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Let's Cook Asparagus

Spring has sprung.

Singh figured out quickly what a lot of chefs don't always get about lobster — it's best left alone. He doesn't fire it along with the pizza or try to slice it up like pepperoni. It's literally just sitting on top, which I think is the ideal way to serve a big red claw on a thin, cheesy slice.

The Lobster Verde pizza heads in a different direction, globally, from the margherita. The sauce is green pesto, and it's topped with mozzarella, more roasted tomatoes, onions marinated in spicy Mongolian oil, a few crumbles of goat cheese and more butter-poached lobsters.

Then there's Singh's take on carbonara, which employs Parmesan, mozzarella, pancetta and peas to evoke the classic pasta dish. The pie then gets a generous topping of lobster claws and two sunny-side-up eggs. This is probably my new favorite pizza on the menu, including all the non-lobster versions. It's truly divine.

This take on carbonara is my new favorite pizza in Houston.
Kaitlin Steinberg
This take on carbonara is my new favorite pizza in Houston.
From left: Matt Toomey, Charlotte Mitchell and Brad Moore – business partners establishing The Honeymoon Cafe & Bar.
Molly Dunn
From left: Matt Toomey, Charlotte Mitchell and Brad Moore – business partners establishing The Honeymoon Cafe & Bar.

The newest pizza isn't even on the menu yet, but I recommend you order it as soon as you see it printed. It's called Mesopotamian Lobster, and it evokes the flavors of the Middle East with a muhammara spread featuring Aleppo peppers, walnuts and olive oil. There are big green daubs of fresh mint chutney dotting the lobster and a sprinkling of dark red sumac for color and texture. I was dubious about the strong Middle Eastern flavors paired with the subtly sweet lobster, but it works.

Singh explains that in order to make a lobster pizza that really tastes like lobster, the crustacean must be the last thing you taste as you're eating. First you get the crust, then the spices, and once you're done chewing those, there's still a big hunk of lobster inundating your mouth with a delicate but briny seafood flavor.

"I'm really into pushing the pizza envelope these days," Singh says. "I get to entertain and indulge myself on a daily basis whilst serving the community. It's a win-win for everyone."
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Restaurant News

The Honeymoon
Just what downtown needs.

MOLLY DUNN

If you work, live or just spend all your time downtown, you've probably noticed there aren't that many places to grab a quick bite to eat, sit down for a cup of coffee, or enjoy a casual dinner and dessert before or after a theater performance. Sure, there are lots of restaurants, such asThe Grove,Batanga,ArtistaandSambuca; and there are lots of bars, such asFlying Saucer,Hearsay Gastro LoungeandReserve 101. But there's one thing missing from the downtown dining scene — a casual place to grab a coffee, cocktail and bite to eat.

Let's face it. If you're searching for a laid-back coffee shop in downtown or along the rail line, you'll be searching for a while. But that problem will soon be solved when The Honeymoon Cafe & Bar opens at 300 Main this spring.

The Honeymoon is a partnership between Matt Toomey and Charlotte Mitchell of Boomtown Coffee and Brad Moore and Ryan Rouse of The Corinthian Bar Group (Goro & Gun, Lei Low Bar, OKRA, Bad News Bar, Big Star Bar and Grand Prize Bar). The foursome believe that this establishment will assist in the revitalization of downtown.

"I really think downtown needs this," Moore says. "It will be a concept that's open from 7 a.m. until midnight. It rounds out the corner [of Main and Congress]. We've got Boomtown doing super high-quality coffee, and Justin [Burrow] from Bad News Bar, he's doing the cocktail program, and we've got a great staff management and are otherwise ready to execute this. It should be fun, and I really think it's what downtown needs."

Toomey describes the partnership between the coffee program from Boomtown and the cocktail program from The Corinthian Bar Group as "a marriage." In addition, the partners believe opening The Honeymoon along the rail line firmly evokes the spirit of NOLA, which is one of their goals.

"What it reminds me of most, in terms of just the concept, and it's unintentional, but it's right along the rail line, but it reminds me a lot of the bars and cafes in train stations, like all across Europe and everything," Mitchell says. "So it's...open from the morning; you can get your coffee; you can get your pastry; something quick, something sit-down, and then all the way into the evening."

The Honeymoon sits on the corner of Congress and Main along the rail line, just down the street from Goro & Gun, The Pastry War and Bad News Bar. The coffee shop and bar is still in the construction stage, but the historic building has made the process much easier on the partners. The building already had hardwood floors, a built-in oak bar and an ample amount of natural light.

"During the day, we've got lots of windows, lots of natural light coming in," Moore explains. "Then, at night — we're real picky about lighting — so it's going to be pretty, sultry. But yeah, during the day there's so much good light coming in. We've got to work on paint schemes, wood, because we are doing a lot of dark wood in there. But also the paint is going to be light. Always ever-important is lighting, and we've been scrutinizing that like crazy."

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