Chef-owner Robert Del Grande knows his way around a kitchen. Some of his dishes, updated here and there, hark back to the original Cafe Annie, like the black bean terrine: a colorful mix of beans, tomato, goat cheese, and avocado, it seems to have gotten lighter and fresher through the years. The chilled soups are stellar, like a sweet corn concoction with cotija cheese and smoked chile and a pea soup with pea greens, crème fraîche, and mint.
We prefer dinners at this pint-size, rustically chic brasserie, but recently we tried the popular brunch, and it charmed us with European accents and the aroma of fresh brewed French roast. The fare earned mixed reviews, though, starting with beignets that missed the classic New Orleans–style puff and crunch. Our generous omelet stuffed with mushrooms and Gruyère was lush, served with roasted potatoes and caramelized onions, plus a tiny mesclun salad.
While politicians in Washington argue about limiting access to guns, whether through universal background checks or restricting the availability of assault-style weapons, one Texas group has a mission to do something quite the opposite: giving away free guns to the poor.
Weeks after his James Beard Best Chef: Southwest nomination, Underbelly chef Chris Shepherd has yet another accolade to add to his long list of recognitions. The Houston chef has been nominated as one of the ten "Best New Chefs in America" by Food & Wine magazine.
Aquiles Chaves, Mexico’s Anthony Bourdain, woos Houstonians with his contemporary Mexican seafood in an arrestingly colorful cottage setting (which is not enhanced by hard wooden furniture). We grazed our way through crunchy mini-tostadas (topped with yellowfin tuna, avocado, and frizzles of fried leeks), which outdid an entrée of red snapper pibil-style atop mashed sweet potatoes. Expect culinary surprises and upscale prices.
When our inner carnivore calls, we head to this acclaimed nose-to-tail eatery, in a cozy old bungalow. We cleaned our plate of succulent braised pork cheeks, perfect with buttery potatoes. Somewhat lighter was a perfect chicken en papillotte with fennel, red potatoes, and sweet peppers.
Bryce Gilmore, of Barley Swine, in Austin, and Chris Shepherd, of Underbelly in Houston, were among the eight Texas chefs, writers, and restaurants nominated for a James Beard Award, the highest honor given in the food world. Garden and Gun magazine recently caught up with the two chefs to ask them how they celebrated the news:
Oxheart, Justin Yu's 31-seat Houston restaurant, has received an immense amount of praise since opening in March of last year. Bon Appétit, GQ, Texas Monthly, and numerous media outlets have dubbed the vegetable-centric restaurant one of the best in the nation. Naturally when the James Beard Foundation announced its semifinalists for the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards, it came as no real shock that both Justin Yu and Oxheart were honored as semifinalists.
12 large free range or farm eggs
4 shallots, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chopped maitake mushrooms (about ½ pound), or any mushrooms of your choice
1/4 cup port wine
1/4 cup red wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cups truffle oil
2 cups dried mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup almond meal
2 cups soy sauce
2 cups Mirin
2 ounces kombu
2 ounes bonito
1 ounces truffle shavings