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.