If you’ve been waiting to try a new restaurant in town, August is a good month to do it. The start of the month marks the start of Houston Restaurant Weeks (HRW), a five-week-long extravaganza of specially priced menus in the city’s top restaurants, all benefiting the Houston Food Bank.

Get that belly ready to eat at one of the participating 250 restaurants in Houston and its surrounding areas, which offer two- and three-course menus at set prices. Lunches are $20, brunches are $22, and dinners are either $35 or $45. Restaurants donate anywhere from $3 to $7 from each meal to the Houston Food Bank. Last year, the event raised a record-breaking $2 million.

While reservations aren’t required at most restaurants, they are recommended. Not sure where to start? Here’s a list to get you started. For a full list of participating restaurants and menus, visit houstonrestaurantweeks.com.

B&B Butchers and Restaurant

This Washington Avenue butcher shop and upscale steakhouse was a top destination during last year’s Houston Restaurant Weeks. Although some of its three-course dinner menu options come with a surcharge, patrons can get a taste of the restaurant’s dishes without going overboard on spending. Starters include dishes such as caesar salad, iceberg wedge, B&B’s meatball, and brisket ravioli. Entrees include chicken fried pork chop, bacon-wrapped mushrooms stuffed with crab meat, and a 10-ounce filet. An 18-ounce New York Strip and 22-ounce ribeye are available for an extra $25. At $20, B&B’s lunch two-course menu is also a good bet with options such as its popular burgers and sandwiches among its offerings. Read more...

Brennan’s of Houston

Get a small taste of one of the city’s most popular brunch spots for $22. The HRW brunch menu at Brennan’s includes a savory and a sweet course of your choosing from about a dozen options. Try the creole beef grillades and smash potatoes or shrimp and grits followed by creole bread pudding or Brennan’s famous banana foster. Brennan’s also has a lunch and dinner menu; we say opt for dinner. The three-course menu includes Brennan’s snapping turtle soup, duck and collard greens gumbo among its starters, as well as shrimp and grits, and filet mignon among the entree choices. For $45, you can’t go wrong. Read more...

Brasserie du Parc

This newcomer to downtown Houston’s dining scene serves classic French cooking overlooking Discovery Green. Whether for brunch, lunch or dinner, take advantage of Houston Restaurant Week to get a taste of chef Philippe Verbriand’s authentic French brasserie. The $35 dinner menu gives you a choice of starters such as chicken liver pate and beef tartare, and entrees such as sole meuniere, steak frites, and beef bourguignon. Desserts include pot au chocolate and caramelized apple crepe for desserts. As a side note, you can also get a taste of Verbriand’s cuisine during Houston Restaurant Week at his Uptown Park restaurant, Etoile. Read more...

Coltivare

The rustic Italian restaurant by Agricole Hospitality’s chef Ryan Pera and Morgan Weber is a locals’ destination in the Heights. Well known for its commitment to local and regional ingredients, the restaurant serves a variety of Italian inspired dishes, including wood-oven fired pizzas and house made pastas. For HRW, Coltivare’s $35 dinner menu includes a selection of snacks, pizzas, pastas, and desserts. Starter choices include the popular cauliflower with pine nuts and raisins, a 3-ounce grilled octopus, and grilled figs served with prosciutto and blue cheese. For your entree, choose from seven pizzas, five pastas and some heartier dishes such as eggplant parmesan and half wood-grilled chicken. For a sweet ending, choose panna cotta, Trentino gelato, or a wood roasted pear crostada. Read more...

Le Colonial

This gorgeous restaurant in the River Oaks District serves a menu that carefully balances classic Vietnamese dishes with French-Asian cuisine in a beautiful two-story restaurant inspired by the 1920s French Colonial Indochina. Its three-course $45 menu for Houston Restaurant Weeks is a good introduction to executive chefs Nicole Routhier and Dan Nguyen’s food a sample the restaurant’s take on French-Vietnamese fare. Start with your choice of cold summer shrimp rolls, crispy shrimp, pork and mushroom rolls, or steamed chicken and mushroom dumplings. Second course choices include grilled salmon and asparagus, curried Texas Gulf shrimp with bamboo shoots, snap peas, and zucchini, or bo luc lac. For dessert, try strawberry panna cotta, chocolate mousse, or Le Colonial’s mango sundae. Read more...

Peli Peli

This South African fusion restaurant was among Houston Restaurant Week’s most popular destinations last year. Head on over to get a taste of the restaurant’s South African inspired specialties at its Galleria, Vintage Park, and Cinco Ranch locations. The dinner menu ($45) includes starters such bobotie, a popular South African dish of curried ground beef and spices, as well as South African fire roasted oysters, and stuffed mushrooms. Follow with beef or chicken skewers, short rib surf and turf, or blackened salmon. For dessert choose sticky toffee pudding or Peli Peli cheesecake. Peli Peli is also offering a lunch and brunch HRW menus. Read more...

Potente

Potente’s early 2017 opening was highly anticipated among Houstonians. Owned by Houston Astros owner Jim Crane, the restaurant offers upscale Italian fare in a luxurious setting. If you haven’t tried it yet, Houston Restaurant Week may be a good excuse to do so. The $45 dinner menu starts off with an amuse of artichoke hummus, followed by your choice of four starters that include classics such as Italian wedding soup and rock lobster arancini. Entrees include quail saltimbocca, sweet potato agnolotti, shrimp fra diavolo and an 8-ounce beef filet. For dessert, creme brulee, ricotta cheesecake, and caramel apple galette make fine choices. Read more...

Provisions

The more casual side of The Pass & Provisions, chefs Terrence Gallivan and Seth Siegel-Gardner’s restaurant in the Fourth Ward is serving lunch and dinner for Houston Restaurant Weeks. For dinner ($35), start with watermelon gazpacho or spicy tuna sourdough toast, follow with your choice of green pea cavatappi, crispy trout, smoked pork sausage, or eggplant parmesan pizza, and finish with a Houston Dairymaids cheese plate, panna cotta, or orange sherbert. The $20 lunch option offers the same dishes minus the dessert. Read more...

Tony’s

For years, Tony Vallone’s namesake restaurant has been among Houston’s premier restaurants. The award-winning restaurant which is a favorite power lunch spot, is offering dinner and lunch during Houston Restaurant Week. The $20 two-course lunch includes starters such as fennel apple soup and squash filled pasta, and entrees including pappardelle bolognese and a prime steak salad. The $45 three-course dinner gives diners a choice from seven appetizers, seven entrees and five desserts. Read more...

Xochi

Chef Hugo Ortega’s newest restaurant in downtown’s Marriott Marquis Houston, Xochi (pronounced so-chee) treats diners to the richness of Oaxacan cuisine. Unlike at other restaurants where you choose from a group of appetizers, entrees and desserts, at Xochi Ortega has thoughtfully put together four different dinner menus for diners to choose from. The Menu de Mole, for instance, starts off with an amuse bouche of squash blossom mole, fresh cheese, masa dumplings and baby squash, and follows with sauteed green shrimp in green mole, an entree of duck confit enchiladas, and mole tamarind cake to finish. Other menus include Menu de Vino Mexicano, Menu de Mezcal, and a vegetarian menu. All menus are $45 with the exception of the vegetarian menu ($35). Xochi also has a HRW lunch menu on weekdays. Read more...