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By Ray Dennison

Photo by Becca Wright

10.30.17

New a’Bouzy opens in River Oaks with a top-notch wine program.

Since opening in August, Shawn Virene’s buzzy new a’Bouzy in River Oaks has become a top stop on Houston’s see-and-be-seen social circuit. The name—a play on words and homage to a town located in France’s famed Champagne region—should suggest the place’s lively vibe and also make it clear that the wine program plays a major role here. Virene, who cut his chops as a managing partner of Brasserie 19, knows a good cellar goes a long way, and his extensive list features more than 1,000 bottles, with no fewer than 250 types of bubbly. Glasses start at a reasonable $12, while bottles like a 2000 vintage of Krug Clos d’Ambonnay can climb as high as $2,799. Freddie Gonzaga and Jose Ruiz, meanwhile, dish out French fare to match the cellar. Starters include steak tartare, tuna and watermelon sashimi (shown here) and mushrooms marinated in truffle oil, while Cornish game hen, roasted Maine lobster and prime rib with a port reduction make up mains. 2300 Westheimer Road, 713.722.6899