The focus of Veritas, which translates to "truth," is serving traditional dishes with world flavors in a relaxed, elegant atmosphere, proprietor Kevin Rios said.

"We pride ourselves on fresh ingredients and local products," he said. "Our fish and steaks come in fresh daily and we butcher them in-house. We brought in a lot more family recipes passed down from my mother, and the ingredients have all changed."

The Rios family opened their first restaurant—Mojito's Cuban Bistro in Sugar Land—in 2005, but since closing the location, father and son duo Mario and Kevin Rios decided to open Veritas Steak and Seafood. The restaurant brings a new array of items to the menu and offers an elegant lounge area and dining room to accommodate large parties, host live music, offer distinctive food and to give back to the community.

"I've owned different businesses my whole life," owner Mario Rios said. "This is a business that takes a lot of responsibility [and] hard work."

From decadent appetizers, such as the fried lobster tail served with a sweet Thai chili glaze ($24), to the more modest calamari served with cherry peppers, onions and traditional marinara sauce ($12), executive chef Alex Mendoza said he takes pride in bringing new flavors to familiar dishes.

"We are a steakhouse with an international flare," Kevin said.

The Rios family began working on rebranding the restaurant over the summer. Veritas Steaks and Seafood opened its doors and brought in several new menu items, specifically fresh seafood selections.

The menu's mango habanero salmon ($26)—served with green beans and roasted sweet potatoes—takes a hearty fish selection and adds a full-flavored spice, while the prosciutto-wrapped scallops ($28)—served with the risotto of the day, which Mendoza and his staff create daily—takes the simple flavors of large sea scallops and pairs them with the salty flavors of prosciutto—or cured ham.

Classics, such as the 24-ounce bone-in ribeye ($59) or the 4-ounce filet mignon served with a jumbo lump crab cake ($39), are listed next to other recent menu additions, such as the Veritas Mixed Grill ($39) served with filet mignon, lamb chop and duck with a side of roasted potatoes. Veritas also features a variety of house-made reductions and sauces that compliment its dishes.

Mendoza said he enjoys taking simple food and turning it into something unique. The Veritas burgers are a prime example, sticking to the basics with USDA prime beef and traditional fixings served on a cutting board. The green eggs and ham burger ($14) features a fried egg, pepper jack cheese, prosciutto and an avocado tomatillo salsa.

With a soft-lit main dining area and private rooms, Veritas offers an intimate dining experience while also catering to casual diners with a circular bar and lounge area along with outdoor seating on the veranda overlooking Brooks Lake.

"I love to be here all the time," Mario said. "Talking to all the customers—that's why I like it."

It has become the Rios family's mission to help give back to the community, Mario said.

Veritas Steak and Seafood participates in several events benefitting local hospitals and organizations and, in conjunction with the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation, has begun offering its lounge area on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month to highlight the efforts of local nonprofit organizations.

"Culture on the Rocks"

The Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation has partnered with the Rios family to help give back to the community through "Culture on the Rocks," a bi-monthly event that highlights various nonprofit organizations throughout the Houston area. On the second Wednesday of every month, Veritas Steak and Seafood hosts a special event in the restaurant's lounge area during which members of local nonprofits can talk to guests about their respective organization. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. for happy hour and runs through the night. The restaurant donates 10 percent of the money spent on food and drinks in the lounge area to the nonprofit being featured.

Upcoming Events

Dec. 18: The Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation will highlight the efforts of the Artists' Alliance of Sugar Land—a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving the arts throughout the Greater Houston area.

Special events

Veritas has three private party rooms. For more intimate occasions, the restaurant also features a Wine Cellar room.

Live piano: Thu.–Sat. 7–10 p.m.

Happy hour: Mon.–Fri. 3–7 p.m.

Ladies night: Thu. 3–10 p.m.

1550 Lake Pointe Parkway, Ste. 500

Sugar Land 281-491-2901

Hours: Mon.–Thu. 11 a.m.–10 p.m.,

Fri. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sat. 4 p.m.–11 p.m.