A new eatery blending European culinary influence and Texas cuisine is coming to the Houston Heights neighborhood in May.
Owner Vlado Kolenic said food is "pretty much the same everywhere," with the example of rice dishes such as paella from Spain, fried rice from southeastern Asia, and jambalaya from south Lousiana—which draws from African, Spanish and French cuisine. (Courtesy Dylan McEwan)
The details

Blue Tuba was created by former musician turned chef Vlado Kolenic and his wife and fellow restaurateur Giga Leszayova, who moved from New York to Houston in February 2023.
The couple owned a restaurant in the upper west side of Manhattan, Kolenic said, and wanted to bring something with a mom-and-pop feel to the Heights, where they now live. (Courtesy Dylan McEwan)
Blue Tuba will replace Harold's, which was located on historic 19th Street—where vintage clothing stores, art galleries, live music venues and other local eateries line the road.

Whats on the menu

Having traveled throughout Europe performing music and boasting seven different nationalities as his heritage, Kolenic said he draws influence from his personal and professional background for the food at Blue Tuba.

Inspiration comes from Eastern Europe, Germany, Spain, France and Greece.

"But we're going to combine it with Texas cheese, jalapenos and spicy stuff from the influence of Mexico," Kolenic said.
The menu puts a European spin on tacos by using a Slovak version of the tortilla which mixes wheat and potato flour and filling with proteins such as escargot and smoke kielbasa sausages. (Courtesy Dylan McEwan)
Creative menu items include escargot tacos and a Texas paella, which replaces chicken with crawfish tails, and "Texas-sized tapas," Kolenic said. A chicken schnitzel dish inspired by his Hungarian grandmother will also season the menu, he said.