Friday, September 18, 2009

Fish heads, almond soup, cheese or font

Looking dinner in the eye

A few years ago, a reader asked where to find whole fish in Houston. Historically, Houston restaurants have limited themselves to filets of fish - with good reason. Some people freak out when they are served anything that still has eyes.

My thought? If I am going to eat a creature, I need to be willing to look it in the eye and cut it up myself.

Ibiza - stand-up fish

Last weekend, Ibiza served a Mediterranean fish (bream?) with a fascinating presentation. They managed to use the fish collar to prop it standing up on the plate.

Not only was this visually striking, but it avoided the problem of having to flip the fish over midway through the meal. Architecturally, this may be the best way to serve a whole fish - so long as you can keep it standing up.

Feast - giant fish head

It is one thing to eat a fish with a head attached. It is another to eat a fish with a head as big as yours.

Feast, as always, raises the presentation stakes. Last night, they served a roasted pompano head. The giant head took up a whole plate. It's giant eye stared at me.

Although it was a starter, there was enough meat in the cheeks and top and back of the head to make a whole meal. The deliciously oily fish was accented with lemon and sprigs of thyme.

Almond soup

Feast also is serving a fascinating chilled almond soup. Although it tastes creamy and decadent, there is no cream. The secret is almonds and high-quality olive oil -- with a few sliced grapes and a hint of garlic. This Spanish dish is as tasty as it is beautiful.

Cheese or font

Think you know cheese? Can you tell which words are cheese names and which are the names of type fonts? Then see how well you do with this time-consuming game.

Transitions and Turmoil

I have heard a lot of restaurant news and rumors lately:

-Jason Gould left Gravitas.

-Bedford closed.

-Brian Caswell and the owners of Reef are opening a new Italian restaurant in Bedford's location. Jason Gould is rumored to be involved.

-Randy Rucker left Rainbow Lodge.

-The owners of Glass Wall are rumored to be opening a burger shop in the Heights possibly named Burgerzilla.

-Randy Evans' Haven is coming soon.

-Ken Bridge (Dragon Bowl, Pink's Pizza) is opening a new restaurant called Lola at Yale and 11th. I heard it opened today.

It's going to be an interesting fall.


Anonymous said...

Did Rucker move on to another restaurant? I thought he was a good fit for Rainbow Lodge and I really enjoyed the food he prepared there for the half year or so.

anonymouseater said...

Alison Cook reported that Rucker is "going to Peru later in the fall to help chef Carlo Testino open a new restaurant." I have heard he will do some Tenacity dinners before he leaves.

cdnsteelman said...

If Bedford closed - it's no surprise. Everyone I've spoken to about it since my own sad experience there has trashed it - no so much for food quality but for everything else surrounding it.

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