Houston food, restaurants and dining review. Urban living, travel, thoughts and other randomness.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Nordstrom Cafe

Inside the Nordstrom's at the Galleria

I like coming to the Nordstrom Cafe to unwind with friends. It's an upscale cafe with the obligatory plush booths, open kitchen and busy waitstaff. They bill themselves as an affordable bistro: It's not that affordable.

My turkey avocado panini was just under $10. Their soup is about $4. The food is good, but not great. But there is something about the hustle and bustle of this lunch spot that compels me to come here when I want to have interesting conversation or when I want a break from my workday.

Come for the iced tea, nicely prepared food, and great ambiance--not a food experience.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Sanchon: Seoul, Korea

In the heart of Insadong (a neighborhood in Seoul, Korea) is Sanchon, a vegetarian restaurant run by a former Buddhist monk. Many Korean restaurants are geared towards groups eating together. This one is no different. So sitting by myself at lunch felt a bit awkward.

The entrance is located at the end of an alley. Upon entry, you have to take off your shoes. The proprietor led me to my table, a low slung coffee table where I sit on a cushion on the floor.

There is no a la carte menu. A single prix fix menu will set you back about $20, but ohhhh what a worthy $20. The menu says you get about 19 dishes, but the real number is more like 27. I can't even begin to describe the dishes, but it's all very good. There are sweet, crunchy, boiled, fragrant, stinky, spicy, mild and salty vegetables. It depends upon the chef's ingredients. I had a great meal that I could not finish.

Sanchon Restaurant

Sanchon Feast

Monday, November 13, 2006

NOTES: Rekha's Dessert Party

Skipping the annual Tapas party, we went instead for a little dessert get-together. We had:
  • Petit Palmiers
  • Emotion of Pistacchio Bavarian Mousse, Morello Cherry Jelly, Pistachio Cream and Cherry Caviar.
  • Opera Cake
  • Rose Cream Macarons
  • Praline Macarons
  • Petit Fruit Tarts
  • Violette Entremet: Blue Earl Gray Tea Mousse with Blood Orange Jelly.

I think Rekha successfully ruined a few dinners for folks. Amazingly, we only went through 4 bottles of Champagne with a guest list of 24.


Opera Cake

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Amici Ristorante

16089 City Walk, Sugar Land

Amici is a Vallone restaurant... You know, Grotto, Griglia, Tony's etc.. I remember when Tony Vallone sold Grotto and Griglia, he promised Landry's he would not open an Italian restaurant in Houston. I wonder if that is why his son is opening an Italian restaurant in Sugar Land. Whatever the logic, those who like Grotto and are willing to pay more than Grotto prices for food, will like Amici.

Housed in the shopping area next to Suguar Land's City Hall, this restaurant has the feel of Grotto mixed with Cafe Express. Service is quick and prices are high. We went for lunch, where they have a nicely priced prix fix menu, $12. For those few greenbacks you get a three course meal.

I started with the saffron infused soup. I forgot if the base was potato, sweet potato or some other tuber, but I do remember the hint of saffron. The entree was a brilliant chicken stuffed with ham and cheese. The steamed or sauted vegetables that came on the side were forgettable, but the other side, a potato cake was excellent. Filled with a bit of pasta, this side made the dish for me. For dessert, we had the overly iced and very bad sorbet.

All-in-all, a good price for a good meal. Let's hope the dinners provide the same value.

Friday, November 03, 2006


3029 Kirby Drive713.522.4858

I think I really enjoyed my meal at Pesce... Can you believe it? Did you hear me? I liked eating at this Landry's restaurant. So here is the rundown: Great ambiance (especially at the kitchen bar), fantastic service, scrumptuous menu, touch-and-go execution of the very good recipes.

6:30 Friday night. Not a table available. So we sat at the best place in the restaurant: the marble bar overlooking the prep area for the oysters, soup and salad. Our way-to-busy waiter/soup chef took our order and brought out half a pound of crab claws and half a dozen oysters. The oysters were all foreign out-of-state today (not a Gulf of Mexico bivalve in sight) and tasted perfect!!!!! The liquor (read, "salted oyster juice" for you non oyster eaters) had perfect sweetness and saltiness. We got lucky though: the main oyster-shucker shucked our oysters. When we saw the dessert chef come to take over for a few minutes, he totally f**cked it up: he lost all the liquor while shucking and left pieces of the shell in the meat.

The crab claws were horrible. Overcooked and over-frozen, these things tasted like they came from Walmart's expired bin.

Rekha had the Mahi Mahi simply prepared with steamed vegetables and lemongrass sauce. The sauce was excellent. The Mahi Mahi was a bit overcooked. My snapper bestante with crab, hearts of palm, and shitake mushroom tasted outstanding. The flavors blended in so well, I lost track of my eating until I found the plate empty and myself sopping up the lime chervil sauce with the ever-present bread service.

For dessert I tried the coconut cream pie that tasted more banana than coconut. Rekha had the pear crostada that was clearly reheated, thus making the crust soggy. Their dessert chef has a steep learning curve to overcome to reach the standards set by the price and ambiance of this restaurant.

So for all my complaints, why did we enjoy ourselves so much? In addition to Rekha's excellent company, our stools overlooking the kitchen enhanced the excitement. Then came the perfect service. We never had to ask for anything. When we ran out of anything, it was refilled or replenished before we had to ask.

Pesce is a treasure. I just wish would figure out a way for the kitchen to execute to the possibility of the recipes, service, ingredients, and decor of the restaurant. In the end we had a great time, when we knew we were on the edge of having an experience.

Copyright Huan Le 2005 - Powered by blogger
La concurrence entre les maisons de courtage a donne lieu a le compte de demonstration forex forex choisir les paires de devises plus exotiques grande variete de plates-formes de negociation