Some Memorable Moments at Mark's over the years...
My favorite Mark's memory will always hold a place near and dear to my heart... and it was completely by accident. It was our first anniversary and to mark the occasion my husband had made dinner reservations at Brennan's but halfway to the restaurant he received a call stating due to unforeseen circumstances they had to cancel our reservations. The hostess was very polite and sincerely apologized for the untimely event. Having prior knowledge of the event we were celebrating she went on to say she took the liberty of making a reservation at Mark’s. Although feeling a little frustrated we were grateful. Needless to say we were blown away. The service was impeccable, ambiance was breathtaking and our dinner was heavenly. We could not have asked for a more special evening. Till this day, we say it was the most romantic and intimate dinner we have ever experienced. Thank you.
This past October my then boyfriend told me he wanted to take me out to a special dinner to celebrate a new job I had just started. I told him I had been to Mark's during job recruiting in college, but had never had the full experience. Our waiter was so attentive and made everything on the menu sound fabulous. He even brought us a second bottle of wine when I ended up not liking the first. It was the best meal and wine of my life. We left feeling so full and happy I could have easily gone home to sleep, but thank goodness we didn't because that's the night my fiancé proposed! I am so glad Mark's was a part of such a special night, and I can't wait to celebrate many of our wedding anniversaries to come there.
I have two favorite Mark's Memories!
The first one is when my son Clint called to tell me he was going to propose to his girlfriend, Stella. He asked me where he should take her to do that - I, of course, said it had to be Mark's American - but told him to let me make the reservation for him. When I made the reservation, I was able to arrange for a bottle of champagne to be delivered to the table as soon as they were seated. My daughter-in-law thinks it was the most magical evening ever. He proposed, she said yes, and they have now been married for five years and recently had a little boy.
The second memory is from 2009 when my husband took me to Mark's for my "double nickel" birthday - it was our last really special dinner out, as he became ill shortly after and passed away in June of 2010.
I've dined at Mark's many times over the years, and never had a bad time or anything less than wonderful meal. But those are two of the the best ones.
Congratulations on your 16th anniversary - you are a blessing because you help make those memories and I'm sure you are in turn blessed my having done so.
My parents were visiting from New Mexico so my Mother could check checked out at MD Anderson to figure out what was going on and if she indeed did have Cancer. On September 2, 2011 our fears were confirmed and Mom was diagnosed with terminal Pancreatic Cancer. Our good family friend, "Uncle Barry" called me up from Florida and asked that I secretly arrange to take my parents and husband out to the BEST restaurant in Houston. I had to ask my co-worker and Houston native for ideas. Her response "It has to be Marks!" We got all dressed up (we told Mom it was a surprise, but don't worry we were not paying) and had the most lovely evening. Our waiter was so nice and said he'd volunteered at MD Anderson. At the end of the meal it was revealed with a note that our family friend had treated us. We have wonderful pictures from that night and my Mom and all of us agreed it was the best meal we've ever had. My Mom passed away October 2, 2012. I'm so glad we had this wonderful memory together which I will always cherish. Thank you
Happy 16th. Anniversary to Mark's American Cuisine, Chef Mark Cox, Lisa Cox and all the Staff.
My Mark's Memory is having being a part of the Team for over 8 years. It was a most memorable and enjoyable time.
The setting for Mark's is not only unique but a romantic and exceptional atmosphere.
In particular I remember the outstanding party that Chef Mark and Lisa did for the 2000 My Table Awards Presentation. The reception was held outside of the restaurant in a specially set up giant tent featuring ice carvings, different bars and an outstanding offering of hors d'oeuvres. The dinner itself took place in the restaurant and it was filled to capacity and then some. I recall having the cream of the crop of the culinary world in Houston and as special guest, the one and only, John Mariani the world famous food and restaurant critic. Once again, Chef Mark created a scrumptious menu from appetizer to dessert along with great wine pairings. It was a magnificent affair in every sense of the word.
I shall always remember that particular occasion along with many others in my experience in the restaurant world.
Happy Anniversary Chef Mark and Lisa! Continued success for many, many more years.
When my wife Lisa and I got married in 2009 a friend gave us a Gift Card to Mark's which we used shortly thereafter and have returned to Markâ€™s to celebrate our anniversary every year since then. From A to Z we have loved everything about the dining experience. From the awesome collection of bread to begin the meal to the person service of the staff to the decadent dessert that always brings it to a wonderful close our favorite memories have been all of them. Thanks for giving us a wonderful place to celebrate and create new memories every year!
