(image: Julie Soefer Photography)

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WHY HERE: Drinking is always better with food, and chef Chris Shepherd has tricked out the menu at this Houston restaurant with piles of 20-month-old prosciutto, Korean braised goat and dumplings, smoked jalapeño-cheddar sausage and more ever-changing dishes. All of this goes splendidly with the venue's wine lineup, a small-winery focused list put together by sommelier Matthew Pridgen.

WHY NOW: Wine is no longer regulated to fancy restaurants, small-plate joints and wine bars. At Underbelly, it goes wonderfully with barbecue and Southern comfort fare.

Photo credit: Julie Soefer Photography

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1100 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77006