It was reported in February of this year by The Leader that the Lazybrook and Timbergrove area would gain La Vista 101 by Longtime restaurateur and owner Greg Gordon. Taking from its namesake La Vista in Brairgrove (now closed), La Vista 101 opened today, May 29.
Although Gordon’s previous venture with La vista was solo, La Vista 101 is represented by a passionate team of hospitality professionals; including, J.D. Woodward as executive chef, Jeb Stuart as general manager and wine program director, Morgan Mansur as bar manager, and Phil Randolph as business manager.
Jeb Stuart explains, “Between the management team, we have over seventy years of combined experience spanning both the front and back of the house. We each come with our unique perspectives and believe that putting them together will create something truly special.”
J. D. Woodward, a Houston native, learned cooking with his family first by his professional chef grandfather. In high school Woodward began working in restaurants throughout Houston and eventually followed in his grandfather’s culinary footsteps. His career into the “back of the house” began at Rainbow Lodge under Randy Rucker as an expediter, then he climbed his way to cook. From there he’s worked at Stella Sola, helped to open the acclaimed Underbelly, and mostly recently at Southern Goods.
Woodward constructed a comfort menu for La Vista 101 of small plates, pizzas, and pastas with influences from all over the Mediterranean while incorporating his love for pickling and flavor infusions. Applications of smoke, wood, and cure are implemented in the menu as well.
“Diners will taste influences from Italy, Greece, North Africa, and Spain, as flavors from those [places] have always spoken to me. Additionally, we’ll use bold seasoning and attention to the fuels and methods of the food’s creation to add depth and complexity to the dishes,” said Woodward.
For La Vista 101 Gordon tapped interior designer Carl Eaves of Eaves Construction and Design Services, who is known for his work at BRC, Liberty Kitchen, and Alice Blue. Eaves transformed the 3,000 square foot property into a cozy space by incorporating deep red, black and white elements throughout, adding shaped booths made of natural wood, and raising the roof. The light fixtures are different sizes of adjoined spheres that illuminate the black tables and monochrome carpet pattern.
“What we’re most excited about at La Vista 101 is serving as a hub for the growing Lazybrook, Timbergrove community,” said Gordon, “We want everyone to view this place as—yes, a restaurant and bar, but also as a relaxing, fun haven from the outside world. Our dream is to see neighbors and friends come a few times a week with their families.”
La Vista is open Tuesday – Friday from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Friday – Saturday from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., and Sunday from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Weekday lunch and brunch will debut in the coming weeks. Visit them at 1805 West 18th Street.