My favorite Mark's memory is every time I have been there. The food is always awesome and so is the service. I don't have one favorite memory because they are all my favorite. We have celebrated Anniversary's and Mother's Day. I have never had anything disappointing, I know I can always count on a divine meal. The management does not change or the chef, its always a great meal.
The true full-body culinary experience is multi-tiered, involving the dish that tantalizes each of the senses, the dear friend as company with mutual appreciation for the epicurean qualities, and the intimate atmosphere at our candle-lit table within the deco walls of a 1920's renovated church. The soothing, dimly-lit main dining area naturally contrasts with the warm golden spotlights cast upward from the base of the geometrically angled panels that reach the vertices of the high ceilings. The warm rustic appeal of the wooden flooring of various shades of browns and tans speckled with tree rings and knots pairs attractively with the wooden trim and deco walls and the tan wooden panels of the window shades. The wine cellar, enclosed behind a large art deco glass window where the pipe organ used to reign, majestically overlooks the main dining area. Across the room is an elegantly designed staircase that spirals upward to the upper dining level. The harmonious blend of hushed murmurs and resounding laughter of pleasant conversation is punctuated by the dinging and clinking of glassware and utensils and the clicking of various types of heels against the well-worn wooden floors.
The main event is served. My finely-orchestrated dish is provocative in presentation and amalgamated flavors. The pair of lamb chops and slices of lamb loin take center stage. The textured walnut crust melds seamlessly with the succulence of the tandoori lamb loin. Its pale red flesh has a luscious flavor and texture with a silken pliancy, which is further emboldened with a port peppercorn reduction. The slices are neatly skewed around the savory roasted red pepper flan which is wrapped around its circumference by a single delicately curled slice of smoked eggplant. The earthy pungency of yellow and black lentils brings in another flavor which aptly complements the lamb. The light and refreshing zucchini ribbons add a welcomed contrast, in color and flavor, to the full-bodied elements of the dish.
Company with whom you share a common appreciation for the culinary scene, with whom you can converse of both the mundane and the finer details that embody the human experience, with whom you can sit in silence across the table just as comfortably as when actively conversing. Such is good company. I speak endlessly with multiple iterations of the remarkable flavors on my plate, the appeal of the romantic atmosphere and interior design, and the pleasant nature of the waiters and staff. He speaks highly of the quality and flavors of his past dishes, his familiarity with the menu and staff, and is attentive to my impressions of our experience. Whether as a first-timer or a regular, we both enjoy the food and company in the atmosphere that defines the Mark's experience.
2 Years ago my wife and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary at Marks'. Our service was impeccable, and our waiter was a big guy that looked like he belonged in the oil fields but was perfect an attentive to our every need. We have been to a couple of nice places before, but never as nice as Mark's. I have NEVER had a good experience with eating Lamb. everywhere I have been it has been tough and chewy. Our waiter gave us an iron clad guarantee that it would be tender and flavorful, and it was the best lamb I have ever had!
My memory is simple. Great food, beautiful ambiance and excellent service.
Matter of fact we are coming tonight to celebrate our 12th anniversary.
Many more memories to come.
Thank you Mark.
My favorite "Mark's Memory" was in 2010 when I interviewed Chef Mark for the International Travel show I hosted at the time "Living The High Life". Mark's American Cuisine was selected as the most luxurious place to dine while visiting Houston, and I was lucky enough to interview Chef Mark for the show and taste an incredible array of his most delicious food! Chef Mark was a natural in front of the camera and was a pleasure to interview. The food was exquisite and it was that day that I discovered the most incredible dessert I have ever tasted - Chef Mark's chocolate hazelnut dessert! To this day, Mark's American Cuisine remains one of my favorite restaurants to dine in everytime I am in Houston and is the only place I can enjoy my absolute favorite dessert. I travel extensively for my TV Shows and have eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world, but Mark's has a very special place in my heart! Thank you Chef Mark for making every experience I have had at your restaurant a very special "Mark's Memory"!
My husband took me to Mark's on my 26th birthday. At the time, he was my boyfriend and he wanted to make my 26th a very special day. I have heard nothing but great things about Mark, and when he surprised me by taking me there, I was really surprised and excited. He had made a reservation and our waiter knew it was my birthday. Brought out some red wine for us to sip on and was waited on so professionally. After dinner, the waiter brought out my birthday dessert and OMG! It was amazing!!!!!!! Bread pudding is my favorite! I can't tell you just how much I love this page, because I could go on for days. Our anniversary is October 15th, which is on a Monday, so we are going to Mark's on Friday to celebrate. Can't wait! Thank you Mark's for making every occasion very special to us!
My wife and I had our first meal at Mark's shortly after it opened when I was a medical student in Houston. We didn't have much money, so it was a real splurge to eat at such a nice place. I remember being blown away by the food and the service, really a special atmosphere. It became a tradition for us to eat at Mark's for anniversaries, birthdays, or anytime we needed a special meal. When my wife's aunt Donna was in town to visit MD Anderson Cancer Center in for treatment of terminal cancer, her husband Richard wanted us to all go out for a nice meal while she was still feeling well. The circumstances were sad, but I remember sitting up in the balcony at the restaurant and enjoying what turned out to be our last meal with Donna. We have lived in Portland, Oregon since I finished medical school in 2001, and only occasionally make it back to Houston to visit friends and family. When we do, we always have a reservation at Mark's to commemorate the occasion and to remember all the wonderful times we have shared at that special restaurant.
I attended a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society recently and purchased a silent auction basket, donated by Mark, that included a $100.00 gift card. My wife and I decided to celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary at your restaurant and what a fabulous experience it turned out to be. Mario and the entire staff made everything perfect, the food was spectacular, and the ambiance was nothing short of amazing.
Thank you for supporting cancer research and providing an incredible experience for my wife and I. You have earned customers for life and we will be back soon and often with the rest of the family.
Mark's is full of wonderful memories for my husband and me because every time a special occasion pops up, we make a reservation at Mark's. The first time we came was to celebrate my husband's birthday-- his first after we started dating. The drinks were fantastic (especially the Kentucky sidecar that we have ordered ever since), the atmosphere and service superb, and the food second to none. We both fell in love with the restaurant. Since then, with every birthday, job offer, anniversary, family visit, and plenty of "just because," we've gone to Mark's. We even rented the bell tower room for the first meeting of our parents, two days before our wedding. Mark's made that a picture-perfect night that our parents still talk about. Happy anniversary, Mark's!
I planned a very special birthday surprise for my fiance at Marks because I knew no other restaurant would come close. I wanted to order him a special cake, but as I must follow a strict gluten free diet, I worked with Pastry Chef Major himself to order a cake we both could enjoy. Not only did we get the most delicious cake I have ever had - gluten free or not! - but the kitchen took special care to prepare a gluten free meal from start to finish for me, including bread! The experience was incredible and it was such a relief to not only enjoy my meal but also to not have to worry about what I was eating!
There are so many wonderful memories at Mark's that it is difficult to pick just one ...My husband's 50th birthday, when our son and I gave him a guitar and the staff helped with the surprise...munchkin pumpkins every fall...the wine dinner when the restaurant introduced the 1658 Wine to the world...the year the My Table Awards were held at the restaurant, with the reception in the parking lot under the tents (It was THE BEST awards dinner My Table has EVER had!)...Colin's Graduation Party...Mother's Day Brnnch the last year one of my best friends was alive; she had such a great time that day...SO many wonderful NYE parties...Photos we've taken at the anniversary partyies in years 5 and 10...I could go on and on. CONGRATS to all!!
Parents look forward to their children growing up, getting married and having children of their own. But then, when it actually begins to happen, you realize that things will never again be quite the same in your world. Just before that first milestone happened in our family, we went to Mark's, just the four of us, and celebrated one another with laughter, tears and some glorious food. Now we have wonderful additions to our family (and more on the way!) but tomorrow my husband and I will celebrate our 39th anniversary, just the two of us, having lunch at the most romantic restaurant in Houston. Thanks for the memories made and those still to be made at Mark's!
My boyfriend took me to Mark's last night for my birthday. It was by far the most romantic dinner date that I'd ever been on. Our server was so well rehearsed and knowledgeable of not only the food both on and off the menu, but of the wine as well. He made our experience at Mark's about US. I honestly felt like we were the only couple in the restaurant. From the appetizers to the dessert, Marks gave the best food that I and my boyfriend have ever tasted.
IT WAS AMAZING. We both agree that Mark's will definitely be a place that we visit annually.
Back in 2003 my wife and I were married. For our first anniversary in 2004, Mark's was recommended, so we went. First experience was awesome. In the next 3 years we tried other venues but that first anniversary was always in the back of our minds.
