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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Upmarket restaurant

Mon–Fri 11:00am–2:00pm
Mon–Fri 5:00pm–10:00pm
Sat 5:00pm–11:00pm
Sun 11:00am–3:00pm

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


507 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX
(713) 524-1000
Café Moustache
Some solid French comforts, despite the identity crisis

Laying out blue tablecloths and switching to a French music station hardly constitutes an extreme makeover, but the restaurant formerly known as SoVino, with its posh, manicured interior and mini communal table, is making some notable strides away from its 1980s-Galleria lost appeal. Its owners are focusing now on the French comfort cuisine that’s enjoying a resurgence in America, thanks to the big screen resurrection of Julia Child and all her saliva-inducing culinary accomplishments.

But Café Moustache’s fare better resembles the level of expertise achieved by another ex-pat wannabe chef, say, an aunt of ours who spent the first summer of her retirement in Provence. The presentations look convincing, but are shy on slow-stirring, deeply caramelized soul. Trout meunière is lightly flaky, but the pallid sauce wants for brown butter and the attack of lemon. French onion soup is undersalted, and so tastes flat and somehow onionless. Small victories litter the menu, however, like perfectly plump mussels in a gentle wine sauce, and a side of buttered squeaky-crisp haricots verts. There’s a curiously unnecessary amount of mass-market-friendly non-French wines (backstock from SoVino, perhaps?), which you can ignore; the French selection is deeply well priced and astutely chosen. We come for small plates at the exceptionally cheap happy hour—this, combined with the waitstaff’s high-energy hospitality, better fills the comfort quota than anything.

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