Chef Monica Pope writes about eating & cooking where your food lives

restaurants January 16, 2010


Monica Pope has been a pioneering chef and restaurateur in Houston for almost 20 years.  Monica first learned to cook from her Czech grandmother and went on to earn her Chef’s title from Prue Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London.  After working in Europe and San Francisco, Monica returned home to Houston to open her first restaurant, the critically acclaimed The Quilted Toque.  Soon after opening her second Houston restaurant, Boulevard Bistrot, she garnered national praise from top critical publications including Travel & Leisure, which hailed her “one of the most ingenious restaurateurs around.”

t’afia (which she created with business partner Andrea Lazar), celebrates all things local and has been featured in Gourmet, O Magazine, Bon Appetit, and Fortune.  She is also the co-creater (again with Andrea Lazar) and owner of Beaver’s, a popular and fun neighborhood restaurant that takes Texas Coastal cuisine to the extreme.

Her lastest venture, Sparrow Bar + Cookshop, doesn’t aim to please, Sparrow aims to serve. Good food, that is. The kind of food you want to enjoy with good friends, because that’s what food should be about: experiences.

A whimsical and modern homage to the namesake medieval cookshops that serviced the takeaway food needs of visitors and locals, who didn’t have access to kitchens for monetary or safety reasons.

You’ll find a free-flowing and easily sharable menu at Sparrow, with an emphasis on communal spaces and warm faces.