Photos: Sky-high downtown Houston restaurant now open

Strato 550, a sky-high downtown lunch spot, is now open. The first Houston venture from Compass Group, a global hospitality and foodservice management firm based in the U.K., was announced in February and occupies the entire 43rd floor of 1415 Louisiana. Now, the restaurant is open to the public, serving cocktails and Mediterranean plates.

The name references the Latin root word for “level” or “layer” and the venue’s location 550 feet in the air, according to a press release, which claims Strato 550 will be Houston’s highest vantage point open to the public. The new venue replaces The 43rd Restaurant & Lounge, a lunch spot and cocktail lounge.

Click through the slideshow above for a look at Strato 550.

Strato 550 features both a restaurant and a conference center space. The restaurant offers seasonally driven, “approachable cuisine with a Mediterranean influence” and will focus on sourcing from Texas farms and purveyors, the release states. The restaurant will offer both à la carte and prix-fixe menus plus a wine list highlighting premier wine-making regions around the world.

Evan Parker was announced as the executive chef for Strato 550 in late April. Parker is best known for his work at Mélange Catering & Special Events in Houston but has also cooked in Austin and Portland, Oregon.

Separately, the conference center has four meeting rooms that can accommodate groups of up to 12 and can be expanded into the larger dining space. The conference center has its own customized menus and will follow a family-style format.

Strato 550 was designed by Houston-based Abel Design Group and features floor-to-ceiling windows, an open floor plan and “pops of color set against a soothing gray and white scheme,” per the release. The venue aims to create a refined, yet comfortable, setting. Houston-based O’Donnell/Snider Construction is the general contractor for the Strato 550 project.

The building, formerly known as Wedge International Tower, completed $10 million in upgrades and renovations in 2016. Upgrades included a new modern lobby with Italian stonework, a new entryway, elevator cabs and a main elevator lobby, plus a new hanging light display and updated outdoor signage. Ken R. Harry Associates, which was acquired by Abel Design in 2015, was the architect on the project.

The building was built in 1983 and previously renovated in 1993, according to Colvill Office Properties, the landlord brokerage. Houston-based The Wedge Group owns the building, and Houston-based Hines has provided property management and construction management since 2014, according to Hines’ website.

The restaurant will be open for lunch weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for cocktail hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Customized menus will be offered for groups and events.