Every week our “My Top 5” series highlights an enterprising Houstonian and reveals what they like to do in their downtime. This week, marking the opening of the new Helen Greek Food + Wine in Rice Village, we hear from its Executive Chef William Wright, who shares some of his favorite haunts in Houston. As a special treat, we’ve paired his list with one from Helen’s founder and sommelier, Evan Turner.
My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston
by Chef William Wright
- 13 Celsius – 13 Celsius is one of my favorite places to enjoy a glass of wine. There is always something new and interesting to drink here; unique things that you won’t find elsewhere. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly and the food is good as well. Sunday after brunch is the perfect time to come for some great deals. The ambiance, wine, people… everything is great here!
- American Shooting Centers – A great place to go spend an afternoon target practicing. Reasonable priced ammunition and facilities large enough that you shouldn’t have to wait for a lane. My girlfriend and I enjoy shooting together at the pistol range. There are no time limits and target changes take place every 30 minutes.
- Chinatown – When I first moved to Houston from NYC, I was lamenting leaving such a great Asian food community. Happily I can report that Houston has some incredible Asian food. There are many places along Bellaire worth seeing out, be adventurous! Some of my favorite places are Tiger Den, FuFu and Mala Sichuan. Make sure you stop by Tea Bar & Organics for a delicious bubble tea after lunch or dinner nearby.
- Sunday Brunch – Most chefs dread working brunch but love to eat it. A great brunch should be the most relaxing meal of the week. That’s why if I’m not working, I’m heading to Caracol or Weights & Measures. Both are great places to sit back have a glass of rosé and eat good food.
- Driving around the city – I love to put the top down on my car and cruise around the city, admiring the architecture. But when I want to make the best of the hot Houston sun I drive to Brazos Bend State Park for some fresh air. You can fish when you get there but watch out for the alligators. They will be waiting for you to hook the big catch. Less work for them!
About Chef William Wright
Helen Greek Food + Wine‘s Executive Chef William Wright has embraced the art of regionality and simplicity into his cuisine. He honed his culinary skills at Michelin-starred restaurants in Sicily, where he served under legendary Italian Chef Pino Cuttaia Ristorante at La Madia, and in New York City at Telepan and A Voce. After moving to Houston to be with his girlfriend, he served as sous chef at Philippe Restaurant and then Table on Post Oak. An anthropology major in college, he’s always been interested “why” things were the way they were, which has proven invaluable as he’s worked with distinctive cuisines from Italian to Asian to Greek. At Helen Greek Food + Wine, his menu will feature classic regional Greek dishes made with Texas ingredients and gulf seafood. His menu introduces Houstonians to delicious but unfamiliar flavors and modern trends in Greek cuisine while retaining the simple, healthy, fresh style at the heart of Greek cooking.