Victor pens a new story of Houston nightlife
Updated 1:39 pm, Friday, March 9, 2018
The belle epoque chandeliers glisten. The curtains groan in their heavy velvet luster. The bespoke bar boasts top-shelf spirits and French champagne. And the cushy custom furniture suggests a taste for the fine life.
Or la vie boheme might be more accurate. Victor, a new French-themed bar/lounge, has opened in the former Zimm’s Bar space at 4321 Montrose. It’s so rich in its lusty textile and cut-crystal richness it looks like it might have been bobbing in champagne bubbles for ages.
But no, the chic bar is newly minted, the project of an intensely focused group of Frenchmen whose collective eye has envisioned an operation that looks, tastes and sounds tres French. Named for “Les Miserables” author Victor Hugo, the 50-seat lounge (with a 12-seat bar) sports cadet blue upholstered furniture and navy walls and drapery; the inky darkness brightened by the soft glow of chandeliers and orange ottomans. There are a handful of heavily curtained VIP rooms that the owners prefer calling lounges. And throughout, quotes from famous French citizens are stenciled onto the walls. One such quip, emblazoned in French, from Coco Chanel: “I only drink champagne on two occasions: When I am in love and when I am not.”
Well, Coco, there’s plenty of fizz to keep the in-love and the loveless happy at Victor. The menu boasts Bollinger, Dom Perignon, Cristal, Dom Ruinart and Armand de Brignac champagne, as well as a healthy selection of French red, white and rose wine. And plenty of craft cocktails such as the Envie de Toi (Bulleit Rye, sweet vermouth and chocolate bitters), Epicee (Grey Goose vodka, elderflower liqueur and jalapeno ginger paste), and Marseille (vodka, basil, brown sugar, lemonade and bitters). There are also appropriately Frenchy nibbles: duck pate, country pate, smoked salmon, Croque Monsieur, tapenade and country bread, and meats and cheese boards.