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The Hit List: 5 Spots to Spring Forward

The changing season sprouts new menus and fresh, bright flavors just right for spring. From brand new brunches to light local bites, here’s where to nosh and celebrate nature’s bounty.

Izakaya

1. The 3,000-square-foot garden, and menu, are blooming at Coltivare (3320 White Oak Dr., 713.637.4095) in the Heights. Look for freshly picked strawberry and green bean salad, puffy pizzas layered with spring onions and turkey sausage, grilled soft shell crab with fennel pollen, roasted artichokes with herb butter, and succulent swordfish panzanella, to name a few!

2. Cool your heels at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse (5061 Westheimer Rd., 713.355.2600) with the new lunch options. There’s avocado chicken salad wrap with chilled quinoa, seared Wagyu beef carpaccio and Bay of Fundy salmon with crab hash and lobster tomato jus. Or, take advantage of the updated three-course fixed-price business lunch for just $25.

3. Japanese pub Izakaya (318 Gray St., 713.527.8988) has reopened its lovely courtyard patio, perfect for its new Sunday brunch. Also, look for a new raw bar tasting menu on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, as well as afternoon tea service, and oyster specials during happy hour. If you like noodles, dive into the new ramen.

4. Charming Sud Italia Ristorante (2347 University Blvd., 713.664.7571) has rolled out a light, fresh menu for spring that will work right into summer. Think pasta in bright arugula pesto or burrata with sliced tomato, balsamic, basil and mint. Offerings from the sea include mussels in white wine and grilled rainbow trout with fresh herbs.

5. Perfect weather means patio time at The Burger Joint (2703 Montrose Blvd., 281.974.2889). In addition to the burgers, salads and mind-blowing milkshakes, the joint also offers a new Monday brunch (11am-4pm) featuring eggs Benedict, French toast, chicken-fried chicken and a fun Fiesta Scramble.