TOOK A TRIP AROUND THE BLOCK TO FIND FIELD & TIDES RESTAURANT AND BAR. THREE REASONS:
• No parking visible.
• I was looking for Field and Tides, not the large FTRB letters that span the entrance.
• And I never imagined that in Houston, Texas – the land of big and bigger – a restaurant with food this good would be in space this small.
But once I finally sorted it all out, I was delightfully rewarded. (FYI: Valet parking happens around the corner.) I love this tiny space with its vaulted ceiling of wide wooden boards; its pristine white walls; its ceiling fans of fans (you’ll have to trust me on this one); its burly, bearded staff, who along with the bar made from cross cuts of logs, give the space a hipster Portland vibe.
The 11th Street blue bungalow is cozy, the noise level a tad high due to all the hard surfaces. (For those desiring an intimate conversation, seek out an alfresco table.)
Head chef and part owner TRAVIS LENIG has cooked around town for a while. And the menu reflects the knowledge garnered from past experiences at the ever-popular Liberty Kitchen and Shade restaurants.
It is an interesting and surprising mix of offerings, tasty and well-prepared, shades of French, Italian and Asian styles. A blend of elegant, down-home comfort and casual dining – take your pick. And family friendly, complete with kiddie menu items.
From pimento cheese fritters – crisp, crusty orbs encapsulating an oozing creamy interior with a sweet hot pepper jelly sauce – to a startlingly delicious combination of fried oysters on a bed of ridiculously good, thinly sliced and crisp roasted Brussels sprouts in a sweet Asian chili sauce, the menu reflects Lenig‘s appreciation of cross-cultural cooking with a down-home attitude.
His devotion to locally sourced ingredients springs from a family affair. His in-laws own Huckleberry Farm in the Round Top area. And it is from there Lenig receives many of his ingredients – like the salad greens and the ruby red and golden beets for the late-spring salad of roasted beets and arugula.
As the name suggests, this menu has a unique balance of entrées harvested from the land and the sea. Think surf and turf with a twist. And a most contemporary attention to vegetarian items such as an oven-roasted herb tomato, garlic confit egg white frittata.
One can dine on a luscious confit of duck leg on a bed of collard greens and polenta or a dreamy dish of pan-roasted scallops on a crab meat risotto or a meaty roasted rack of venison with braised red cabbage and poblano mash.
Or you can go casual: a Sloppy Tide – a cornmeal-crusted Gulf fish fillet with field fresh coleslaw, a fried egg and a fresh baked challah bun; or a Sloppy Fields – a pulled pork sandwich with housemade BBQ sauce (ditto the fried egg and challah). Same menu for lunch and dinner means affordable, reasonable pricing.
Not to be missed: the fresh strawberry short cookie dessert. Chewy shortbread cookies topped with whipped cream and slices of fresh strawberries bordered by a brilliant green fresh basil gastrique. Genius. And Lenig’s advice on how to eat the dessert perfectly defines this restaurant’s philosophy. “Don’t bother with a fork, just pick it up with your fingers and eat it.”
705 East 11th Street | Houston, TX 77008 | 713.861.6143 www.fieldandtides.com | firstname.lastname@example.org