Clique Bistro brings a new speakeasy vibe with elevated bar bites meant to be shared among friends. The hidden gem just opened under the radar, is leveling up bar bites, and wants to be your favorite spot to unwind, network, or make your pit stop before and after social soirees and events. The modern, late nightspot is tucked away on the border of Montrose and Midtown, making a perfect hideout with friends — don’t blink or you may miss it.
A long time in the making, it was originally slated to open in the summer of 2020 but was delayed more than a year due to the pandemic. Opposite of its grandiose sister restaurant J-Bar-M Barbecue, Clique Bistro is a chic, cozy nook focused on craft cocktails complemented with elevated bar bites that build on various international flavors.
Chef Justin Santellana, the former teacher at Culinary Institute LeNotre, prepares simple yet sophisticated shareable bites that will take your taste buds on a worldly tour from Asia to the Mediterranean to Mexico and beyond. Santellana spent six years teaching classical French cuisine at LeNotre then worked under Kristofer Jakob at Kris Bistro, taking over as executive sous chef where he received the 2014 and 2015 Houston Press Award for Best Charcuterie and his cuisine remained on Alison Cook’s Top 100 List from 2012 through 2014.
Top menu items include the broiled Blue Point oysters covered in a tamarind herb butter and spicy candy bacon; citrus scallops ceviche chilled to perfection in a citrus Serrano marinade; beets two ways served with purple roasted beets and golden pickled beets topped with arugula leaves, goat cheese, and white balsamic vinaigrette; and many more light and savory snacks presented and portioned perfectly for sharing, allowing guest to truly have it all.
The intimate bar setting has a refined industrial feel with metalwork from cages that house wines to the bar top that overlooks a stained glass backdrop giving a peek inside the kitchen. The bar program was a collaboration between consultant Christophe Paul, owner of Cafe Rabelais and Bistro 555, bar aficionado and cocktail competitor Eric Boyd, owner of The Boyd’s Bar, mobile bar and cocktail classes, and Clique’s head cocktail creator, Coretta Wintz, a seasoned bar professional who spent the better part of 30 years at The Richmond Arms Pub, plus other local mainstays. The quaint bar offers well-balanced craft cocktails that will change seasonally. Current fall flavors include fusion creations like cinnamon, apple cider, and candy cane to get you in the holiday spirit.
An easy-read wine list is grouped by flavor profiles making it easy for the guest to choose based on their cravings. The wine list hosts predominantly domestics and crowd favorites plus unique labels and was assembled with the help of Christophe Paul.
The cozy bistro has settled into its 2,000 square foot space within the recently developed retail center that sits on a piece of land owned by John Moloney. It seats 70 people inside; 24 people on the covered, dog-friendly, and soon-to-be heated patio; and 10 people in the secret dining room camouflaged as bookshelves.
Clique features food and drink a happy hour, including $40 for a bottle of bubbles and any two bites, including their East coast oysters, every Tuesday through Saturday, 4 p.m. ‘til 7 p.m., and will soon launch daily features. Look for the red umbrellas on the patio, tucked behind the oak trees where Elgin turns into Westheimer.
For more information or to make a reservation visit CliqueBistro.com or follow along on Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates.