For French cuisine that is every bit as satisfying as it should be, this quaint Uptown restaurant and bar that boasts fresh and authentic dining is worth sampling.

Houston’s Best Brunch

While the debate over the best brunch in Houston is continually ongoing, Etoile Cuisine et Bar is definitely a forerunner of the conversation. While the brunch menu is only available on Sundays, and not on Saturdays as many other brunches are, the menu options are unique, flavorful, and satisfying. The smoked salmon eggs benedict is particularly appetizing, and the Tahitian vanilla French toast is a great option for those who prefer a sweeter breakfast. For those who prefer more savory options for brunch, the risotto, rib eye steak, duck leg confit, and mussels are all pretty incredible. Of course, make sure you accompany your brunch with a bloody Mary, brunch Bellini, or a sweet mimosa.

Fancy Dinner

In my mind, the French and French food are always associated with images of sophistication and class, and plates of food that are tiny, expensive, and impossible to pronounce. All of these adjectives aptly describe Etoile. While the food isn’t miniscule by any means, don’t expect heaping portions, either. What you can expect, though, are dishes that are unique and interesting, flavorful, and pretty scrumptious. The foie gras with green apple and red bell pepper chutney ($20) is a great starter; the Maine scallops with lentils and fried Brussels sprouts ($28) are a great entrée option; the Maine lobster bisque with brandy and chives is a must-try appetizer ($12); and the 8 oz. beef tenderloin is both one of the most expensive and one of the most mouthwatering options on the menu ($38). 

A Small Space

While this space is very elegant and is designed to make you feel as though you’re in France itself, be warned that the tables are close together, making intimate or private conversations hard to have without many other ears overhearing. For those who are tall, the booths can also be a bit of a tight squeeze to fit into. However, the restaurant certainly shouldn’t be labeled as uncomfortable—perhaps “cozy” is more fitting…

A Sweet Spot 

Don’t leave Etoile Cuisine et Bar without having some dessert. Hands down, the dessert is one of the best things about this restaurant. The milk chocolate mousse is incredible, and is the perfect choice for chocolate lovers. If you don’t like chocolate and would prefer something more traditionally French, opt for the Tarte Fine aux Pommes served with ice cream and caramel. Or, just go for the cheese assortment with blackberry jam. For a truly divine experience, order a glass of the tawny port, a dessert wine that everyone should sample at least once in their life.