Seal, named after the French word for sky, will debut at River Oaks on December 16th with a slate highlighted by recent Japanese and French offerings.
The restaurant will open on the ground floor of a new commercial building at 4411 San Philip Street, Houston. It was launched by a new Houston-based hotel group, Le Ciel Hospitality, led by entrepreneurs Ryan Henry, Adel Sadek and Fasl Ty.
The concept is inspired by the summer landscapes of the Côte d’Azur on the French Riviera, according to a Dec. 14 press release. The venue is 8,000 square feet and will feature a 240-seat main dining room with imported Italian porcelain floors, 360-degree Barrisol Mirror ceiling lights and a statue of Zeus designed and painted by Mexican artist Carla de Lara.
The elevated main entrance hall will have a 35-foot slab of white marble with a seating capacity of 14. The venue will also include a 1,000-bottle wine cellar and a private dining area that can seat up to 40 people. A 140-seat outdoor patio is expected to open in the spring, according to the release.
“We have carefully selected every detail within to create a space designed for fine dining with exceptional cuisine, elegant presentation and beautiful art not found anywhere else in the city, and which will feel like a gateway to a fun-filled, glamorous European getaway,” Sadiq said in a statement.
The statement said the menu focuses on “innovative” French and Japanese dishes, with fresh fish imported daily from Japan and New Zealand. In addition, diners will find premium cuts of steak from local grass-fed farms, non-GMO caviar, sushi and raw staples.
The kitchen will be run by Executive Chef Josef Jeskopf, whose previous work includes three-star Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. He will be joined by Head Chef Frank Hernandez and Pastry Chef Michaela Victoria.
The drinks menu, also inspired by the French Riviera with a Japanese twist, includes house cocktails, 150 wine choices, champagne, sake, and dessert wines.
DJs will play music during the evenings from Wednesday to Sunday, and the owners said they plan to offer other pop-up entertainment.