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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Houston
Food
Feel
Price
7.9
8.5
$60
Modern
Upmarket restaurant

Hours
Mon 11:00am–2:30pm
Mon 5:00pm–9:00pm
Tue–Thu 11:00am–2:30pm
Tue–Thu 5:00pm–10:00pm
Fri 11:00am–2:30pm
Fri 5:00pm–10:30pm
Sat 10:00am–3:00pm
Sat 5:00pm–10:30pm
Sun 10:00am–3:00pm
Sun 5:00pm–9:00pm

Features Date-friendly, good wines, outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

www.shadeheights.com

Heights
250 W. 19th St.
Houston, TX
(713) 863-7500
Shade
Membership has its privileges, like drinking good wine in a lovely neighborhood

Shade’s the sort of neighborhood restaurant that you want to be at, and you’ll forgive most offenses to do it. Fortunately, those offenses are relatively few, especially if you stick to small plates. The sage-green space is perfectly amenable to a casual meal—it’s effortlessly stylish, and we love hanging out at either the chilled-out bar or in the somewhat intimate alley seating. If you want to drink wine (the mostly New World list is well priced and well chosen), you’ll first need to join Shade’s “private club,” an amusing way of getting around the dry-neighborhood restrictions. There’s no membership fee, and the unstuffy staff will explain it all to you.

The menu does a little globe-trotting from the American South to the Middle East to Southeast Asia, but its preparations are intuitive and mostly successful. We didn’t expect to like the wasabi-and-cucumber-crusted red snapper, but it’s tender and harmonizes nicely with its coconut milk-based red curry broth. We’ve also liked Panko-fried shrimp with spectacular smoky bacon grits and Frank’s Hot Sauce. Duck breast with corn-poblano polenta reaches towards West Texas, but a side of collard greens braised with bacon brings it back to the South while staying on pitch.

Most dishes here fall into the “passable” designation. But it’s an affordable and perfectly lovely evening if you aren’t looking for fireworks.

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