patrons opting to put their sourdoughs to rest, Houstonians are beginning to look for much finer sustenance. And where better than from the foodie heavyweights behind Lasco Enterprises? (Yes, Max’s Wine Dive and The Boiler House are culinary siblings to The Tasting Room.)
The 11,000 square foot space of The Tasting Room boasts a sleek and modernistic interior, made cozy with deep wood tones, cooling grays, and of course the comforting sight of shelves and shelves of fine wine. Outside, the patio wraps around from the western edge of CityCentre allowing plenty of room to pop your corks, while noshing on roasted Brussels sprouts in a balsamic glaze.
Wood-fire Pizzas, Truffle Mac’N Cheese, Swoon-worthy Wine and More
With a wine list that reads like the latest paperback romance, with full body reds to intense and complex chardonnays, not to be outdone by the rich and powerful grenanche, the somms behind the selection have done well.
Beauties like the smooth and light-bodied Albert Bichot Les Charmes Morgon from France, or the spice and robust flavor of the Orin Swift Papillon Cabernet Sauvignon, from Napa Valley are fabulous bottles to share. And paired with the Tagliatelle and Meatballs (served in basil, marinara and with a healthy dose of grana padano), or the Truffle Mac’N Cheese, makes for a decadent evening.
If you’re craving pizza it’s time to give delivery a rest. Sit down and dine alfresco with their Piccanti Pizza topped with in-house mozzarella and pepperoni, chile flakes, a spicy honey, and tomato sauce with a glass of the Le Parisien Syrah.
Jerry Lasco, the founder and CEO of The Tasting Room, is an Air Force veteran who’s kept his ties to the military strong, promoting nonprofits with a focus on former service members. And what better way to show your own support than by ordering the double-stacked Patriot Burger topped with aioli, Swiss, Cheddar, a divine smoked tomato jam, and spicy jalapeno, with a side of with truffle fries. Proceeds benefit Combined Arms, an organization that helps Veterans transition from military service to civilian life.
Favorites at The Tasting Room, continue to be the Prosciutto & Arugula Pizza with a basil pesto in a bianca sauce, along with other standouts like Max’s Famous Southern Fried Chicken with jalapeno cheddar grits on Texas Toast. (Only available during brunch and by request.) Then there’s the Roasted Chicken Amalfitano with Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes, topped with a mouth-watering lemon jus. Not to mention the brunch-only Creme Brulee French Toast. If you’ve got room in those sweatpants the White Chocolate Bread Pudding with dulce de leche ice cream is also a must-try.
Brunch, Happy Hour & Events
Brunch is particularly high-spirited, expect live music on select weekends and daily specials. The Tasting Room has an extended Happy Hour every week day from open until 6:30 pm. And, be on the lookout for some potential fun events planned like crawfish boils and live entertainment, usually found on their Facebook or Instagram.
Enjoy Mother’s Day Brunch Sat, May 8 or Sun, May 9 at The Tasting Room
Cover photo courtesy Becca Wright Multimedia
Emily Bond is a writer and editor based in Houston, TX. She is also the Co-Director of the non-profit Healing Species of Texas, which uses rescue dogs to teach a character education program to children.