So listen, most of my blog posts are the result of one good visit to a new or new to me spot in Houston.  When the world is open, it is rare that I circle back to places because there is always something shiny and new that I want to check out next.  Welp, I visited Roots Wine Bar about a week ago and loved it so much that I was back with another group of friends by that weekend.  This here post is the culmination of two good visits to Roots Wine Bar and the conclusion you should take is, visit ASAP!

The Setup

Down the street from EADO Hand Car Wash and East End Hardware on Leeland, Roots is in a great developing area in the midst of those townhouses you see all around Houston now.   While Leeland has quite a bit of street parking, there is no dedicated parking lot for Roots.  I recommend getting there early and parking as close to the wine bar as you can.

As you arrive, you will notice the large patio out front with tables spaced out for social distancing.  Once inside there is a host table to the left.  Here, you will register with your license and get your card for wine.  They hold a credit card here for your tab and this is also where you order food and check out.   Once equipped with your card, you make your way over to the self serve wine bar to select your wines and serving size.

On both of my visits I sat outside because that is still the safest dining option.   But, if you are feeling a little braver you can sit inside at the tables and couches there.  Towards the back there is a private room that I imagine you can reserve for gatherings.  In addition to the front patio, there are tables along the side of the restaurant including those Instagram famous tables with the fur covers on them.   To me the side patio is the best spot and seemed to fill up last.  If the front patio is full, be sure to check the side for seats.

That front patio is a VIBE! Just waiting for patio season to be in full bloom.

The Wine

We encountered a similar self service setup in Beaumont during my tour a few years back.  There though, the self service included beer and I am not a huge beer fan so I could not really appreciate how cool this setup is! Here is the key thing that I loved.  Many of the bottles on tap ranged in price from $65-100.  Let me tell what you will not catch me doing, buying a $100 bottle of wine!  But here, I can pay a couple of bucks to taste it to see what all of the hype was about and then go buy a full glass of one of the more moderately priced wines.

For my visit I tried a few of the roses and a white wine my friend discovered.   Staff is present to help you make a decision because honestly all of these options can be a tad overwhelming!  When you head out for the evening, you can also grab a bottle of the featured wines to go.   Also, if you happen to visit and not big on wine (how sway?!), they do offer beers and ciders too.

The Food

Fried Oysters

All of the energy around Roots is focused on the self-service wine bar.  So much so that many of the posts I’ve seen fail to note how great the food is.  In fact, when I walked in I was not even sure if they sold food!  As our waiter shared, the Roots chef is super underrated in the Houston area.  After my visits, I would have to agree.   We spent a bit of time speaking with the chef who shared how they use locally sourced items and fresh gulf seafood to create unique items that you will not find at other Houston wine bars.   The plan is to change the menu up a bit every few weeks.

Crawfish Croquettas

Between my visits, I have tried the crawfish croquettas, the fried oysters, cavatelli (a pasta dish) and the brussels sprouts.  I thought all of the dishes were excellent.  Just note that the portions are not huge so may want to double up on the small bites if you are feeling hungry and drinking a fare share of wine samples.

Cavatelli Pasta with Shrimp

The Takeaway

This is the hottest new spot in Houston and you must go soon! It is perfect for a girls night out, first date and a meetup with your crew.   Wine lovers will of course be in their zone, but I think even if you are so so on wine you will enjoy this bar and may even walk away with a new appreciation for wines.  Final note, in addition to changing up the food menu, they also change up the wine menu every few weeks.  So that means, I will have to go back at leastttt once a month to make sure I’m not missing anything :).