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The SCENE Magazine

A Casual and Elegant Waterfront Dining Experience

Nov 02, 2013 04:22PM ● By Corinne Moore
Opus Bistro offers continental cuisine from the 100 year-old recipes of Escoffier, who was the father of modern French cuisine and is universally recognized as the finest master chef of the 20th century. The restaurant, located at 1002 Aspen Road in Clear Lake Shores, uses recipes that have stood the test of time over and over again and specializes in Black Angus steaks and fresh seafood at affordable prices.

When Charlie Felts and Chef Christopher Simon met 36 years ago, they just clicked. Their friendship was maintained inside, as well as outside, the fickle service industry through a shared dream to one day co-own a restaurant. The date this dream became a reality was in January 2010, when Opus Bistro opened its doors for the first time in Clear Lake Shores.

The restaurant’s name really captures its essence. “Opus” is a Greek derivative that translates to “one’s life’s finest work.” And “Bistro” has origins from the South of France which loosely means “a neighborhood restaurant that serves large portions at affordable prices.”

Opus Bistro offers unique menu items made with only the freshest ingredients and made from scratch daily. On the appetizer menu, the Shrimp and Grits (Gulf shrimp sautéed with chardonnay, garlic, onions, and three colored peppers surrounding homemade grits topped with hollandaise sauce), the Asparagus Parmesan (jumbo asparagus encrusted with parmesan cheese, and garnished with crab meat and tomatoes), or the Coquille St. Jacques (sea scallops and shrimp baked in a mushroom crème, and surrounded by Duchese potatoes) are all flavorful. One of the many salad choices is the Crab Salad that features blue crab, avocado, mango, tomato, and basil seasoning.

The main fare options will awake and inspire your taste buds with seafood entrées such as the Red Snapper Charlie Brown (Gulf red snapper lightly breaded and topped with sautéed mushrooms, artichokes and crab meat, finished with a brown butter sauce), and the Soft Shell Crab Oscar (two soft shell blue crabs dusted with white corn flour, fried in olive oil and topped with jumbo lump crab meat, hollandaise sauce and asparagus). A sampling of the beef offerings include the Filet Au Poivre (center-cut tenderloin topped with sautéed black peppercorns in crème) and the Tournedos Sauce Opus (twin tenderloin medallions topped with beef cabernet mushroom sauce, garnished with grilled shrimp). On the menu are also scrumptious chicken dinners, including Chicken on Fire (grilled chicken topped with melted provolone cheese, caramelized onions and Serrano peppers).

Dessert – or “fulfillment” as the restaurant has named this experience – offers rich rewards to top off any meal. Perhaps a decadent Crème Brulee, Bananas Foster (flamed with Gran Marnier), or Belgian White Chocolate Mousse will satisfy the sweet cravings. Or fresh berries with Gran Marnier Sabayon topped with fresh whipped cream? Opt for the Apfel, a German classic made with whole poached apple stuffed with brown sugar, butter, and raisins wrapped in puff pastry, baked golden brown and topped with a vanilla custard sauce. Opus Bistro does not stop at serving quality food and providing outstanding customer service. The restaurant has a thriving bar area with more than 120 wines available. “We try to go over and beyond with just an offering of the basic of wines to our customers,” declared Felts. Opus Bistro utilizes the services of a wine broker who has a knack for seeking out newer and lesser-known wines, “hidden gems” as Felts calls them. Customers have the opportunity to try out up-and-coming wines before they become widely available.

It has been said that the restaurant’s food presentation and warm, elegant decor are only rivaled by the charm of the Bay Area’s rich history and friendly people! Opus Bistro’s neighborhood setting is just minutes away from the Kemah Boardwalk. The understated building is nestled on the waterfront. Upon entering Opus Bistro, you will quickly note that the atmosphere is welcoming to all types, and there is not a bad seat in the house. The casual, but elegant, waterfront dining experience is good for families as well as for those who may be on a formal first date. Enjoy complimentary valet parking on weekends.

Opus Bistro also sets the standard for private dining, catering and event planning for receptions, weddings, corporate events, luncheons and dinner parties. Felts notes that Opus Bistro is available to the public for lunch when it’s in association to a planned event; otherwise, he and Simon prefer to specialize and excel in serving to a dinner crowd.

Felts said that he and Simon are honored to be a part of the community. Both are native Texans who have called South Shore Harbor home for many, many years. Their dedication to excellence has earned Opus Bistro numerous awards including Best Seafood, Best Steaks, Best Service, and Most Romantic.

It is highly recommended (but not required) to make weekend reservations. Call the restaurant at 281-334-5225. Opus Bistro serves the Bay Area Sundays through Thursdays from 5 to 10 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 11 p.m. Visit to see the full menu.

Enjoy first class food in a casual, elegant waterfront setting at Opus Bistro!

- Rhonda Meredith, The SCENE Magazine

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