2048 Colquitt St | 346.319.5919 | www.nobieshtx.com
Tue–Wed: 5–11pm; Thur–Sat: 5pm–midnight
There is no question that for many, food is a passion. For Martin Stayer, Executive Chef of Nobie’s, his passion is clearly present in his Montrose restaurant. It all starts with the name. Nobie is Stayer’s grandmother. She gave him his first cooking lessons, encouraged him to attend culinary school and fueled his desire to run his own restaurant. After more than ten years working in Michelin-starred kitchens in Chicago, Stayer moved back to Houston to open a place to make her proud.
The focus at Nobie’s is on local ingredients, especially seafood. As such, the menu changes daily. Sharing is also a big part of Nobie’s menu. A variety of small plates and appetizers and entrées with portions large enough for two or three make it easy. I started with the Texas Tartare featuring smoked jalapeno and deviled egg. I was worried that the jalapenos would overpower the beef.
I was wrong. The smokiness and heat were a perfect match. Another winner was the fried artichokes. Marinated before being flash fried, the artichokes were light and paired well with the roasted tomato aioli. Following my waiter Dylan’s recommendation, I went with the grilled octopus as an entrée. Marinated, braised and grilled, the octopus was fork tender. It was as good as any I have ever had. My second choice? The cauliflower piccata. Before you revoke my carnivore card, try it yourself. The lemon sauce and creamy polenta made me forget there was no meat.
With Nobie’s, Stayer has created an exceptional dining experience. Best of all, he has done it at very reasonable prices. Adding in a lively bar and a beautiful deck/patio, Nobie’s is a true gem.
One thing I know for sure. Nobie has every reason to be proud. Her inspiration shines bright. We’re just lucky to share it with Stayer.
COWBOYS AND INDIANS
CUISINE: Texas & India fusion cuisine
1901 Taft St. | 713.485.6724 | www.facebook.com/cni713
Tue–Thur: 11am–9pm; Fri–Sat: 11am–10pm; Sun 11am–9pm
The latest fusion concept in Montrose, Cowboys and Indians, is unique as it provides comfort food from Texas and India. The brainchild of Has Vazir, Mahreen Vazir and Imran Khan, the original concept centered on organic American dishes. Fortunately, Vazir’s friends convinced him to use his grandmother’s Indian recipes as well. Needing a new name for this fusion, his sister suggested Cowboys and Indians, a Tex-In Restaurant. A play on words that fits well with the casual atmosphere, the food and their cultural heritage.
I took my family along, as I knew I would focus on the Indian and the kids Texan. We started off with the samosas, meat and vegan with homemade chutneys. Even my picky eater enjoyed them. Lightly fried, the fillings were flavorful, and the chutneys added a nice brightness.
Vazir gave us a variety of Indian dishes for us to sample: Butter Chicken, Vindaloo, Daal Tadka, Coconut Curry. With all the naan made in house, we couldn’t go wrong dipping. I ordered the Vindaloo and Daal spicy, somewhat to Vazir’s surprise. The vindaloo was spectacular, fork tender lamb in a perfect chili curry. Just the right amount of heat. The Daal Tadka, Grandmother Vazir’s recipe, uses four different lentils and gujarati tadka. Ratcheting up the spice worked well here, too. My daughter loved her more mild coconut curry and butter chicken. It was her first Indian experience, and she can’t wait to go back.
My son? The hamburger. His declaration? The best in Montrose outside of Lankford – high praise indeed. The Slow Dough bun and 44 Ranch beef looked great. It was gone before I could get a bite. His friends at HSPVA will be glad that GrubHub delivers. Overall, Cowboys and Indians’ fusion works. Go Tex-In – it’s a different kind of rodeo.
BRASSERIE DU PARC
CUISINE: French cuisine | 1440 Lamar St. | 832.879.2802 | www.brasserieduparc.net
Mon–Thur: 11am–10pm; Fri–Sat: 11am–11pm; Sun 11am–9pm
An unexpected benefit of the Super Bowl was the opening of several new restaurants downtown. My favorite is Brasserie du Parc. Chef Philippe Verpiand and Monica Bui, the owners of Étoile in Uptown Park, opened Brasserie in One Park Place. The beautiful open space overlooks Discovery Green and offers a wide variety of French classics and incredible wine and cocktails. The indoor patio transforms to outdoor by opening the windows to allow Houstonians to enjoy spring and fall.
Romain Mauger, the Chef de Cuisine, picked a variety of small plates and entrées to sample. The beef tartare was divine. Traditional style, the perfectly minced beef made my mouth water the moment it hit the table. The escargots with herbs garlic butter were tender and with just the right amount of garlic. My favorite was the Foie Gras au Torchon, a cold duck liver with raspberry mousseline. Sweet raspberry and savory liver. Incredible.
For entrées, I sampled the Steak Frites, Galveston-style mussels and Raviolis aux Champignons (mushroom ravioli). The medium-rare flat iron steak had the right amount of pink/red. I wanted to eat it all, but knew I had more coming. While not traditional French, the Galveston-style mussels were served in a tomato broth with crab, shrimp and jalapenos. A wonderful combination of flavors and spice. My favorite, though, was the mushroom ravioli. Port wine truffle sauce. Yes, port and truffle with the earthy mushrooms. Heaven in a bowl.
While I know I will return, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell about Créperie du Parc. A walk-up window for crepes to satisfy your sweet and savory needs. For savory, the Poitrine du Porc – pork belly with caramelized onions, egg and gruyere. Sweet? Grand Marnier, which is a take on the classic Suzette.
Brasserie du Parc is a destination. Lunch, Happy Hour, Dinner, Dessert. I’m glad it arrived.