Location-1100 Westheimer St.,Houston, Texas
Cuisine- Houston Culture Food
The Gagit’s are back in Houston, ready to try the food of Houston at Underbelly. Underbelly and its Chef Cris Shephard newly nominated as one of the top 10 new Chefs in America and prides itself to be the food and the culture of Houston.We had planned to be joined by x Miamian Foodies , @mango _lime and David, but with a new baby , plans are made to be broken. We will try again to meet them in November when we are back to visit.
We find the Underbelly sign and restaurant in the new cool foodie section of Montrose.We enter the restaurant through the open kitchen, shown above and introduced to our friendly server Emily, also shown. Foodiechic and I were looking forward to a real Texas drink, like J.R savors ., Bourbon and branch. No luck here, Beer and wine only, need to go to Anvil Bar before and after dinner to drink like a Texan.However, we do find some interesting Beers to start the night off,Blonde Bombshell Ale from Conroe , Texas for me and Foodiechic chooses The Old Rasputin Stout from North Coast California, I wonder why she chose this both shown above.
We choose three small plates to begin the meal all with homegrown ingredients and shown above,Roasted Beets,whipped Goat Cheese, Preserved Lemon,Dill and Roasted Garlic Beet Puree that really gave the dish a zing.The next plate Texas Waygu Carpaccio, Chive Oil, Quail Egg, and local Salt, wow this meat right from the Butcher room in back tasted Houston.The last plate we tried Gulf Oysters in Cornmeal and Kimchee Butter was the one I was looking forward to the most but it was a total miss, the Kimchee flavor was to subtle and with the heavy coating it was something I had to send back.I now wish I tried the Goat Loin Tar Tar or other interesting local dishes, many with Korean flavors.
In anticipation of our Big Plate, we order a 2007 Valdez Landy Zinfadel that really delivered the taste and body we were hoping to experience. For our main Plate, we are served one of the house Specialties, the Cornmeal Crusted Pork Chop,Onion BP,and Maple Mustard cooked and flavored to perfection, a winner and of course, pictured. .Along, with the main, we ordered Cauliflower with a Carmelized Fish Sauce, a perfect taste combination with the Porkchop.
We must try a Texas dessert , so we order the Vinegar Pie with Salt Brittle, sweet , sour and crunchy all in one piece. We now need a shot of my best friend, Don Julio 1942 , to wash this down , not some sweet wimpy port that they are serving.
Let the Truth be Told, I can see why Chris was selected one of the Top 10 new Chefs in America. His desire to show off the Culture and flavors of Texas with local ingredients show through the menu and the flavors. However, even though the Oyster dish was not right for me, now off the menu also,the rest of the meal certainly impressed me enough to come back again. However, I missed the drinks of Texas and on our next trip will certainly visit The Anvil Bar next door to toast J.R. with a Bourbon and Branch.