By Jim Ayres
I’m so glad the Astros made the World Series! By the time this column hits the streets, we’ll know if the Astros won it all, but the night I visited Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, the Yankees were having none of it.
Seated at the very last available table, I had a grand view of the backside of the bar and the kitchen prep area. Situated between the two was one of many giant TV screens showing the Yankees pounding the Astros in ALCS Game 3. But what could have been a very sad experience turned out to be great.
Bosscat certainly knows its whiskey. They have over 300 whiskeys, bourbons and scotches from around the world. I must say the old-fashioned I started the evening with was easily the best I have ever had. I’m not sure what brand they used—it was a smooth one—but the bitters were sweet, spicy and artisanal. I made sure to sip it slowly, so I could savor it through my meal.
Located just off Westheimer on Mid Lane, Bosscat’s River Oaks location is only its second, after the original in Newport Beach, California. The valet parking lot, dotted with luxury makes including a rare Maybach, says “money” but the inside shouts “upscale ice house.” Garage-like doors opened to let the cool breezes in.
Lighting is dramatic, but furnishings are basic. Still, I was looking forward to a juicy steak. I don’t know why I thought this place had steaks. Maybe it’s the name. Maybe it’s the high-roller vibe. But steaks are nowhere to be found on the menu. As I discovered, that’s totally OK.
I could have slurped the house Tomato Bisque all night. It’s served with a not-so-mini Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwich. For $9 it’s a steal. It’s a basic butter-griddled sandwich, just cheddar cheese and white bread, but it’s perfectly crispy and delicious.
The soup itself is like a warm Bloody Mary mix. Celery, beef stock, Worcestershire and horseradish doctor up what’s very likely a canned tomato bisque base. Or maybe they just stirred in Bloody Mary mix. I didn’t care. I loved the flavors and the piping hot serving will be perfect for the cooler days ahead.
When my Bosscat Burger arrived, I beheld its beauty. I didn’t specify temperature when ordering, but it was served at a very pretty medium rare. The patty was very well seasoned with an assertive beefiness. Salad stuff was fresh. Parmesan made a different but tasty alternative to cheddar. The comeback sauce was zesty, and the bacon was crisp. I enjoyed this burger immensely.
Other menu items include Poutine, Frog’s Legs and something called “Pig Candy.” Tell you what—you try them and tell me what you think! Bosscat can boast some of the friendliest servers in town. If you check the Yelp reviews, many commenters call out their favorite servers by name. Terry gets a lot of shout outs, but I had Henry for my visit and he was both knowledgeable and happy to be there!
Bosscat Kitchen & Libations
4310 Westheimer Road
Houston, Texas 77027