Monday, May 24, 2004

Opium would have greatly improved my impression of the restaurant.

Avoid high-priced, too sugary, French-influenced Chinese Café Le Jadeite at 1952 West Gray.

Expensive but Impressive South American

Avenida Paulista Churrascaria (All you can Eat)
Dinner: $43
Salad bar and grilled vegetables (dinner): $22
Lunch: $29
Salad bar and grilled vegetables (lunch): $17
5851 Westheimer Rd.
Cross Street: Augusta Drive
Phone: (713) 266-0909

Similar Fogo de Chão (8250 Westheimer, 713-978-6500) charges $41.50 a head for meat dinner.

Six of us drank two bottles of Don Melchor, a premium Chilean Cabernet with a rich cigar-box aroma and a beautiful dried-fruit finish. We gladly paid more than $100 a bottle for the wine after admiring the temperature-controlled storage room from behind a glass wall in the bar. What a pleasure to buy an expensive bottle of wine and actually get what you're paying for. In Houston restaurants that don't store their wines at proper temperatures, I recommend you drink the beer.

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