When Houston's changed its name to Hillstone, reportedly to evade legislation requiring chains of a certain size to print calorie counts on their menus, fans worried their beloved restaurant would change. But everything seems to be just as it always was at this phenomenally popular upscale steak joint, and the teeming crowds apparently agree. Even if the menu here doesn't include nutritional information, Hillstone is instantly recognizable as a chain restaurant: Entrées are saturated with salt and sugar – a "Hawaiian rib eye" is an excuse to put brown sugar on beef – and the dining room has a Taylorized layout. But the vegetables are fresh, the service is efficient and the mood is bright.
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Houston's in Preston Center is now officially Hillstone, a name change that executive general manager Francis Luttmer reports has provoked some worried inquiries from longtime customers. "Their concern is we're going to take away th...