Executive Chef Ryan Hallsted started Pearl and Vine to bring the white tablecloth dining aesthetic to his hometown. (Courtesy Pearl and Vine)
After two decades working in various restaurant jobs—from sports bars to fine dining—he does work with his father. But instead of operating nursing homes, they opened Pearl and Vine, a white tablecloth restaurant in the Katy area, said Ryan, who is the executive chef.
“It was nice to bring something like this out of the city, do the food I wanted to do and still have the pretty backdrop while doing it,” Ryan said. “There’s nothing like this in Katy, so we really felt like we would do well doing this concept here.”
When Ryan brought the idea to his dad and stepmother, Shawn Hallsted, they supported and invested in his vision to open a restaurant.
“It has always been a dream of mine [to own a restaurant], but to be able to team up with my father and my stepmother, and to work with him still—even though it is not in the way he originally intended—is amazing,” Ryan said.
The family has influenced the restaurant in different ways, Ryan said. Ryan and his father designed the building and picked the lakefront location, while Shawn designed the interior aesthetic.
The restaurant’s wine menu rivals most Houston restaurants in variety and affordability, Ryan said, and the open-kitchen concept allows diners to view the full process of their meals, from preparation to plate. It is a dining style that keeps everyone “on their toes,” he said.
Feb. 26 marked the one-year anniversary since Pearl and Vine opened. Ryan said he is proud of what he and his team have built and that it has been an incredible and surreal journey full of learning experiences.
“A lot of people who come in don’t see us as a family restaurant, but everyone in here is like family,” he said. “I’m incredibly proud of the team and culture we’ve developed.”