“The heart and soul of the business is my father-in-law. He’s been in the industry for a long time,” Perez said. “I saw him working for somebody else, and I said, ‘Why don’t you open your own restaurant?’ So we created [Chimichurri’s].”
Vasquez said he has worked in fine dining establishments for most of his life, including 12 years as a maitre d’ at the Houston location of La Tour d’Argent, a fine-dining restaurant originally based in Paris, France. Vasquez’s experience in the industry guided Chimichurri’s from being a casual eatery to a fine-dining restaurant, Perez said.
However, the restaurant took on several feet of water after Hurricane Harvey hit the Greater Houston area in August 2017. Perez said he had to shut down and remodel, reopening one year later in August 2018.
“All of this was a ghost town for about a year,” Perez said. “It was pretty devastating for everybody in this community.”
Perez and Vasquez got inspiration for the menu and wine list, which includes more than 3,000 wines from around the world, by traveling to each South American country and trying each country’s cuisine, Perez said. The menu features dishes such as ceviche peruano and churrasco a la chimichurri, which is tenderloin basted with homemade chimichurri sauce.
While Vasquez said the authentic South American food sets the restaurant apart from other places, the customer service is what is most important.
“A lot of people work just to kill time, but we don’t do that here. That’s not what serving is about,” Vasquez said. “I tell all of our servers this: ‘When you give service, you serve from your heart, not your mouth.’”
Chimichurri’s South American Grill
1660 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Ste. 106, Kingwood
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 5-11 p.m., Sun. 4-9 p.m.