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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Spotted Pig

True gnudi lovers will know exactly whose these are.  That's right April Bloomfield and no one does the ricotta gnudi like her (this is a close second).  I don't care if these pillowy, cheesy balls of heaven seem like they should be a seasonal item because of their basil pesto, they should never disappear from the menu. They are glorious!

Against my better judgment, I did not order the burger and opted for the pork belly.  $29 is entirely too much money for two tiny pieces of pork belly and only one of the two being tasty.  The bite I had of crispy skin, soft pork and fried squash blossom would have been the makings for a grand entree, but alas, I only get one. 

I very much enjoyed the summer dish of pan-seared sea bass with squash and anchovy.  I loved that I didn't get the stealthy fish taste, but instead, complimenting the bass with the saltiness.

I'll be the only one who says it, I hate shoestring fries.  These are served with fresh rosemary, but I feel unless you are actually tasting potato, don't waste the calories.

Just love the atmosphere here.  Can't wait for winter!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

SHUTTERED A Fork in the Road: Concepcion (Houston, TX)

Although I don't share Alison Cook's immense enthusiasm for Concepcion.....yet, I do believe it is deserving of a visit, or two, or three.  The concept is Peruvian tapas and I think helps move Houston into more cutting edge dining.   Chef Jonathan Jones ideas are explosive!   Jones takes a multitude of ingredients and creates dishes without over-complicating.  I'm super ticked I somehow tossed the menu on my arrival back to NYC, but I will try and and explain these wonderful dishes.

Sikil Pak - Spicy Yucatan pumpkin hummus with habanero.  At first, I wasn't crazy about ordering hummus here, but wow!  The spices and texture of this hummus was super interesting.

3rd Coast Ceviche - Fresh snapper ceviche with radish, red onion and cucumber.  One of Concepcion's strengths.  The fish was indeed fresh, but didn't melt in your mouth: however, had a masterful balance of citrus, chilis and herbs.

Pulpo con Nada - Poached octopus sits in a pot, stews and essentially cooks in its own juices.  I know what they were trying to do here, which is what Chef Masato Shimizu of 15 East in NYC does outrageously well.  Unfortunately, the edges were soft and chewy, but the core was far too tough.

Salt crusted prawns cooked in shell with garlic kumquat mojo.  This is how a prawn should taste and hella delicious!

Snapper, oyster mushrooms with chimichurri (most of y'all think chimi only goes on steak.  Wrong!) in a light foam.

Braised short rib, shitake mushrooms and fried yuca.  I thought the best part of this dish was the yuca :-0  I just couldn't taste the chimichurri and overall bland.

Barbacoa tacos -  Juicy, tender lamb cooked overnight in avocado leaf, red chilies and tamarind with homemade blue corn tortillas and pickled onions. 

These dishes are far from tapas portions and well-priced, so get there while the gettin' is good!  Additionally, this has to be one of the best patios in Houston.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Had this:

Pulled pork with spicy black beans, cheese, avocado, cilantro, roasted chipotle peppers and pickled red onion.

Read this, apply to pork :

Couldn't have said it better myself.  Really Tortaria?!?!?