I’ve been moderately quiet lately. And here’s why: I haven’t had anything that makes me run to the keyboard with delight. Nothing that inspires comparisons. Not a morsel to sing about. I’ve lost my muse! [Rehhhh-Rerrrrrrr.] Among the mediocrity, though, a few things stand out. And here they are...
Sautéed squid at t’afia
While I haven’t been overwhelmed by t’afia in recent visits, the summer squid sauté is a dream: massive tubes and tentacles with an enchantingly chewy consistency, topped with a spicy chili sauce. Light and airy, deliciously hot. This? Is how squid should be. The avocado sashimi also tickled the buds.
Waffles ‘n wings at The Breakfast Klub
Excited was I to dine at this Houston institution with some close friends Friday morning. We scraped in just before the massive line appeared, which seemed like a serendipitous start. But the bubble burst as soon as our food showed up. Yikes! The Wings-n-Waffles dish is great—especially the “wings” part—but the remaining offerings there... not so much.
Salmon tartar at Gravitas
Now that Scott Tycer is fully committed to his latest upstart, Textile, his old haunt Gravitas has lost its punch. The menu sounds enticing enough, but the preparations, themselves, have no soul. What’s a hungry diner to do? I'll tell you: Stick with something easy. Like the salmon tartar, mounds of fresh salmon flanked by chopped cucumber and dressed lightly with a chili-soy sauce. Hard to beat.
Raw mackerel at Nippon
A friend and I dined at Nippon’s sushi bar omakase last week. The chef was clearly hesitant to break outside the boundaries of rolls and nigiri, until we chastised him into giving us this: a gorgeous presentation of raw mackerel lightly drizzled with lemon and soy, then topped with smattering of green onions and sesame seeds. Once we downed the lightly sweet cubes of fish, he whisked away the filet, deep fried it, and then returned it to us. Paper thin and golden, it had the consistency of a cracker and the taste of a dream.
Don’t worry. The dearth of culinary inspirations has not deterred me at all, fearless readers. It just means I’ll have to look harder. Onward!