The new year may have gotten off to a slow start, but new restaurants began flooding the Houston dining scene in March and continued pumping out new excitement through May.

Houston foodies looking for delicious distractions are now faced with many new choices: steakhouses, seafood emporiums, modern bistros and an international smorgasbord of Asian, Mexican, Italian and Middle Eastern concepts. Spirits-minded adventurers also are being treated to fabulous new bars and posh lounges spiked with global wine lists, craft cocktails, margaritas and micheladas, Asian highballs and plenty of bubbles.

Here are some of the hottest new openings so far in 2023.

Little’s Oyster Bar

Pappas Restaurants has transformed its former Little Pappas Seafood House into a high-end seafood restaurant that is the company’s first new concept in decades (and its first chef-driven restaurant). Executive chef Jason Ryczek has created an upscale menu loaded with delectables such as caviar, Maine lobster, charred octopus, Gulf oysters and blue crab. The space features a posh nautical design as well as a new all-weather patio with retractable roof. Entrees such as seared Gulf grouper, pan-roasted salmon and seared Texas redfish are sure to please Houston’s seafood hungry. 3001 S. Shepherd;