We have never found any other place that could matched the experience of our first visit, so for the last 5 years we have always celebrated our special day with the awesome folks at Mark's. Thank you to Mark and all your fine staff for making our anniversary so memorable every year. See you in August to celebrate our 9 great years together!
Mark's is one of the finest restaurants. We love to go and celebrate by ourselves or with one or two friends. We have a friend from Canada that every time he is Houston he expects to dine at Mark's. They love going to Mark's just as much as we do. We first went to your fine upscale restaurant for my birthday, July 15th, 15 years ago. Now we go and celebrate every year.
Patrick is so good, he knows what we want and like and offers a variety of items on and off the menu.
My wife and I share a birthday only 6 days apart (well, 1 year and 6 days). We enjoy celebrating our birthdays with you. Always enjoy the experience with y'all!
My husband and I recently celebrated our first anniversary at Mark's. We couldn't have had a better experience. What a beautiful place for one of our most beautiful memories!
This is a sad, but beautiful memory for me w/ a very happy ending. My first husband passed away fourteen years ago when I was only 46 years old. My sons took me to your very newly opened restaurant for my birthday ~ my first w/o my husband. It was sad for me, but the ambiance, the warmth, the food and the memory of that night have never been lost from me and I think about it often. Finally, I have found and married the new love of my life. His birthday is approaching and I want to celebrate it w/ him at Mark's. We married 2 years ago and one month after our wedding I had emergency open heart surgery ~ twice!! He has stood by me and been strong for me all through my health issues and I cannot think of a better way to thank him and to celebrate his birthday than to return to Mark's and spend it w/ you! AS soon as I can work out the details, expences, etc., I will be calling for our reservation!! thank you for allowing me to share my story.
Truly a perfect place to dine with your wife. We plan on attending again for our 7 year anniversary in July and just can't wait!
My birthday on 2008, my wonderful son and friends were waiting for me at Mark's after I left work from Pasadena, now that he is gone to Heaven I realized how important that was for me.
Chef Mark Cox, Winner
“Hall of Fame” Award
Nation's Restaurant News
Zagat “Best Restaurants of the World”
#1 in Houston from 2001 to Present
Zagat Houston Restaurant Survey 2001-2012:
#1 Food Spot in Houston
Zagat Restaurant Survey 2006-2007:
Top 10 Restaurants in the U.S.
Food 28 (extraordinary to perfection)
Décor 27 (very good to excellent)
Service 27 (very good to excellent)
Golden Service Crown Award 2008, 2009, 2012
Wine Enthusiast Magazine:
“Award of Unique Distinction 2008″
Voted “Houston’s Most Romantic Restaurant”
Voted “Reader’s Choice: Favorite Restaurant”
2002-2007 “Five Star Award of Houston”
North American Restaurant Association
DiRoNa 2001 to Present
(Distinguished Restaurants of North America)
My Table Magazine
2001 – 2006 “Top Ten Wine Lists in Houston”
2001 “Outstanding Wine Service”
2000 “Service Person of The Year” Tino Escobedo
1999 “Restaurateur of the Year” Mark Cox
1997 “Chef of The Year” Mark Cox
Gourmet Magazine “The Restaurant Issue”
Winners of Annual Reader Poll: “America’s Top Tables”
Mark’s voted four out of five Houston restaurants
“Exceptional, innovative American cuisine. Refreshingly informal. Unique seafood dishes. Extremely good desserts. In an old church that’s been well converted.”
Winner, Annual Reader Poll: “America’s Top Tables”
- Mark’s voted nine out of 20 Houston restaurants
Food & Wine
Mark’s – “Best New Restaurant in Houston”
"Award of Excellence" 2001 to Present
Chef Cox: “One of the finest cuisiniers in the nation.”
August 2001 – 2008 “Award of Excellence”
One of the 20 best new restaurants nationwide
Mark's is our favorite restaurant in Houston! Since the first time we visited this extraordinary place, we have been dining there almost every week. Last night we had the kobe ribeye which (if you like meat) is the best thing on the menu! No wait, I think it's a toss up between that and the alaskan king crabs (when they have them) and the salmon which is served with coconut risotto that melts away in your mouth like cotton candy. The waiters (most have been there for years) never let one minute go by without making sure you have everything you need. It's not cheap. But I always say you get what you pay for! It's also one of few places where you can actually enjoy conversation without being drowned out by other restaurant noise. It's a hit! Rest assured we'll be back soon!!
— Tom and Gail