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Cova

Houston

By November 2005Comments

Folks in the wine biz are always fretting about how to make the fruit of the vine more approachable. It’s easy: Just open a wine shop and start serving yummy little snacks (and big snacks) on the side, as Monsterville Horton IV, the owner of Cova, has done in Houston. During the day, you can browse the racks and the casually stacked cases for well-priced wines by the bottle, glass, and taste, and if you’re feeling peckish, try a cheese plate. From five o’clock on, the kitchen cooks up a tasty bill of fare. My friends and I nibbled on selections of tartare-like beef “carpaccio” in a rosemary-honey vinaigrette, New Zealand lamb chops with a great chunky-smooth cauliflower-and-Gorgonzola flan, and a peach-filled puff-pastry confection with a spicy honey sauce and dollops of cloudlike five-cheese cheesecake on the side. To be honest, while the flavors were uniformly great, the execution in some cases left much to be desired (clunky, coarsely sliced carpaccio; lamb chops that were raw in the center). But, hey, the place was still very new, and everyone was trying hard to please. No doubt improvements are on the way. In the meantime, I find Cova extremely approachable.

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