Jonathan's The Rub
Jonathan Levine worked for three restaurants on Cape Cod before moving to Houston. Since 2000, he's been running a catering business here and working as a personal chef. Recently he decided to open a small restaurant in a storefront just off Memorial, Jonathan's The Rub (9061 Gaylord, 713-465-8200), using the same kitchen that he uses for his catering business.
"Because of the catering, I found out what everybody around here likes, and since I can cook anything, I created a menu of the favorite foods that my customers like," he says. "All of my food is familiar food. My customers don't want to look at the menu and have to ask what's this and what's that, and they certainly don't want to look at their plate and try to figure out what's what...One example is a dish we recently added to our menu. It's a blue cheese broccoli casserole. Nothing complicated, but people are really going nuts over it. All of my beef is Angus beef, and I marinate my steaks in olive oil and then use a special spice rub. We have a BYOB policy, and everybody has a good time."
When Dish visited one weeknight (the wait on weekends is already extensive), we were struck by the neighborhood feel of this tiny spot and the incredible ratio of servers (four) to tables (ten). Levine is a talented chef. The mussels were served in a garlic-laden and wine-laced broth, which just begged to be lapped up. The fisherman's plate was a medley of seafood coated in panko and then deep-fried, but greaseless. And the black and blue rib eye was nice and moist from the olive oil marinade.
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