Treadsack Opens Hunky Dory in Houston
Treadsack debuted its fourth original concept, Hunky Dory, an elevated British-American restaurant in the Houston Heights neighborhood in Houston, Texas. Located in a new 12,000-square-foot building that is also home to Bernadine’s, Treadsack’s forthcoming Gulf Coast seafood restaurant, Hunky Dory offers Executive Chef Richard Knight’s inventive, modern British-American cuisine paired with an extensive wine list curated by wine director Travis Hinkle and a highly creative cocktail and whisky program designed by bar director Leslie Ross. The restaurant features 218 seats among two distinct dining experiences—an upscale dining room open for dinner daily and a casual pub space serving reimagined pub fare for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch—in addition to an outdoor patio and private dining room. The restaurant will initially only be open for dinner, with lunch and brunch service soon to follow.
Knight, the former co-chef of Houston’s late Feast restaurant, applies a blend of modern and American influences into traditional British dishes at Hunky Dory. “Much like its playful name, we wanted to put humor into the restaurant’s food and have created a menu that is adventurous but also approachable at the same time,” Knight says. “I grew up on the southern coast of England where my favorite hobby was reading old cookbooks with crazy-weird recipes. As a chef, I’ve made it my job to jazz up these old recipes and make them relevant and fun for today’s diner.”
Highlights from Knight’s dining room menu include starters such as Fish & Chip Tartare made with fresh Gulf fish with capers, cornichons, parsley, dill, and shallots, served with chips and malt vinegar aioli, and Black Pudding & Onions, housemade black pudding wrapped in delicate crispy pastry served with mustard vinaigrette and apples; hearth favorites like Cake Stand Pork Chops with pepper jelly and schmaltz, mashed potatoes, and French fries; and large format “Braise, Roast, & Simmer” dishes like An Escabeche of Rabbit, a roast rabbit leg with hearth-smoked bacon rasher and potato and pear gratin.
In the pub, diners can enjoy appetizers including The Silver Salver, a silver platter loaded with an assortment of homemade sausages [served hot or cold], meat pies, “really Scotch” eggs, pickled onions, mustards, breads, and gentlemen’s relish. Main course dishes like Shepherd’s Pie topped with mashed potatoes, leeks, cheese, and a side of minted peas, and the Hunky Dory Burger with two house-ground beef patties, mature cheddar, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun, served with English-style twice fried French fries, provide hearty and flavorful options in the casual space. Weekend brunch offers Knight’s twists on English morning favorites such as Smithfield’s Breakfast, with British banger, back bacon, black pudding, hog’s pudding, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans, fried slice, and egg, and Kedgeree smoked Gulf fish, curried rice, herbs, poached egg, and papadums with curry sauce.
Juxtaposed with Knight’s British cuisine is Treadsack beverage director Travis Hinkle’s expertly curated extensive Old World wine list, ranging from rustic country varietals found in Spain and Italy to the celebrated wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux. Beer offerings include classic British and European draughts. From the bar, guests can imbibe in Treadsack bar director Leslie Ross’ British-inspired riffs on classic cocktails, with drinks including the Pimm’s Cup made with Ford’s Gin, Pimm’s No. 1, lemon, mint, cucumber, and Hunky Dory house garam masala ginger beer, and the Bobby Burns featuring Pig’s Nose Scotch Whisky, Noilly Prat Rouge, Benedictine, bitters, and a lemon twist. Cocktails are alongside a whisky and gin-heavy spirits list.
Designed by architect Michael Hsu [designer for Austin’s Uchi and Oporto Fooding House in Houston], Hunky Dory’s warm, inviting space reflects the traditional architecture of the Heights neighborhood. The tavern’s laid-back 36-seat pub area offers bright natural light with floor-to-ceiling windows, providing guests with a view of the preserved 100-year-old oak tree that shades the outdoor patio’s 80 seats. The more refined 88-seat dining room features design elements reminiscent of a classic English country house, including warm wooden floors, a patterned molded ceiling, and an open view of the signature wood-burning grill. Hunky Dory also has a private dining room that can seat up to 40 people for private events, wine tastings, and parties.