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New Houston restaurants take a healthy approach to comfort food

February 7th, 2013 2 Comments

Houstonians are infamous for loving their food drown in butter, salt, and sauce. Don’t deny it, you know it’s true. That’s why the gastropub has been such a big hit. So when chefs go the opposite direction, I instantly have respect for them.

Lucille’s (Museum District)

Chris Williams, owner and chef of Lucille’s and graduate of Le Cordon Blue in Austin, prepares southern food with elegance.
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Every dish is one you would recognize – biscuits, fried green tomatoes, ribs, fried chicken, shrimp ‘n grits – but he prepares them with a lighter hand than most.
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I expect this tendency comes from eating all over the world in his travels. Unfortunately the venue itself is a little bright and loud for my liking, but no one else at my table seemed to mind. The mixologist at the bar and the sommelier on staff take as much pride in their contributions as well.

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I had the pleasure of meeting all of them the night we visited on the expansive back patio overlooking the sizable herb garden, a perfect place for a private party.

Corner Table (Upper Kirby)

I don’t know that many Houstonians follow a Paleo diet, but they’ll be raving about that portion of Bruce Molzan’s menu at the new restaurant Corner Table, located in the old Brownstone building behind West Ave. The menu design is quite tacky, but that is not indicative of the food on it.

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Bruce, famous and infamous in town for Ruggles and Ruggles Green, has always been respected for his talent. Now he is helming the kitchen himself to prepare some of the the healthiest and tastiest food in town.

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I went with a group and tried a sampling of what felt like almost everything. Aside from the Paleo concept, each dish has yet another surprise to offer.

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For example, the Paleo turkey bolognese combines a savory hearty sauce with sweet and light spaghetti squash noodles. That was hands down our favorite.

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Salads were unlike anything you would make at home. The almond-meal crusted fried chicken was heavenly. He even made a simple roasted chicken and veggie plate interesting. I could eat there three times a week because the menu offers so many healthy options!

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My pictures just don’t do the food justice. The venue itself is loud but decorated nicely.
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Molzan and his partners will be opening up The Oak Bar, a coffee bar, and some sort of lounge (in place of Red Door) to complete the complex. Coffee will be from one of my favorite local roasters, Boomtown Coffee.

Both Lucille’s and Corner Table are exceptional, although I prefer Corner Table as the menu is more extensive and the ambiance is more to my liking.

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  • Joe

    The chef at Lucille’s is Chris Williams, not John Williams.