February 6th, 2012

H-Town Showdown: The Battle of the Bistros

Bistro. What exactly does that mean? Coffee? A cold beer on a patio? Food that a chef in the back actually cares about? Well, it’s all of those things, really, and we realize that just about any old place could be considered one. But it’s a French word, and the French know romance, right? So, just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’ve added a little twist for this week’s competition—it’s got to be a place worthy of some hot, V-Day action. Who ya got?


Sorrel Urban Bistro

Richard found Sorrel by accident back in October. You better believe he and countless others have since sought it out quite intentionally. He’s been telling the Mrs. about his experience for months. Items like the Slow Roasted Pork Belly in Risotto with Golden Raisin only serve to encourage him to FINALLY make good on his promise and treat her to Sorrel as the day of the cupids approacheth.


Plonk Beer & Wine Bistro

Plonk may be a dark horse in this refined race, but that’s not due to a lack of character or substance. A revolving door of craft brews and vino, just like Shepherd Park, Plonk is re-defining Houston’s opinion of strip centers. Some may not dig Plonk’s counter-service style for a Valentine’s venture, but that’s right up some folks’ amorous alley. If the crab-crammed Goof Balls keep your date happy, he/she’s a keeper. It worked on us.



Tea went stag but promised to come back with Mrs. Tea for more of their doughnut holes. Owner/chef Kevin Naderi has set up shop on Fairview, and judging by the crowds as of late, isn’t backing down from any competition- even an H-Town Showdown. Farm-to-table fish, beef and fresh veggies are setting Roost apart, and their recent addition of wine and beer are making Roost a beauty amongst bistros.


Zelko Bistro

Zelko’s got just over a year and half on the other three in this Showdown. This cozy little bungalow has been consistently touted as one of the best dining spots in Houston, since it opened back in April of 2010. From then on it’s only gotten better, as they continue their tradition of delicious dishes composed of meticulously picked natural and organic ingredients. But as they say, it’ll have to beat the rest, to be the best. With Sorrel, Plonk and Roost quickly gaining recognition, this hierarchy only figures to become less defined.

You Choose

That’s right, this one’s on you. Was there a bistro that you feel deserves presence here among the competitors? Let us know in the comments. We’ll tally your suggestions into the final results.

— The Loop Scoop


Martha Marin — Tuesday, February 7, 2012 11:38 pm

A perfect place for Valentine’s day and most weekends.
Congratulations ,food is delicious and like the mustach of Chef Kenny.

Ashley Jackson — Wednesday, February 8, 2012 12:27 am

Plonk has the perfect amount of Elegance and Bar-syle, It is laid back and classy. The staff is laid back and personal, they know their menu and can reccommend the perfect dish. Everytime I come here I have a great meal complemented the a great wine to add to my great experience. PLONK is the perfect night to spend the perfect night.

Veronica — Wednesday, February 8, 2012 10:14 am

Plonk! Hands down the best Bistro in town. Excellent food, a fantastic staff and a great selection of beer and wine keep me coming back for more.

SPP Resident — Wednesday, February 8, 2012 10:53 am

My ONLY issue with Plonk is I wish a person would come around every now and then and ask you if you need another drink instead of having to get up and go to the bar to order. There are times when getting up just breaks up the conversation. That is my ONLY complaint. I am lucky in that I can walk to Plonk. The food is really top notch. The beer selection has improved over the last year as I am not a wine person.

Mathew Naftis — Wednesday, February 8, 2012 11:44 pm

My vote is Plonk

Bethany — Thursday, February 9, 2012 10:26 am


Emelie — Thursday, February 9, 2012 10:45 am

Definately PLONK.

Charlie — Thursday, February 9, 2012 11:05 am

Love Plonk!

Pennye — Thursday, February 9, 2012 12:10 pm

Plonk is awesome!!!!

Jason — Thursday, February 9, 2012 3:36 pm

“PLONK” absolutly

Craig and Liz MacDonald — Thursday, February 9, 2012 9:05 pm

Plonk all the way!!

Brandon Buehring — Friday, February 10, 2012 10:50 am

Plonk gets my Vote!!!!

Ginny — Friday, February 10, 2012 11:37 am

Plonk is simply the BEST !

Kim Ellis — Friday, February 10, 2012 11:43 am

Plonk for sure.

Patti Strawther — Friday, February 10, 2012 11:44 am

I crave their burger with carmelized onions! Plonk! has a relaxed atmostphere and I have no problems going alone to have dinner and a glass of wine. But also fun to go with friends. Scott and staff are friendly – the chef is awesome.

Richard — Friday, February 10, 2012 12:14 pm

Plonk! No contest.

Betty montague — Friday, February 10, 2012 12:33 pm

The food is so delicious from unique burgers to halibut, the staff is friendly and helpful with selections, and the wine list is extensive.

Lorissa — Friday, February 10, 2012 2:05 pm

Love Plonk

Kat Shultz — Friday, February 10, 2012 8:40 pm

PLONK…are you kidding me?

Meghan — Saturday, February 11, 2012 12:26 am

Plonk, of course!

Jim Hofweber — Saturday, February 11, 2012 9:13 pm

Having been to the other three, I plunk down my vote for Plonk! Go Scott and Erin…and the irrepressible Bridget!

Lorena Arroyos — Monday, February 13, 2012 6:20 pm

Zelko! I have been there several times and never leave disappointed! The food is delicious, and the customer service is fantastic! It is a favorite :)

Chef Roy — Monday, February 13, 2012 6:51 pm

Plonk is the one And Chef Erin Smith is the reason. With Chef Erin’s background in NYC, Thomas Keller’s Per Se and then at Mario Batalli’s Babbo… It’s no wonder that she is one of the finest young Chef in Houston….in Texas…no, actually in the country. If your haven’t you owe it to yourself to checkout Plonk and the fantastic menu items that executive Chef Erin Smith has created.

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