A delightful new eatery has popped up in Montrose. What was formerly Teala’s on West Dallas has transformed into a chic, neighborhood spot that will win you over the second you step in the door. The adorable eatery Emmaline is a fresh and exciting addition to the Houston food scene. I went to Emmaline’s inaugural brunch service last weekend and fell in love.
The décor is airy and light. I felt like I was in a European farmhouse or a tropical greenhouse somewhere in southeast Asia. Wicker chairs fill the rooms with distressed wood floors and olive tile and bright green palms waving through the floor to ceiling windows. The press release I received described it as a spot where “guests will come as they are — whether from a run along Buffalo Bayou or to catch an early or late dinner before or after any event.”
Emmaline has elements of The Dunlavy and Tiny Boxwoods, making it the perfect spot to meet up for drinks on a date, dress up and host a bachelorette brunch or impress out of town family. I don’t know if its casual enough to show up sweaty in leggings from Buffalo Bayou, but given that it just opened in mid-December, it might be too soon to make a judgment on the vibe.
I will say though, the décor is absolutely wonderful. In addition to the dreamy interior, Emmaline is surrounded by multiple patios and a fabulous balcony that has downtown skyline views. Once the weather warms up a bit, this will definitely be a go-to spot for happy hour on the patio.
I also have to commend the service at Emmaline. Usually when you go to a restaurant opening, it’s pretty obvious that there are some kinks that need to be worked out as people get adjusted to the routine, learn the menu, etc. But shout out to Keisha who was fabulous and could answer all our obscure questions about the brunch menu (like what is lollo rossa?). The brunch menu is pretty solid.
Emmaline is pretty quirky in the sense that they felt the need to rename all their cocktails. The drink menu takes something totally normal, renames it something funky, and then underneath includes the actual name, so you know what their talking about. Example: “Pretty Little Liar” aka “Our Bellini”….
We had a round of “The Cure” aka a Bloody Mary. The cocktail was pretty unique in the fact that it was made with branca menta and garnished with a mint leaf. I personally didn’t like the combo of tomato and mint, but it was definitely strong enough to cure us from our Day for Night hangovers.
For appetizers, we sampled the Char-Boiled Oysters and Pearls. I don’t eat fish, but the plating was beautiful and my meat eating friend said the robiola and caviar was delightful.
For mains, I got the Our House is Yours Salad–with that elusive lollo rossa lettuce. Mistakes as it was a pretty small salad and definitely intended for more of a starter course. It was delicious nonetheless, but next time if I’m hungrier I’d opt for something heartier on the main menu like the Chef’s Morning Pizza, Eggs Florentine, or the Frittata Americana. My friend got the BLTA Toast and it was beautiful and tasty. Quote of the day: We’re millennials and can’t have toast without avocado.
For dessert, we rounded off the meal with an elegant and light Panna Cotta topped with grapefruit and pistachios.
It was love at first sight with Emmaline and I definitely plan on making my way back and eating my way through the rest of the menus. I look forward to seeing the restaurant blossom and I hope it becomes a longstanding staple on the Houston restaurant scene.