We advise hungry readers to try Kris Bistro and Wine Lounge immediately, as the restaurant represents one of the best price-value spots to enter the Houston scene recently and is likely to draw crowds. Kris Bistro, focusing on modestly priced modern French dishes (most under $16) and equally modestly priced French wines (no bottle over $35), is a jewel worth the trip. It is a collaboration between namesake chef Kristopher Jakob and Alain LeNôtre, well-known owner, instructor and chef of Culinaire Institute LeNôtre.

The cozy wine lounge and sophisticated dining room, designed by Jane-Page Crump, are located within the culinary school and provide sweeping views of the kitchen. Menu items include moules marinières, grilled salmon Provençal, free-range feta-stuffed chicken and hanger steak with Bordelaise sauce.

Chef Kris spotlights fare from local growers and ranchers and features his own house-cured meats. The bistro is staffed by institute students and managed by an experienced maitre d’ and chef Kris. The results are more than promising, even in these first days of operation. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday.

KRIS BISTRO, 7070 Allensby (I-45 @ Crosstimbers just north of 610, first right onto Riggs Road, then right into parking lot), 713-358-5079, KrisBistro.com