Note: Story updated below.
O ye of little faith, casting doubts here and there that a little 13,000-sq.-ft. standalone fine dining and lounging experience on Westheimer across Stoney Brook from AutoZone would ever open its doors after a mere 3 years of construction, a few long silences, and working so hard behind the scenes to get every detail right! It takes time, and actual anticipation, to truly earn the status of Houston’s Most Anticipated Restaurant. So take this: Fish and the Knife opens today. As in: You can park your car in the big parking lot out back, walk right in through the big wooden doors, and order yourself some sushi and a Japanese-style steak. And maybe this weekend, or some other big weekend night soon, wiggle your tail and fins to the rhythms and the flashing lights in the transformed 4,000-sq.-ft. “Las Vegas-style” nightclub inside.
Okay, but really, what took this place so long to open? Here’s the owner of the new spot at 7801 Westheimer, trying valiantly to explain it all:
“The long anticipated waited is now over,” reads a post on the restaurant’s recently reconquered Facebook page. “Fish and the Knife will finally be opening its door to the public on Thursday, February 13th.” And next, the definitive explanation: “Houstonians spent these past few years speculating the cause in the delay, but there was never one.“
One is offered, however:
New York designer Tony Chi had to fit the design of Fish and the Knife into his busy schedule designing all sorts of other impressive places all over the world, including some for several name-dropped chefs. Next comes mention of Chi’s creation, which is “meticulous in design and order. . . . The neutral tones allow the interior to glisten without being glitzy. . . . From the custom wooden tables to the handmade Bernaud dinnerware, no detail is to be left unnoticed.“ Update, 3/18: The restaurant’s Facebook post claims that New York-based restaurant and hotel designer Tony Chi was commissioned to design the restaurant, and that Chi had to “fit the restaurant into his relentless schedule.” But an attorney representing Tony Chi informs Swamplot that Chi had “no role whatsoever” in connection with Fish and The Knife, “and most certainly is not answerable for its operation, particularly its delayed opening.”
Lastly, there seems to be something about the availability of the restaurant’s head chef, Bob Iacovone, who formerly headed Cuvee in New Orleans, co-owned a tapas restaurant, and who’s highly acclaimed for his continental Creole cooking. “Although Iacovone took a hiatus from the culinary world to focus on being a father, he spent this past year carefully planning and preparing the menu for Fish and the Knife.”
- The long anticipated waited is now over [Fish and the Knife on Facebook]
- Crazy buildup: New Houston restaurant that’s been buzzed about for years is finally set to open [Culturemap]
- Fish & The Knife Will Open to the Public Feb. 13 [Eater Houston]
- Previously on Swamplot: Houston’s Most Anticipated Restaurant Will Open When It Feels Like It, Phew! Fish and the Knife Is Back to Its Usual ‘Opening Soon’ Status, Is Fish and the Knife Cutting Bait?, Fish and Knife: Beached Sushi on Westheimer
Photos: Swamplot inbox