Friday, July 23, 2010



219 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX

Consult the website $ to $30

This is a nose to tail venue. That means they use every part of the animal. The animal by the way is a locally raised product as are all of the vegetables, etc. While some offal or innards are used, the main portion of the menu stresses lesser-used parts of meat as well as the better-known cuts. I have had both lunch and dinner here.

Lunch was part of a grocery run to Houston with my sister, cousin and baking friend. The European style bread is baked in house and marvelous. It provides a thick crust and dense crumb. My cousin opted for two appetizers. An unusual one called Chicken Onion. This consisted of an entire red onion seasoned then wrapped in chicken skin and baked. It held a mild and sweet onion flavor with a strong back note of chicken fat. She then went with Chicken Liver Pate with toasted bread and cornichons. The pate was a bit chunky with a strong apple and alcohol note. I suspect both chopped apples and apple brandy. Both my sister and baking friend raved about a salad of Romaine, cucumber, radish, celery, herbs and raisins. My taste of the dressing did not suit me. They followed that up with Shoulder of Pork. This braised item was served with apples, broccoli and roasted potatoes. I was afforded a taste, which showed fork tender and flavorful pork, perfect cooked broccoli and tasty potatoes. I started with Deviled Kidneys. Very tender and meaty without any odd flavors in a medium spicy sauce (what I would call grease gravy), good to the last bite. I followed that with Calves Liver and Bacon. It was a stacked dish starting with silky mashed potatoes, wilted spinach, perfectly cooked liver and topped with bacon strips. An onion gravy brought harmony to the whole lot. Each bite was a smooth, bitter, livery, crisp, smoky and oniony extravaganza in my mouth. We all ended with Bitter Orange Tart. Sliced oranges done marmalade style on a puff pastry crust. It possessed fantastic orange flavor without being too sweet or too bitter

The dinner was my birthday present to me. I went with the Tasting Menu, which consists of whatever they want to send out to the table. I received an eight-course meal. It started with a plate of their wonderful bread. Next they brought a Rabbit and Chicken Vegetable soup, quite earthy. It contained tidbits of rabbit in a chicken broth with potatoes, carrots, radishes and broccoli. I enjoyed every spoonful. Galician Octopus was next. Octopus and potatoes boiled together then tossed in a vinegar dressing and marinated. I happen to love octopus and this preparation suited it well. The vinegar tang went well with the mild meat giving it a nice kick. Pork Rillette, sort of a cross between pulled pork and pate came next. They confited the pork in lard until tender then shredded it and mixed in a bit of the lard. Pork fat rules. It was warm and wonderfully porky. Deviled Rabbet Livers and Kidney followed, as wonderful as the ones at lunch. The Calves Liver and Bacon also repeated with the same result, fantastically delicious. Last savory dish was Crisp Pork Belly. They served it over sautéed apples and red cabbage. I loved the crisp skin (scratch to them) however the meat seemed undercooked and chewy. The apples and red cabbage held great flavor. They finished me off with the infamous Spotted Dick. Dick is an old name for a suet based cake. The spots are raisins. It was served over Crème Anglaise. Something I have often heard off but never tasted. It proved a rich and moist cake with a bit of sweetness. Fat seems to rule again

I would like to return but the old house that it resides in makes no allowances for my handicap. It is quite a struggle to get up the outside stairs and I have to gird myself to do it. However this fall they plan to open a branch in New Orleans. Depending where they set up, I may make my next visit there. I highly recommend this venue especially if you are an adventurous eater. However do not be put off as they have a number of dishes that contain regular item but are just as fabulous. Check the website for times and menus

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