Houston Gets A’Bouzy
Think Cafe Society, your glamorous destination without the high priced champagne. Named after the Bouzy village in the heart of France’s Champagne region, A’Bouzy is Houston’s latest addition to the gourmet scene. Located in the ever-popular River Oaks area, the French-inspired venue is perfect for foodies and the elite of the Bayou City, featuring a a well-stocked bar, spacious dining area, and generous outdoor patio seating. A good thing, considering the restaurant is nearly always booked to capacity. A beautiful artistic display of hundreds of hand-blown glass balls hang from the ceiling simulating champagne bubbles.
Owner Shawn Virene, formally of Brasserie 19 fame, is on a mission to pair food and wine. Indeed, the restaurant’s focus is clearly slanted towards wine and champagne. With over 250 varieties of champagne and 1000 labels of wine, ranging from $12 to over $2000 per bottle, there’s something for every budget and taste. Virene has also developed a paired menu to compliment the wine collection. From fresh seasonal seafood and raw oyster bar, to hearty meats and appetizers, A’Bouzy offers a variety of dishes for any pallet. Similar to Spanish-style Tapas cuisine, the food is served as simple, sharable small plates. Our absolute favorites were the house pommes frites cooked in duck fat and ahi tuna and watermelon sashimi with spicy soy caviar.
Virene traveled to France to research and hand-pick the labels of wine and champagne personally. He aims to make champagne both accessible and affordable to Houstonians. The restaurant also serves as a venue to introduce and educate the public about wine in general through tastings and special events. Along with wife Shelley, Shawn wants to make sure the doors are open late at A’Bouzy for after gala party goers.
Photos by Sandeep Khandelwal