The Whitehall to Debut with New Southern-Mex Fusion Restaurant

Downtown soon will see a spiffed up hotel and a new Texas-inspired restaurant to boot.

The Crowne Plaza Houston Downtown will be rebranded as The Whitehall when it emerges from a $5 million renovation on April 14. At the same time the hotel’s restaurant, Brazos, will open as Edgar’s Hermano with executive chef Sylvia Covarrubias at the helm.

The restaurant, which also has been remodeled, is named for Edgar Sims, the father of Drew Sims, CEO of Sotherly Hotels, the Virginia-based hotel group that acquired the 1700 Smith hotel in 2013. A year later Sotherly began its renovation of the hotel’s 259 rooms, meeting spaces, lobby and the restaurant which is currently being remodeled.

Covarrubias described the menu at Edgar’s Hermano as a fusion of southern food and Mexican cuisine – flavors familiar to Texans. The breakfast/lunch/dinner restaurant has a bar, which also is being improved, that will feature Sotherly’s own Edgar’s Truth bourbon.

Breakfast options will include country grit cakes topped with pork belly, pomegranate glaze, green tomatillo salsa and a fried egg (the chef’s version of Eggs Benedict); steak and eggs featuring grilled beef fajitas; and crispy chicken biscuit with chipotle honey glaze. Examples of dinner options are fried chicken with poblano/potato enchiladas; adobo-crusted pig wings with mango habanero salsa served over masa grits; pan-seared whole snapper Veracruz; smoked short rib tamales topped with mango pico and served with Spanish rice and beans; pulpo (octopus) ceviche; and chicken breast filled with Mexican cheese mac ‘n’ cheese and candied bacon.

The Whitehall was the original name of the Houston hotel when it opened in 1963. Sotherly Hotels, which prides itself on southern hospitality service, has a portfolio of 12 hotels that include the Georgian Terrace in Atlanta, the Hilton Savannah Desoto in Savannah, Ga., the Doubletree Raleigh Brownstone in Raleigh, NC, the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Hotel in Miami, and the Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina Hotel in Norfolk, Va.