WWith cooler temperatures arriving this week, now is the perfect time to open a Tulum-inspired outdoor bar and restaurant. Casa Nomad will open its doors this Thursday, September 23 at MKT, the sprawling modern mixed-use development off North Shepherd, on the edge of The Heights.
Started by the hospitality-conscious trio that brought together Houston, Wicklow Heights – Roland Keller, Keith Doyle and Tyler Barerra – Casa Nomad is no more than 800 square feet of patio area and can only hold 28 seats. It will be located next to another upscale patio bar at the MKT from the same owners, Highline Park, which will also open this fall. Highline Park will share a kitchen and bathrooms with Nomad.
Granted, Tulum is one of the owners’ favorite travel destinations.
“With Casa Nomad, we wanted to bring a slice of Tulum to Houston so that Houstonians could experience in their own backyards the bohemian vibe that makes Tulum such a special place to us,” says Keller.
By launching award-winning design studio Coeval in Dallas to replicate the bohemian vibe of the Riviera Maya in this highly urban setting, Casa Nomad aims to evoke the windy tropical setting of Yucatan. An intimate stage is laid out with a rustic woven rope canopy mounted above the head with navy blue tiles adorning its walls, while the perimeter is surrounded by a confined forest of lush tropical plants.
Chef Vincent Forchelli (a native of New York) brings a touch of the beach to the menu. The rate includes Mayan-inspired dishes like a truffle, creamed tuna crudo tostadas ($ 21), bone marrow topped with guajillo marmalade ($ 19), and a salad of watermelon and Tajin-spiked tomatoes ($ 16). Hearty entrees include a skirt steak topped with matcha salsa and mushroom agridulce, served with corn tortillas ($ 36). For dessert, indulge your sweet tooth with a very lechy pound cake ($ 9) or a chocolate churro ($ 9) with a side of spicy chocolate mousse for dipping.
River Oaks District
Want to soak up? You’ll find fun and cheeky cocktails like ‘jungle disco’ ($ 13), a tincture made with reposado tequila, pineapple, serrano-infused simple syrup, carrot juice and a squeeze of lemon, as well as the spiciness I like you ($ 14) a mezcal drink with tequila reposado, cordial de Cayenne and pineapple liqueur topped with a sparkling Topo Chico.
Casa Nomad also offers a rigorously edited wine list, available by the glass ($ 11 to $ 16) or by the bottle ($ 44 to $ 62) and beers ($ 7). It is open from Wednesday to Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight.