Houston >Restaurants >
Mexican >Cielo Mexican Bistro
300 Main St., Houston, TX | Directions 7700229.762243 -95.361137
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Central
When A Good Concept Goes Wrong – Once upon a time there was a good restaurant...and then a terrible string of events followed that made that good restaurant turn bad.
I was a loyal customer of Cielo Mexican Restaurant (affectionally called Cielo) months after its opening. The service was attentive, the food was always good, and the prices on their happy hour menu couldn't be beat (everything was $1.95).
Fast forward to the present and I'm wondering what in the world happened to this place? What was once a quiet restaurant as turn into a place with an interesting mix of people dining there. I think word spread about their cheap happy hour (everything was $1.95) and with that it went down hill.
Little details that made this place stand out are no longer there. The decor is nice and always made you think it was an expensive place to dine but it wasn't. Then as management hiked the prices on all of the menu items, even changing the happy hour menu to items that are priced between $1.95 - $4.95 (with most falling between $2.95), the place went down in quality and service.
The chips used to be plentiful, served in a tier metal serving apparatus, a modern and upscale feel to it. The roasted red salsa and creamy jalapeno salsa were served in large serving bowls. Now the chips (that are no longer thin and crispy but too thick) are served in a very small cheap wooden bowl. The salsa has gone down in quality too and is served in a tiny cheap looking bowl.
The food is now a mixed bag. You never know if it's going to be good or not. Part of the problem is there's always someone new cooking in the kitchen. I want consistency with my food and, Cielo no longer offers that. The chicken wins sometimes aren't cooked through or not very crispy, the salmon, not seasoned enough, drinks not mixed well, and a long list of other disappointments.
Some of their menu items are misleading and needs to be corrected ASAP. The happy hour menu says empanadas for $2.95, when it's only one and a tiny one at that and takes 15-20 min to cook (so not worth it). The same goes for the seafood kebabs, only it's one for $4.95. The manager gave a weak excuse that it's because of the ingredients used that it costs more. However, if you advertise on your menu that it's more than one when a "s" is added at the end of the word, then it should be more than one.
The waiters are no longer attentive nor personable as other waiters were when it opened. The last few times I've visited, it's taken 20 min to receive chips & salsa and a drink once seated. Even longer for other requests.
The place was once good and it's sad to see what it's come to now. I wish they'd go back to how they once were that garnered them attention they deserved.
exceptional place to try out – couldnt find a place to eat downtown, so we chose this one, my girlfriend and I. service was good for most part. i give 7/10. my girlfriend ate all her plate, she usually doesnt so it must of been good. i got some chicken broth thing, cant remember what she had. my plate was fail though, how is it going to be a nice place if my chicken is fried? ubber fail. was pretty delish but turn off. overall pretty good though.
great new restaurant in downtown – My boyfriend and I are constantly looking for new restaurants to try on our Friday nights out after work. We discovered Cielo through the Houston 002 magazine where it was reviewed, and we decided to give it a shot. Right after walking in, you can tell that it wasn't going to be your typical Mexican restaurant. The restaurant is beautifully decorated, the bar is long and decked out, and the tables were surprisingly spaced out given that it's a pretty narrow place. We especially loved how they showcased all their different wines in an understated grand way. We had ceviche as our appetizer and right after we had our first bite, we knew that this place was golden. He had the Pork Ribs which were remarkably presented, and I had a waiter-recommended dish, the Peppercorn Tenderloin Casserole. I can't speak much for his dish, but mine was absolutely delicious. The best part is that it doesn't look or sound like it would be. We had Tres Leches for dessert and that was great as well, not too sweet and the texture was delicate and spongey. The wait staff was nice and very helpful. BTW, they have Reverse Happy Hour after 9 with a great drink list and an incredible list of starters to choose from at $1.95! Overall it was a wonderful experience dining at Cielo and it has definitely become one of our favorite places. I hope they keep their standards high and remain just as impeccable as they were during our first visit.
Great new restaurant in downtown – Was pleasantly surprised by this new Mexican restaurant. My wife and I thought we were going to have a regular/everyday lunch experience but I think we might've found a new favorite for lunch. We were served multi-colored chips, red salsa, and a creamy green salsa as we sat down and from that point on everything was great. We had avocado rolls for our appetizer, a beef torta for her, and a beef burrito for me. Everything was very flavorful and had various spices that made everything taste different from other Mexican restaurants I've been to. The portions were pretty big and we both needed to go boxes for our leftovers. The staff was very friendly and very attentive. I highly recommend this downtown restaurant for lunch.
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