Brunch is an occasion in Houston, a time to gather with friends or family and enjoy the weekend. While you can go just about anywhere these days to find a la carte options, there are only a few places where you can get a truly gourmet, all-you-can-manage kind of experience. Forbes Travel Guide has rounded up four of the best for your dining pleasure.
“Our brunch is the best,” says executive chef Maurizio Ferrarese with full confidence. It’s true that Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Quattro offers a buffet brunch like no other. “About 70 percent of the brunch happens inside our kitchen,” Ferrarese explains, as he names the bounty that awaits at the Four-Star Four Seasons Hotel Houston eatery. That would include a pancake station, omelet station, carving station, seafood raw bar, sushi bar, ceviche station, tapas-style entrées, dessert bar and more. Since it is an Italian restaurant, every week, fresh pasta is hand-made — it might be gnocchi, tagliatelle or pappardelle — cut, and then prepared right in front of guests. Mimosas are unlimited, too. But the coolest thing about this truly extraordinary brunch buffet? “We have a poached egg station,” Ferrarese says. “Our egg is cooked sous vide at 61 degree Celsius until the guests come. We crack open the egg, place [it] in a martini glass and top it with caviar and blini.”
Brunch at Ristorante Cavour, located inside Four-Star Hotel Granduca, is a spectacular occasion. Set within the immaculate rooms of this Tuscan-inspired property, the almost endless options are spread out across three spaces — the rialto, the conservatory and the borgo — so that guests can wander around and choose what they please. Under the direction of executive chef JohnMichael Lynch, toque-wearing chefs manage the many areas that make this buffet so extraordinary. At the carving station, you’ll find prime rib or filet mignon. Freshly shucked oysters, king crab legs, shrimp a-plenty and smoked salmon await you at the seafood bar, where a sushi chef also makes fresh nigiri sushi and sashimi. Order Belgian waffles, made-to-order omelets or eggs benedict as well. A variety of fresh, hand-made pastas can even be ordered as an entrée. The dessert station serves cookies, smoothies and other treats. Kids are welcome, too; they have their own designated station, where they can pick from four, tyke-friendly choices like macaroni and cheese and chicken tenders. Parents have a bottomless choice of mimosas, bellinis or rossinis.
There are a couple of cool things about the buffet brunch at Américas: one is that you can get more than 50 Latin American-inspired dishes in one sitting; another is that father-and-son chefs Michael and David Cordúa are offering their mouthwatering smorgasbord on Saturdays and Sundays. Many of the dishes served here are longtime Cordúa favorites, including pork carnitas, pollo encamisado and the Cordúas’ signature tres leches. A meat carving station, build-your-own omelet and crepe stations are also part of the package. An endless supply of mimosas, sangría and mojitos are available for a small supplement as well.
Widely considered one of the best brunches in Houston, the regional Mexican buffet brunch at chef Hugo Ortega’s eponymous eatery is both lively and delicious on Sundays. Live music by house band Viento serenades you with traditional tunes as you enjoy a seasonally inspired rotating feast of dishes that span a broad spectrum of Mexican cuisine. Typical dishes might include costillas de borrego (rack of lamb); camarones al mojo de ajo (shrimp in lime-garlic oil); or huevos poblanos (poached eggs over sweet cornbread). Other specialties include the carnitas (slow-cooked pork); albondigas (meatballs); and pulpo con almendras (stewed octopus with tomatoes and almonds). There are cocktails, cold dishes like ceviche and an incredible dessert station featuring Mexican flan, torta de coco (coconut cake) and tres leches (three milk cake), as well as the beloved, house-made Mexican hot chocolate and churros.