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More Than a Name

The Power of Personality Fuels Creativity at Two Restaurants

Creating a restaurant around an almost mythical personality opens a world of possibilities. More than a mere name, the idea of a captivating person, someone you’d love to know and hang out with, can bring a restaurant to life.

"There Is a Princess in Everyone’s Life”

During their many years in the hotel industry, a restaurant idea began to take shape in the minds of brothers Preet Paul Singh and Surpreet Singh. “We’d traveled quite a bit. Seen what restaurants the world over had to offer. We dreamt it in our heads, for a very long time,” says Surpreet. 

The overarching premise would be built around their vision of a lovely, well-traveled woman, someone for whom every day was a celebration replete with lavish dinner parties, the finest food and wine from around the globe, great music, and opulent surroundings. Soon the brothers even had a name for her, Amrina, which in Hindi means “princess.” Since the restaurant’s namesake persona would always be looking for something new, the brothers wanted the restaurant to reflect this. “You can come here 7 days a week and have a different experience every time,” says Preet. 

Located in Waterway Square, Amrina has an array of menus that offer the very best in fine global cuisine with an “Indian soul,” says acclaimed Chef Jaspratap “Jassi” Bindra, the restaurant’s executive chef and managing partner. Distinctive experiences are offered in different areas of the restaurant, among them, a sexy cocktail lounge, luxurious main dining and private dining areas, an in-kitchen chef’s table, a sleek tapas bar with its own separate menu, and a beautiful, spacious patio. From caviar service, to tuna tartare, from pulled Tandoori leg of lamb to a Texas-sized 18-oz bone-in ribeye with a masala rub, to the deep and knowledgeable wine list created by Amrina’s general manager and beverage director Giorgio Ferrero, there’s something new around every corner. 

The restaurant is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday, dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and for brunch on Sundays, with special “dinner party” music and atmosphere starting at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. A luxe “after hours” social scene kicks into gear during the restaurant’s extended nightlife hours from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, complete with DJs and live music.

“There is a princess in everyone’s life. There is always one around,” says Chef Jassi. And now she has found a place to shine in The Woodlands.

Where Would Tommy Dine?

The final days of a vacation are a wistful time, especially if you’re saying goodbye to the sandy beaches of the coast. It was just such a feeling that fueled the imaginations of two couples who spent their summers on the beaches of Florida each year. They consoled themselves by creating a persona who never had to leave. A fellow with impeccable style and independent means. They called him Tommy Bahama. What would Tommy wear? What would be his cocktail of choice? Where would he go for dinner?

Their storytelling turned into a powerful idea, says Rob Goldberg, Executive Vice President of Resorts, Restaurants & Bars for Tommy Bahama Group. The lifestyle brand celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2023, and its first restaurant happened by accident 27 years ago in Naples, Florida as the company prepared to open a retail store there. “There was a space next to it that the same landlord owned, and he asked if we wanted it. It’s still our busiest restaurant!” he says. 

That first success led to more locations, says Rob, with a focus on placing the restaurants in resort areas. “The Woodlands was one of our first locations that wasn’t in a resort setting. We had only opened in places like Hawaii, Florida and Palm Desert, California.” There was a really strong following of those resort restaurants from vacationers who called The Woodlands home, he says. “It’s a place that takes leisure and fun seriously and lives the resort lifestyle. We’ve found it to be a very social community.”

Rob says guests at the Market Street restaurant especially enjoy the shaded patio, which has its own full bar and a great view. Guests can listen to live music every day of the week, and menu offerings reflect the way people like to eat today, says Rob, lively dishes that are made to the highest standards. In addition to a long list of enticing salads, such as the lump blue crab and avocado, entrees include local favorites like macadamia-encrusted snapper, ahi tuna tacos, and a Kona-coffee encrusted ribeye. 

Beyond a persona, says Rob, Tommy is the spirit that undergirds the restaurant and all of its brand offerings. “There’s that kind of moment when you exhale and say, ‘Okay, I’m going to relax.’” That idea is not just for vacation, says Rob. 

Tommy would definitely approve.  

  • An array of handcrafted cocktails during "Island Time" happy hour at Tommy Bahama
  • Tommy Bahama Island Gin and Tonic G&T, served by General Manager Adrian Gonzales, and Manager Morgan Salazar
  • Tommy Bahama's own line of premium spirits—Vodka, Gina, Rum, Bourbon, and Rye
  • The Shredded Chicken Tinga Tostadas at Tommy Bahama
  • Chef Anthony serves up Kona-Coffee-Crusted Ribeye.
  • Their special event Bahama Room with an island feel and wood plantation style shutters.
  • Guests enjoy the vacation atmosphere of the lively bar area.
  • The "Garden Room" brings the outdoors inside with an inviting view of the fountains and green.
  • Mark Mireles plays the steel drums to a happy hour crowd.
  • Enjoy live music seven days a week in the bar area.
  • The sleek tapas bar at Amrina has its own special menu of Indian street foods, served omakase-style.