Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Perfect Week for the Grove

Two weeks of blissful weather. That’s all we get a year, and it’s right now. ‘Tis the season, then, for The Grove, one of three restaurants on the new Discovery Green downtown.

Encased in a beautiful glass-and-steel space, The Grove embodies the simple elegance required of an entity that fills so many needs... It’s the kind of place you hit before a Rockets game, on your way to the Alley, or with a date. Got a free afternoon? Sit on the shaded wooden deck for a snack while you marvel at a vibrant outdoor display unlike anywhere else in Houston. You won’t regret it.

Lunch offers a little more consistency than dinner, yet both menus feature interesting flavors at OK prices. Of the appetizers, the deviled yard eggs with chorizo arrive in a gorgeous presentation, yet lack the flavor punch you expect. Moist rotisserie chicken adds an extra umpf to an already nice Caesar salad. Last Sunday’s tomato and chorizo soup was dynamite as well.

A closet hit is the grilled cheese sandwich off the double-secret kids menu. Seek it out. And the clear favorite is the shrimp burger with spicy avocado mayonnaise and fennel slaw; served with crispy fries, this beauty tops an already outstanding sandwich list.

When you’re done, head upstairs to the Treehouse (open Thursday through Saturday) for a creative cocktail while you bask in the shadows of the skyline. Or grab a few made-to-order doughnuts from the stand across the way. They’re hot, they’re fresh, and they’re little pillows of heaven.

Is this the most amazing meal you’ll have downtown? No, but it’s fun, fanciful, and consistently fine. Plus, you can feel good knowing you’re patronizing an eco-friendly venue in Houston’s prettiest new locale.

The Grove - 1611 Lamar (on the Discovery Green)

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