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For some Valentine’s romance, check out a relocated favorite. Plus Chinese recommendations to suitably celebrate the Year of the Pig.

dinelodge
Reincarnated Rainbow.

Rainbow Lodge was one of those reliably romantic spots for the many years it perched on a bank overlooking Buffalo Bayou. Then Donette Hansen disappointed legions of devoted diners when she shuttered her restaurant (since replaced by another, similar-sounding enterprise, the Lodge at Bayou Bend).

Last fall, however, guests at the AssistHers Decadent Dessert Extravaganza learned from crisply dressed staff at a Rainbow Lodge table that Hansen would soon move to the fancy log cabin that once housed La Tour d’Argent.

In early December, Hansen did indeed reopen her venerable eatery in the rambling house on a wooded acre along another bayou, White Oak, near the Heights. Now Houstonians can once again enjoy the Rainbow Lodge well-known seafood, steaks, and wild game–prepared in executive chef Jason Hauck’s kitchen–in the same kind of burnished, clubby atmosphere of the old Bayou Bend days.

By the way, Rainbow Lodge first opened 30 years ago this year. That’s an eternity in the fickle Houston restaurant market.

Rainbow Lodge. 2011 Ella Blvd., 713/861-8666, www.rainbow-lodge.com
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DinepigBE A PIG. In this case, it’s okay. February 18 marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year, which is the Year of the Pig (or, if you prefer, the Boar). Celebrate with a festive meal at one of our preferred spots, Shanghai River (2407 Westheimer, 713/528-5528), which will host performances by dragon dancers and present diners with cards with their names written in Chinese characters on February 16 and 17. Or start the year right with a feast at Kam’s (4500 Montrose Blvd., 713/529-5057), chosen best Chinese restaurant by OutSmart readers in the 2006 Gayest & Greatest survey. Or check out the newest Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood, 369 Oriental Bistro (1009 Westheimer, 713/524-8839) or order one of the Chinese specialties at the relocated Hollywood Vietnamese & Chinese (2409 Montrose Blvd., 713/523-8808). Go ahead. Make a pig of yourself.

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