We're visiting Houston (from Chicago) for just one night. Haven't been to Houston in about 7 years (I think we ate at Tony Ruppe's last time, which no longer exists, but which served us a pretty decent meal). We'll be staying near Montrose but will have a car. We're open to just about anything not-to-be-missed from hole-in-the wall Mex or Tex-Mex to fine dining. A couple of preferences:
If it's a hole in the wall, we'd prefer someplace that has a liquor license (byob is okay, but only if it's really really earthshatteringly amazing food).
if it's higher-end, we care most about the food, but we care about the room as well -- (sleek and minimal is good; we're kind of turned off by crystal chandeliers, fancy napkin folding and choreographed service); we'd prefer a $25-$35 or less entree range as opposed to a $40-$50 entree range); and if possible, we'd rather go someplace that has a regular menu as opposed to a tasting menu.
We're excited to try something new in Houston -- thank you very much in advance for any suggestions!
PS: If anyone out there knows Chicago, I can give you an idea of our general taste in restaurants:
Fine dining: Avec, Blackbird, NoMi, Custom House Schwa (yes, they are tasting-menu only, too, but the food is earthshatteringly amazing)
Casual: The Silver Palm, TAC Thai