Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Let the Good Times Roll - Houston Restaurant Week Has Begun

Despite the reasonable cost of these dinners at $35, with $5 going to charity, I still have to work, two of the nights are "school nights" and stick to some sort of a budget. Of course I’ll need to drink some wine and then there is tax and tip, it will add up quickly.

Therefore I limited myself to three restaurants this week; Voice www.HotelIcon.com at Hotel Icon downtown, tomorrow night, Gravitas www.GravitasRestaurant.com near my house Saturday night, and Le Mistral www.LeMistralHouston.com on Eldridge Pkwy in west Houston, near where I lived when I first moved to Houston, on Sunday night. Originally I was going to Arcodoro on Saturday night, but I am reading mixed reviews so I changed my mind.

I will try to write the reviews as quickly as possible. The advertised menu for tomorrow is:

Amuse Bouche (special little treat from Chef Kramer)

Mushroom Soup "Cappuccino"

Truffle Foam, Porcini Powder
Blue Cheese Salad
Granny Smith Apples, Sanded Hazelnuts,
Honey-Sage Vinaigrette

Gulf Red Snapper

Hearts of Palm, Melted Leeks, Tarragon Butter
Slow Braised Beef Short Ribs
Yukon Potato Purée, Celery-Apple Salad, Braising Jus

Chocolate Cream Pie, 5-Spice Ice Cream, Orange Tuile

Vanilla Crème Brûlée with Fresh Berries

I am going with about 15 other people and we have a special private room in the basement with a window where we can look into the kitchen. Perhaps neverfull who organized this dinner will even get us an invitation to tour the kitchen. I have also heard a rumor that there may be some other dishes available to us (with a supplemental charge) and there is a wine pairing if we are interested.

So far the reviews of the some of the other restaurants have been fair to mediocre, but Voice has not only a history of sparking some strong comments, and has developed a reputation for innovative and interesting food, but has gotten a decent review from some of my fellow Houston Chowhounds http://groups.yahoo.com/group/houstonCH/. neverfull has some of the reviews posted on her blog at http://imneverfull.blogspot.com/2008/08/hrw-monday-reviews.html.

Go ahead, take a chance, click the link to restaurant week http://www.houstonrestaurantweek.com/Menus-2008.htm and make a reservation at one of the restaurants on the list, the price is right and you will get the opportunity to eat at some of the better restaurants in town as well as make your own decision about the quality of the food.

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