: Dishes at Bank were expertly prepared and delightful. Though no one is perfect all the time, Bank’s ability to consistently serve outstanding food on a regular basis was noteworthy. The décor was eclectic, warm and elegant with an exotic dash. The dining room, housed in a former bank lobby, was an inviting place to linger and savor our meal. Service staff were attentive and eager to please and the ambiance provided privacy including a relaxed and quiet atmosphere where meaningful conversation was inspired.
: A bustling restaurant with a happening crowd, 17 offered well presented, well served, and well prepared gourmet American food in an attractive setting. The Sam Houston Hotel’s enthusiastic young chef, Jeff Amstrong, combined adventurous flavors and old favorites for a rewarding and tasty meal. He successfully emphasized local seafood with spicy accents. He also offered continental options like rich foi gras (goose or duck liver) with roast pineapple and a pink peppercorn sauce and hearty American short ribs.
: Trellis, Houston ’s large and luxurious entry into the burgeoning spa market was every bit as soothing and relaxing as we had hoped. The Mediterranean style Trellis building was stylish and tranquil inside and out. After a brief wait at the reception desk, we passed beyond the arrival area and were enchanted with the quiet and bright feel inside the building. As we made our way to prepare for our half day’s worth of treatments, the ambiance, enhanced by a floating pool and Japanese style stream, wooed us. We encountered spotless and well appointed ladies locker rooms including a steam room and a Jacuzzi.
Dinner at this long famous Houston restaurant was full of eclectic culinary surprises, satisfying and savory at once. In spite of a busy full house the Tuesday night we were there, the servers were attentive, circumspect and efficient. Many in the crowded restaurant appeared to be regulars. Our meal was a crescendo of flavors from mild crab to zesty red fish, concluding with a tasty and perfectly prepared lamb and later a lemon themed dessert.
: Our stay at the modern and jazzy Hotel Derek, billed as the first contemporary hotel in Houston , emphasized style and business guest services. Our senses were rewarded with decorative touches in unexpected places. At the same time all our business requirements such as high speed Internet access, fax/printer/copier, and meeting room space were met. Leisure time could be spent poolside, at the 24-hour fitness center, relaxing with an in-room spa treatment or at a nearby spa. For those wishing to shop, the hotel was conveniently situated in the Galleria area and a short drive from downtown Houston .
We enjoyed the sequin and tuxedo filled opening of Puccini’s tearjerker Madam Butterfly, one of the top ten most frequently performed operas in North America , at the Houston Grand Opera, which was housed in the large and modern Wortham Theater building.