New Heights Restaurant aims to be the GOAT – Chivos puts modern Mexican-American cuisine in the spotlight
Ttwo heads are often better than one. Aiming to prove this point are old friends and new collaborators Greg Perez of Night Moves Hospitality and Chris Manriques, former owner of the Heights Mexican restaurant called Calle Onze. Perez and Manriques are now teaming up to open a new restaurant in Houston, called Chivos, in the former space of Calle Onze, this Thursday, October 28.
Fans of Calle Onze may recall seeing Perez behind the bar where he once worked as director of drinks.
Chivos – Spanish for the expression The Goat – is a riff on the acronym GOAT (the greatest of all time).
“The name Chivos embodies our concept and the philosophy of our group,” said Perez. PaperCity. “We deeply admire all those who aspire to be the best in their profession, so we strive to pursue the same greatness for our clients. “
Located in The Heights, the restaurant’s space has been tweaked outside and inside since its last incarnation. Its interior walls were painted in charcoal gray and its banquettes and dining chairs covered with a cheerful touch of lime green velvet. Fake plants and greenery hang above the head with glowing globes that cast a moody glow.
Executive Chef Thomas Bille, whose last job took him to the Belly of the Beast in the spring, brings two decades of dining experience to his hometown of Los Angeles. Bille arrived in Houston in 2018 and briefly served as a chef at Xochi Restaurant in Hugo Ortega.
River Oaks District
TO Chivos, Bille insists his unique menu is neither traditional Mexican nor what we know as Tex-Mex. Instead, it’s a more modern iteration of the Mexican-American dining experience. For example, stop by for dinner and you’ll find spicy salsa macha pozole balls ($ 14) on the menu as well as roast duck ($ 42) served with a fig mole and pickled fennel.
A bread dish of hand-made hot flour tortillas is served with truffle butter and salmon roe ($ 13), while hamachi tiradito, a Peruvian dish of raw fish (similar to sashimi, carpaccio or crudo) is served with layers of thinly sliced yellowfin alternating with avocado and caviar balls ($ 22). Don’t miss the pollo al carbon ($ 26 / $ 48), a perfectly grilled whole chicken cut in half and topped with soy glaze accompanied by shishito peppers and cherry tomatoes. The dish is filled with warm, hand-made blue corn tortillas and a tomatillo / avocado puree designed to respectively rock, coat and wrap the tender pieces of chicken.
Accompaniments include roasted baby potatoes served with a crème fraîche garnished with sumac and Aleppo pepper ($ 9) and the version of Crispy Brussels Sprout Ball ($ 12) finished with Tijuana Caesar dressing with pieces of bacon, shreds of Parmesan cheese and pickled onions on top.
Celi Perez, the former executive chef of Calle Onze, takes the plunge to the front of the house in Chivos and makes fun, cheeky cocktails with Mexican spirits. Chivos’ drink list, created with master mixologist Leesly Valdez, plays with the flavors of the foods and sweets they grew up eating.
For example, West Tejas ($ 14) is an alluring tequila tincture infused with corn and hominy syrup with a hint of worm salt, while the DF is a play on classic Manhattan but made with Mexican whiskey. and tamarind bitters. Why not make your dessert a liquid? (Although I have to say the tres leches topped with passion fruit meringue and the panna cotta topped with blood orange, $ 12 each are delicious.) The sweet Rutas Ganseras is Team Chivos’ fun version of the cake. of Mexican dessert Gansitos where Valdez infuses sugar cane alcohol with vanilla and strawberry jam, finishing with a point of cream and a grated nutmeg.
Chivos, located at 222 W. 11th Street in the Heights, will be open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 5 to 10 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 11 p.m. Reservations can be secured via Resy.