I was recently invited to check out Tarakaan, Midtown's hottest new restaurant and lounge. All I can say is, "Wow". Tarakaan exudes elegance from the food to the decor to the drinks. The brown double doors and wall of red tiles outside of this former warehouse leave you little clues as to the wonders that await inside. However, once you cross the threshold you will be amazed at the striking use of color and tasteful blend of old and new.
The focal point of the great room is a massive seated Buddha, framed by a candlelit wall. While it was still light outside, I enjoyed dining in the bright open area with floor-to-ceiling windows. Later in the evening, I found myself drawn to the bar and the brick wall adorned with beautiful geisha faces.
The drink menu here is fabulous and there is definitely something for all tastes. Whiskey lovers will enjoy Tarakaan's extensive list and the Shiso Apple Whisky Cocktail is a refreshing take on a classic old fashioned. Tarakaan's Specialty Cocktails include unique ingredients such as lemongrass, black pepper syrup, buttery pea flower extract, and pandan leaf syrup. My favorite was the Blue Blushing Dragon with Aylesbury Duck Vodka, Patron Citronge Mango, Lavender syrup, lemon wedges, and blueberries. Wine and Sake is also available.
Tarakaan's cuisine is upscale pan-Asian that consists of shareable plates as well as entrees. Executive Chef Micah Rideout's Thai roots really shine through in his dishes as evidenced by his use of fresh flavorful ingredients and spices. The food at Tarakaan is simplistic, yet elegant. The Hamachi Tiradito and Tom Yum Shishito peppers were some of my favorites. However, the star of the evening was the Bacon Bowl with Tarakaan bacon, palm caramel, pickled mustard greens, and a crispy Panko fried soft boiled egg. I can't wait to see what Chef Micah has in store when Sunday Brunch is added later this fall.
Tarakaan is a chic bistro with complex character. The bar and lounge area is the perfect happy hour spot to meet up with friends and share some light bites. It's Midtown location makes it an ideal choice for pre-theater dining or stop by after 10pm when it turns into a sexy club open until 2am. There is plenty to enjoy about Tarakaan no matter what time you visit and it's undoubtedly one of my new favorite restaurants.
Address: 2301 Main St, Houston, TX 77002
Wednesday: 4:00 – 11:00 pm
Thursday - Saturday: 4:00 pm – 2:00 am
Special thanks to Stuart Rosenberg of Studio Communications, Tarakaan General Manager Geoff Harmison, Executive Chef Micah Rideout, and Beverage Manager David Cyranowicz.
About the Author
I like eating, traveling, and enjoying liquid libations. I'm all about great wines, signature cocktails, and local brews.