Whether you want to expand your restaurant repertoire or are just looking for your next best meal, we’ve done the hard work of wining and dining at Houston’s Lucienne to sniff out the best of the best on the seasonal summer menu. What to eat, drink and even where to sit – we’ve got you covered.
Located inside Hotel Alessandra in downtown Houston, Lucienne is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant with Executive Chef Jose Hernandez at the helm. Hernandez has cooked in notable restaurants in New York, Mexico City and, most recently, Radio Milano in Hotel Sorella. The ambiance of the restaurant is luxurious, the food is delicious and the whole experience will have you feeling like you are living your best life.
Why not begin your dining experience with an appetizer of the liquid kind at Bardot. Bardot is the bar located on the second floor of Hotel Alessandra; where the specialty is hand-crafted cocktails. Try the bar’s signature, drink aptly named Alessandra, it is light but tasty and won’t fill you up for the meal to come. Don’t worry if cocktails aren’t your thing, Bardot also has an extensive wine and spirits list – there is something for everyone.
2. Made from Scratch
If you love the smell of fresh baked bread then you’ll love the first taste of warm bread and butter that will start off your dining experience at Lucienne. Bread isn’t the only thing made inhouse, Chef Hernandez prides himself on having a scratch made kitchen and utilizing only fresh ingredients for each item on the menu. Luckily for us, it is the diners that benefit from the extra attention paid to each dish.
“Our goal is to have as much as we can made in-house,” said Hernandez. “We make our own bread, our own sauces and buy as much meat and seafood as locally as we can. Many of the seasonal microgreens and vegetables are purchased from local farmers, because we want to have the freshest ingredients possible.”
Brunch with your besties just got a whole lot better. Dining at Lucienne in the evening is all about the low lights and romance, but during the day the restaurant basks in natural light. Large windows transform the dining experience making everything and everyone Instagram-ready.
But brunch isn’t just about photos, so let’s talk about crepes – specifically the three kinds of crepes that can be found on the brunch menu. Trust me when I say that these crepes (of course made from scratch) will transform what you think a good crepe should taste like. Light, airy and topped with just the right amount of goodness – they are the perfect meal. If a sweet and carby French toast is more your style then you must order the Crème Brulée Custard French Toast. Fluffy but firm brioche, cooked with a light coating of egg and topped with cream and fruit; if it sounds like the perfect brunch meal, that’s because it is.
4. La Salle Privée
La Salle Privée (the private salon) is an intimate room located off the main dining room with seating for 10. Complete with original art, its own Wi-Fi and even a large TV, this room is perfect for everything from a romantic dinner to a business meeting. The décor, handpicked by famed Houston design firm Rottet Studio, completes the overall luxurious feel that will make even the most discerning diner feel extra special. All you have to do to make this room yours is call the restaurant to make a reservation.
If you are saving room for anything, make it the dessert at Lucienne. Chef Hernandez began his career as a pastry chef working alongside some of the most notable in the business, and his love for the sweeter side of things still shows. The Cherry dessert is a chocolate marvel where a utensil is needed to crack into the heart of it, but once you do there is no turning back from the chocolate mousse and cherry compote. The Thin Apple Tart is just what it sounds like, thin layers of apple atop thin layers of pastry. The whole thing is crowned with French Vanilla ice cream and Calvados sauce, making it an upscale throwback to the apple tarts of your youth.
Cover: Lucienne’s Glazed Pork Belly. Photo Duc Hoang
Gabi De la Rosa lives in Houston with her husband and three children. You can usually find her at a great local restaurant or out exploring HTX with her family. Visit her on Instagram @gabioftheroses_htx