Date Visited:  March 31, 2023

Next up in our Date Night series is Dinette which serves Vietnamese-inspired dishes and cocktails. They have a variety of offerings from small to large plates, and a great happy hour.

We started with Hanoi Egg Rolls and Pandan Fried Okra. The Egg Rolls are lightly fried with delicious crab and pork, served with herbs, lettuce and fish sauce for dipping. The Pandan Fried Okra is a very unique dish, and we mean that in a good way. The sweet rice coating, paprika and coconut adds a nice contrast to the earthiness of the okra. The okra is a must try, even if you do not typically like okra.

To go with our first round of food, we ordered a couple of their signature cocktails. Pam got the Jean-Claude Pandan which has Rum, Vodka, Absinthe, Pandan, Coconut and Cinnamon. The Absinthe was not overpowering and it is a well-balanced drink that is not overly sweet. Jeff ordered the Pineapple Green Tea which has Aquavit, Matcha, Bitters, Pineapple and Lemon. This drink is more on the sweeter side but was delicious.

Moving on, we took recommendations from the bartender who told us the Braised Pork Belly and the Pho Nachos are must-try items. He was right! The Pork Belly is served on crispy sticky rice which serves as a nice contrasting texture against the tender pork belly. And can we agree that it is always a good time to enjoy pork belly? The Pho Nachos is a very distinctive dish–braised brisket with Pho gravy over a generous serving of house made taro chips. It is served with all the traditional accoutrement of Pho including basil, mint and siracha. It was a great reinvention of nachos!

Our final cocktails of the visit were the Brazilian Bolo Tie and Peach Bourbon Buck. The Brazilian Bolo Tie is a delicious alcohol-forward drink served in a unique cactus cup. Made with Bourbon, Cachaca, Jackfruit, Orgeat and Cardamom, it was very refreshing. Jeff enjoyed his Peach Bourbon Buck so much that he forgot to get a picture. The house-infused peach bourbon is good enough to enjoy on its own as a sipping drink. When added to the Cointreau, Ginger, Honey, Lemon and Ginger Beer, it worked up to be a great, easy drinking cocktail. Both are solid options for cooling off during Houston’s summer heat.

There is no dessert menu at the restaurant, but we suggest you wander next door to Dinette Bakery. They recently opened and have been featured in a number of online publications with positive reviews. Dinette Bakery has some amazing offerings, both sweet and savory, including their take on a cinnamon roll (pictured here). After our meal, we were too full for dessert, but we grabbed a variety bakery items for a midnight snack, and they were all tasty.

Dinette’s tapas style is perfect for one person or a group. Sit at the bar like we did or grab a table with a group to try everything they have to offer. They offer happy hour from 3p-6p daily with some small bites and drink specials. The only negative is their limited parking in the strip center, but there is plenty of street parking on the block behind them. A better option is to use a ride-share service so you can enjoy more of their unique cocktails.

Dinette – 1018 North Shepherd Drive, between West 10th and West 11th Streets



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