Looking back at 2018, one thing became immediately clear. I ate really well.
In between healthier everyday meals and RX Bars (the ones with the recipe on the wrapper; not bad), I sampled some extraordinary dishes. I’m grateful to the MONTROSE STAR for the opportunity to share these with you each issue. Here are a few of my favorites from the past year.
In 2018 it was all about croquettes. Parmesan and PancettaCroquettes at Nancy’s Hustle were joyously crunchy, while Fig & Olive’s Croquette Tasting — Mushroom and Truffle, Prosciutto with Basil, and Artichokewith Pimenton — was, after those first crusty bites, melt in your mouthgoodness.
Moxie’s Salmon & Avocado Cobb Salad was a museum sculpture on a plate. A Scottish salmon filet, edges perfectly crisp, lay atop an iceberg disk with bacon, a seriously cute little boiled egg, and feta cheese. A sundried tomato dressing added welcome tart and sweet notes.
At Night Heron, the “everything bun” looks like an everything bagel, generously flaked with spice. Inside you’ll bite into well-seasoned,beefy patties and smoked cheddar. Fries? How about Fried Curry Spiced Potatoes?The house ketchup is made with Massamun curry for good measure.
Nobie’s 44 Farms Flatiron is a nearly inch-thick steak covered with a cilantro chimichurri, the green Argentinean sauce. This steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare, tender and delicious. I was in awe of the huge fried hen of the woods mushroom served alongside.
Until recently, I just knew Theodore Rex’s Paris-Brest, a sort-of sandwich with Swiss cheese cream and honey caramel, would be my winner.But then came a late-in-the-year challenger. Eunice’s Bread Pudding is the best I’ve ever had. The spices, the brandy butter sauce, the ice cream all came together, and I adored every calorie.
A bittersweet one here, as FM Kitchen and Bar’s Texas Pot Pie is no longer on the menu. (Maybe they’ll bring it back for winter. Alex?) The dish wasn’t just about a rich filling of smoked brisket, BBQ gravy and vegetables. A cheddar-infused puff pastry topped the whole thing off, and I loved each gorgeous, golden layer.
Postino’s light menu of antipasto, panini and bruschetta is just the thing for savoring with a glass of one of their many exceptional wines(most are $5 during happy hour). Reasonable prices, great service and an upbeat, brunchy vibe make Postino a favorite haunt.
La Lucha is the sort of inviting place where the comfy furniture is mis matched, and family photos abound. Reliving his childhood memories of the old San Jacinto Inn, chef Ford Fry (with culinary director Bobby Matos) have fashioned a new menu of “Gulf Gems and Chicken Dinners.” A lushly succulent Blackened Catfish was the star of my first visit. Lime brightened up nutty brown butter and capers. Crab Boiled Corn takes you to the seaside with butter and Old Bay, while Shrimpy Macaroni Salad is just as creamy as my school cafeteria made it. I’ve since gone back for that Chicken Dinner. Four delectable pieces of fried chicken, biscuits, pickles and sauces — green harissa, honey sambal and oyster mayonnaise — is the stuff of legend.
Here’s to happy eating in2019!