Astoundingly good cooking--Mai Pham did a good job exposing some of his stuff, showing what a chef who pays his dues can accomplish.
Best Foie Gras Dish Houston 2013 - Charivari
Most fine-dining restaurants around town serve some sort of foie gras on their menu, but in size, style and execution, Charivari's is totally awesome. At some places, the foie gras portion is so small that you're finished eating it almost as soon as you start. Not so at Charivari, where the serving is generous enough for two. Each slice is pan-seared until the outer layer is almost caramelized in its own juices. When you cut into it with your fork, the rich, hot center that spills forth is good enough to make you swoon. It's served with brown sugar-glazed apples in a deep-red marsala reduction, and you'll want to lap up every dollop of sauce and every morsel of this "Budapest-style" foie gras by chef and owner Johann Schuster, one of the most popular items on the menu and so delicious that any restaurant in town would be proud to serve it.