French bistro hopes to break Heights curse

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Meet Maneul Pucha, Executive Chef/Owner of Maison Pucha Bistro (KTRK)

For the last couple of years, the Heights has been Houston's hottest destination for new restaurants. Despite the number of high-quality openings, the neighborhood has lacked a French bistro.

At least, it did. That situation changed last week with the opening of Maison Pucha Bistro. Located in the former Stella Sola/Black & White space at 1001 Studewood, the new restaurant is led by executive chef Manuel Pucha (Philippe, La Table) and his brothers, pastry chef Victor and sommelier/mixologist Cristian. Together, the three brothers bring over 60 years of experience to their endeavor.

Given its history, the space has a reputation for being "cursed," but the brothers seem poised to turn things around. That starts with the design, which features an open kitchen, a comfortable bar, and a simply-decorated dining room with wooden tables and blue banquettes. The look is more comfortable than stylish, which furthers the restaurant's goal of being a neighborhood spot that's casual enough for weeknight dinners but also fancy enough for date nights and special occasions.

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