New movie-themed restaurant dazzles Galleria with gold-wrapped steak

A new restaurant aims to introduce what it calls “Modern American Vibe Dining” to Houston. Opening on Monday February 7, diners will find that Juliet does things a little differently than most restaurants (5857 Westheimer Rd.).

It starts with the entrance, which looks like a movie theater lobby with a candy stand and a popcorn machine. Diners pass through a curtain where they will find a vast main dining room decorated with framed photographs of scenes and characters from classic films.

Owner James McGhee told CultureMap that his travels to London and Los Angeles inspired his decision to open a themed restaurant. In particular, he cites the thrift-store-style entrance to the Beauty & Essex restaurant in Los Angeles as a major influence on this aspect of Juliette.

To bring the Galleria-area restaurant to life, McGhee turned to Houston design firm Collaborative Projects. Known for everything from the rustic charm of Underbelly to the Blade Runner aesthetic of Rice Box, designers Jim Herd and Maria Oran created a space with mirrors in the main dining room, an Instagram-worthy floral wall in the bathroom and touches of gold throughout.

The gold also extends to Juliet’s food. Perhaps inspired by Nusr-Et, the steakhouse owned by chef Nusret “Salt Bae” Gökçe, Juliet offers a gold-wrapped 24-ounce tomahawk rib eye. Priced at $325, it’s an eye-catching presentation that’s sure to pop on social media, especially when paired with The Godfather, a $50 cocktail made with Hennessey XO, Grand Marnier Cinquantenaire, Glenmorangie X and gold leaf trim.

“I had seen other foods wrapped in gold. I asked the chef if that was something we could do,” McGhee says. “We tried it. It always tastes good. We put it on the menu.

Designed by Chef Jeff Auld (For Behavior), the rest of the menu includes entrees such as gastric red wine vinegar roasted Brussels sprouts, crispy Korean short rib tacos and crab cakes. Entree options consist of steaks, chops, and seafood such as salmon in citrus beurre blanc and twin fried lobster tails. Accompaniments, including some decadent riffs on mac and cheese, round out the tasty offerings.

The cocktails, created by the famous Ladies of Libation, include an Old Fashioned made with chai and rye spices, a raspberry mule and the Matinee Margarita with a caramel popcorn topping.

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