Anyone in the restaurant business knows about the long hours and the personal sacrifices made to ensure a good business.
But Gary Adair, a longtime restaurateur who owns Skeeter’s Mesquite Grill and Los Tios Mexican Restaurant stores, made an important exception to those long hours: he said he was determined to be home for dinner when his children were growing up.
It’s a promise Gary and Betsy Adair kept. And that promise seems to have factored into his children’s decision to embark on a restaurant career of their own.
Siblings Katie Adair Barnhart and Nick Adair have opened Adair Kitchen in the Galleria neighborhood that is at once a tribute to their own culinary directive and the legacy of those family dinners.
“I guess you can say my sister and I grew up in restaurants. Both Katie and I have always wanted a restaurant that served the food we love to eat, and the way our mother cooked – fresh and simple and all natural,” Adair said.
Their mother’s recipes and her adherence to fresh foods looms large over the bright Adair Kitchen space that was the former Habanero’s at San Felipe and Sage. The restaurant is serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in a stark but homey environment outfitted with industrial tables and chairs. One wall is dominated by an enormous sheet metal pig decoration (Betsy Adair has a thing for pigs).
While their parents’ culinary and business senses obviously influenced the siblings, Adair Kitchen is their own foray into the restaurant world. “Classic” is how Barnhart describes the food, “but with a fresh, healthy angle wherever we can.”
“Deliberately simple but made with quality,” her brother adds.
The breakfast menu includes omelets, steel cut oats with fruit compote, pancakes, huevos rancheros, chicken and waffles, and breakfast tacos.
Lunch and dinner options include grilled chicken and avocado sandwich, grilled fish tacos, grilled chicken and quinoa bowl, shredded kale and quinoa salad, blackened shrimp and goat cheese salad, southwest chicken salad, and – in a nod to Skeeter’s – a selection of burgers served with fries, sweet potato fries or fruit. There’s also a custom salad option (think of a sushi list where you check off what you want) that allows customers to build their own greens and things entrée.
When the liquor license comes, the restaurant will serve signature cocktails and a wine list organized by none other than master sommelier (and family friend) Guy Stout.
Adair Kitchen: 5161 San Felipe, Suite 390, 713-623-6100; adairkitchen.com
Hours: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday