Thursday, July 11, 2013

oxheart, take two

I wasn't going to write a post about my second trip to Oxheart, but then I remembered that the purpose of my blog is to remember the ways that we fill our days and this was definitely a day worth remembering.

Oxheart is one of the most noted restaurants in Houston. I gave a little background in my previous post. My husband loves it, and his birthday is in July, and since reservations normally fill for the tiny restaurant weeks in advance, he made reservations for July 4th on June 1st and then forgot about them until a few days prior.

Honestly? I wasn't in the mood for a nice meal. We weren't celebrating. I didn't want to do anything with my hair. I kinda wasn't feeling it. Then I checked out the summer menu, read some recent Yelp reviews, and I was ready to go.

Upon walking in, one of the two waitresses recognized us from our first visit. It was the closest I have ever felt to being a regular anywhere, ha! I went with the garden menu this time, which is vegetarian, and Andrew had the traditional four course meal. We had the same first course and dessert and we both went with the wine pairings.

The first course of beets with quinoa and almond was so unique. The beets were layered and it was like receiving a slice of beet pie. That sounds gross, but it was good, I promise. There was an almond-y cream inside. The quinoa was on the side and there was regular, cooked quinoa surrounded by quinoa that seemed to be dried or popped. Really cool textures and different tastes.

There is always a bread course after the first course, and last time we were there, it was unbelievable, as in "still mentioned as a pinnacle of amazingness" in our house. This time, we received buttermilk biscuits with chive butter and fig jam. Both were great but just thinking about the chive butter has me dreaming of it all over again. If you visit Oxheart, be ready for some amazing bread and ready to be sad that it's never enough, but realize that your great meal has only just begun...

My second course was beyond words amazing. I am still thinking about it. The bottom layer was made of carrots cooked in coconut milk and mixed with a little mashed avocado. The top part was raw carrots, thinly sliced and placed like a flower. It was a beautiful plate and so, so good. Andrew's second course was also good, roasted yellowfin tuna with leeks (my faaaaavorite) and a three egg sauce that I would like to have around the house to pour over everything from french fries to steaks.

Seriously, the care put into plating is amazing. Can you imagine how lovely these photos would be if taken with a real camera?

The third course was still good, but probably my least favorite. I love tomatoes, but these were really strong and overpowering. There was brown butter rice served on top of them, and it was delicious. I could have eaten an entire bowl of rice alone, but the people at Oxheart are smart enough to make portions small so you don't get too much of a good thing. Andrew had some guinea hen cooked three ways and it was so, so tasty as well. The wing was fried and yummy; the thin squash had meat inside, and the other part was just good, period. This is the second time I have had poultry at Oxheart and it puts chicken and turkey anywhere else to absolute shame.

For dessert, we both got a chocolate cake with tomato jam. I know, WTF, tomato and chocolate, right? I don't know what kind of voodoo magic happens in that kitchen, but it was delicious. Not too chocolatey, interesting texture, and a feuilletine (fwee-uh-teen) that I wanted another piece of. We sat for a few and waited for our check, and I was thinking that it was taking a while, but it's a tiny place and I just assumed the waitstaff was busy with other tables... and then our wonderful waitress came by, apologized for the wait, and said that she was holding our check so that the kitchen could prepare the other dessert offering of the night for us to sample. We are dessert lovers and you can't order things individually here, so that was definitely a treat! The dessert was an olive oil mousse with a sweet corn cake and candied corn on top. It was bordering on savory with just a tiny bit of sweetness to end the meal. The candied corn was really unique (not at all like candy corn, haha) and the mousse was so, so smooth. It came with a drink that was a corn-sweetened milk that definitely had some kind of booze in it, but after this point the very generous wine pairings had kicked in and this girl wasn't in the mood for remembering stuff for blogging's sake. Just trust that it was crazy good.

I forgot to take a pic of the chocolate cake before we both dug in!

So, there it is. Oxheart again. If you like trying new things and can stay relatively open-minded, go. GO. Prepare for a leisurely dinner. You will be full, but not stuffed; this isn't a steakhouse. You will learn so much about what is on your plate, from the farm it came from to the chef's displeasure with the dish (we overheard him telling another table that he wasn't 100% happy with one of the dishes yet). It is an experience and if you have a love for food, you will enjoy it. Want to enjoy it more? Invite me. I'm already trying to think of an excuse for us to return next time the menu changes.


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  2. Was just talking to a friend who was comparing Oxheart and Pass &Provisions and now I would like to try both, eventually!

  3. This place sounds amazing. I'd love to go to a place like this someday :D

  4. and now i am officially hungry.

  5. You have really sparked my interest in trying this place! And I must say your descriptions are fantastic! Did you make blog notes at the table? :)


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