On January 10, 1901, Spindletop Hill in Beaumont, Texas burst with black gold, creating the biggest oil boom in America.Many oil companies started in Beaumont, including The Texas Company (Texaco), Gulf Oil Corporation (Chevron) and Humble Oil (ExxonMobil). Paying homage to the birth place of the Texas oil boom, Spindletop opened in 1972 high atop downtown’s Hyatt Regency Houston and quickly gained notoriety for its revolving dining room, the first of its kind in the city.
Start your journey in the dedicated glass elevator, traveling up 34 floors to the circular dining room. Offering a 360 degree view, the multilevel restaurant is perfect for catching a majestic sunset, spotting downtown landmarks or sitting in wonder of the twinkling lights and non stop activity below. Walled in glass, the diningroom makes a continuous revolution once every 45 minutes, and every seat offers an unobstructed view. Boasting 1.4 million dollars in renovations, the legendary view may be the same as before, but everything else at Spindletop has been overhauled. From the napkins and the carpeting to the note cards used to hand write “thank you” the guests celebrating a special day, no detail has been overlooked - each one hand selected by a team of designers and staff. Sporting a new look and vibe for a new time, the decor is fresh and modern with clean lines, geometric shapes and the essence of chicminimalism. Most profound among the changes is an addition to the restaurant’s layout. Enjoying Spindletop no longer means you’re bound to the dinner table; the lounge concept is a welcome addition to the newly redesigned space. So simply sip cocktails and enjoy an appetizer with friends after a long day at the office, or indulge a Sunday evening dessert with view. Now anytime is truly is the perfect time to celebrate at Spindletop.
Aiming to be known for more than just an incredible view, Spindletop has a new focus - the food. Underthe direction of executive chef Jean Moysan, the restaurant is now striving to earn “hot spot” status for everyday fabulous fare and not just for special occasions like engagements and anniversaries, With more than five decades in the kitchen and 15 years as a member of the Hyatt Regency Houston team,Moysan prides himself on offering dishes that have been prepared to both exacting culinary standards and the unique palates of his guests. As the lead of a restaurant built to pay homage to a legendary Houston industry, Moysan serves up “passion on a plate” by highlighting another gulf coast tradition, fresh seafood. To start, the new Spindletop menu offers Spicy Black Mussels with fresh garlic, white wine and jalapenos, Southwest Seafood Soup or Pan Seared Tuna with lime wasabi and passion fruit sauce. Our pick? The Avocado Dome. A funny name for sure; maybe it originates from the salt dome at Spindletop,or maybe its named after our famed (and now retired) sports complex. Either way, the creamy green veggie explodes with succulent jumbo lump crab meat and the spice of salsa cruda. Yum! For the lettuce lovers, the salads are fresh from the farm; choose fresh tossed tableside or their signature, Chipotle Caesar. Typical hotel fare is not what’s for dinner. On the menu is Blackened Red Snapper with crawfishachiotein a lime cream sauce, Grilled Filet Mignon with sweet peppers, torched Texas goat cheese in a shallot demi sauce or Red Chili Bronzed Atlantic Salmon with sauteed spinach, golden raisins and mushrooms. The Signature Paella, a unique twist on a classic Spanish dish, won our top ranking. With Maine lobster cooked to perfection, the fish of the day, black mussels, clams, shrimp, chorizo and fire roasted corn was filled to the brim with flavor and variety. The Spice Rubbed Lamb Rack with Mexican truffles and the Pan Seared Sea Bass on a bed of mashed Peruvian purple potatoes was also melt-in-your mouth decadence. Dessert, the most important course for some of us, is nothing short of divine at Spindletop. And it should be considering the women behind the mixing bowl is known for building a life-sized chocolate race car. Regina Martinez began her career with the Hyatt Regency Houston as an apprentice pastry chef 20 years ago. Since then, she has been named Employee of theYear, Manager of the Year and won the Hospitality on Parade Food and Beverage Award. From the Rustic Apple Tart with mint berry salsa and vanilla ice cream to the Blood Orange Caramel Flan with Bavarian whipped cream, just reading Martinez’s dessert menu will elevate your taste buds to cloud 9. But if your sweet tooth screams out for all things chocolate, Spindletop signature desert for you. Flooding the palette with a soft, rich texture and the essence of Grand Marnier, the Chilled Chocolate Souffle topped with a candied rose petal is absolutely to die for! This desert alone is well worth the trip to the 34th floor. So how can you make to die for even better? Served over ice with a bite of sweet crispness, pair it with a glass (or bottle) of Moet Nectar.
Natural gas and oil production in Texas was at its peak when Spindletop originally opened. As 1.3 billion barrels a year gushed from the surrounding land, Houston had become the energy capital of the world and was looking toward the future with optimism for continued prosperity and growth. But the city skyline looked a little different back then; sky scrapers including the J.P.Morgan Chase Tower and the Wells Fargo Plaza had yet to be constructed. Not to mention, during the early 70’s the idea of having a revolving restaurant 300 feet in the air seemed unimaginable. But, then again, perhaps that was the point...Making is debut on the cityscape in 1972, Spindletop was a symbolic achievement for the city at the center of the largest oil boom in national history. Beginning to gush black gold in 1901, the restaurant was named after the first major oil well in Texas.The real Spindletop, of course, was not in Houston but on a small hill in Beaumont. But while the actual well was XXX milesaway, the name still fit; Houston was after all the hub for refining and distributing the famed Lone Star crude. 38 years have passed since the iconic, revolving dining space in the sky first opened. But after the damage from Hurricane Ike forced the its closure of in 2008, the local institution is finally coming back to life. “We’ve been fielding questions for two years from locals and hotel guests asking when Spindletop will reopen,” says Allison Butcher,Spindletop Manager. “The final product will truly be the crowning achievement to our $50-million hotel renovation.”The reopening of Spindletop on October 6 came at another turning point in Houston history. Once again symbolic, the resurrection of the restaurant demonstrates the city’s perseverance in overcoming a natural disaster,and its will to shine despite a national depression. Unlike any other, Spindletop marks the return of a signature, downtown dining destination.