Helen Greek Food and Wine

Every major city U.S. city has some sort of Greek food representation. A Greek diner, perhaps. Gyro shops, certainly. And maybe an old fashioned mom-and-pop restaurant, hopefully.

Helen Greek Food and Wine to open July 22

Posted on July 10, 2015 | By Greg Morago in blog.chron.com (photo: chron.com)

helen foodwinrlogo

But few big cities, Houston included, can boast a modern Greek restaurant with a formidable Greek wine list. That’s about to change. Come July 22 Houston will boast a modern Greek taverna with the second largest all-Greek wine list in the country when Helen Greek Food and Wine opens at 2429 Rice Blvd. in Rice Village.

The double-height shotgun space with soaring brick walls is nearly ready to begin thrilling Houston diners with a regional Greek dishes prepared with local ingredients and using Gulf Coast seafood.

The project has been nursed to fruition by Houston sommelier Evan Turner who has long been a local proponent of Greek wine. With Helen he gets to broaden that Hellenic spirit with a restaurant whose menu will explore different regions and culinary eras of the birthplace of Western civilization.

Executive chef William Wright, who worked with Turner at Table on Post Oak, has immersed himself in Greek culture and cuisine to devise fresh takes on classic dishes. Quail is rubbed with cumin before being grilled and set on caper aioli; dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) get reinterpreted with vibrant collard greens wrappers holding a mixture of Louisiana purple rice and fresh corn; grilled octopus sits on a meaty stew of gigantes beans; and Gulf snapper wears a verdant blanket of peas, green onions, fennel fronds and a smattering of preserved lemon chunks.

Yes, there will be gyros, but here they will be filled with roasted pork shoulder that was marinated in white wine vinegar, oregano and paprika. Moussaka? Yes, but stuffed with crawfish tails.

And how can a Greek taverna not serve baklava? No worries, here it comes in the form of an ice cream sundae served in a retro Greek paper coffee cup. Very clever touch.


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