Saturday, August 30, 2008

FEAST!!

Ever notice that quaint little restaurant on Westheimer with the big pig on its sign...that's Feast. We have been wanting to go there for a long time. The chefs who run it are from England and have a love for local fresh/seasonal ingredients. We arrived early and were able to take part in their tasting menu...which they normally only serve on weeknights. Our waitress seated us in the rustic dining room filled with dark woods, providing a homey atmosphere. I find that fall in Houston is more of a state of mind than an actual change in temperature and season. While our fellow countrymen are donning their sweaters and cozying up for some warm apple cider, we Houstonians are still sitting in the high 80s/low 90s sweating through summer part II. I am ready for fall...I dream of it as I run in the mornings...picturing the crisp fall air and the feeling that I could run on forever...sadly I am quickly snapped back into reality by the ravenous mosquitoes and suffocating heat and humidity. Last night's dinner added to my fall fantasy; helped along by Houston's LOVE of air conditioning I was even able to pull on a sweater of my own :).
We started the night with some wine served up in humble juice tumblers and a warning from out waitress that we had 7-8 courses coming...chefs choice for the tasting menu.

First course: Ham, Potato and Parsley Soup. Delicious! The bits of ham and cream added a richness which was nicely balanced by the freshly cut flat leaf parsley. This was a favorite for the entire table.

Second: Tarragon Marinated Manchego with Almonds and Olives...this was served up with toast pints that had been rubbed with fresh garlic and tomato with a slightly spicy kick...or at least that was our guess.
Act 3: Fennel, Cucumber, Radish and Mint Salad. I'll never turn away fresh veggies. Very fresh and flavorful with a side of aioli..yum!
Fourth: Pan seared Sardines...they were huge and very fresh. Are we dining off the coast of Italy??? Sardines in Houston?? The chef later told us that a new fisherman that they are using
out of Galveston catches them on his week long forays out to sea...interesting. They are much larger than any sardine that I have had before. They were quite flavorful and well prepared. I am not a huge fan of the Sardine...all those little bones...brings back childhood memories of choking on trout bones...but still enjoyed the experience!
Number Five (still going): Red Beans, Pork and Carrots. This was the favorite of the night. The hearty dish was served up in a large clay pot with a delicious crust on the pork and perfectly roasted beans and carrots. We would have licked the bowl if we weren't afraid of burning our tongues and causing a scene.
Six (not much room left): Roast Bluefish, Fennel and Saffron Rice and Tarragon Tomatoes. Fish was moist and the the Tarragon tomatoes were amazing.
Seven (nearing the bursting point): Braised Beef Shank, Mashed Potatoes and Kale with Anchovies. Perfectly cooked, cut with a form beef and I can't get enough of the sauteed Kale...the anchovies received a mixed review, but I thought it brought an interesting way to add some salty flavor to the kale.
8: Compari and Orange Sorbet. Tart and refreshing.
Ninth: DESSERT! Always room for dessert. Chocolate and Espresso Rice Pudding. Amazing. Rich chocolate rice pudding topped with clotted cream. Wonderful ending to an interesting tasting tour.
Nine courses for $45...we'll be back.

1 comment:

KB said...

Look! Comment! Feast was Fab!