I've only had a handful of fine-dining experiences. One was in Italy, another in New York, but none in Houston. A lot of the restaurants I have enjoyed in Houston have had excellent service and phenomenal food, but none have come close to the experience I had at Brennan's of Houston.
I have heard tales of the spectacular waitstaff and delicious, elegant Southern cuisine at Brennan's, but I have never had the opportunity to make these stories my reality. Luckily, my boyfriend and I shared the same desire to enjoy a superb glass of wine and scrumptious food at Brennan's, where we celebrated our one-year anniversary this past weekend.
One step in the classy entryway, and I knew that we were in for a treat. As the doors opened to what would be one of the best dining experiences of our lives, we were welcomed with a warm hello and promptly seated at our reserved table. Now, these chairs weren't like any ordinary chairs. We had high-back cushioned seats with a pillow to lean back against. Talk about royal treatment.
While we waited for our server, we couldn't help but stare at the beautiful dining room decorated with exquisite chandeliers and breathtaking architecture enhanced by the lively atmosphere of guests enjoying their company and food.
We ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from Duckhorn vineyards. I'll be honest, I don't know much about wine, but I quite enjoyed this one. It was sweet, but not too sweet; the acidity in each sip was refreshing as well.
Since the turtle soup au sherry is famous at Brennan's, my boyfriend decided to order that as a starter, while I ordered the Froberg's Farm tomato salad, which had two thick red tomato slices with sautéed onions, slices of crumbly, soft mozzarella cheese, cracked black pepper and a generous drizzling of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The cheese with the oily tomato melted in my mouth, while the onions added the perfect crunch to every bite.
We then moved on to our main meal. The wonderful thing about Brennan's is that the food is straightforward, yet it all requires a finesse and technique. I ordered the pecan-crusted mahi mahi with crunchy French green beans, topped with a sweet buttery sauce and crushed pecans decorating the plate. The flaky and delicate fish was perfectly moist and sweetened by the buttery sauce and sugary pecans. I could have eaten just the pecan crust, and I would have been satisfied.
My boyfriend ordered the osso buco with a sweet potato risotto. I don't know why they gave him a knife, because the meat was so tender and juicy that it took no effort to grab a piece with his fork. The risotto was also out-of-this-world creamy, sweet and delicious.
Even though we were mighty full after our entrées, we still had room for dessert, so of course we ordered the tableside Bananas Foster. How could we not? It's just butter, brown sugar, bananas and, according to our waiter, a little party mix (rum) -- it can't get any better than that. With a scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream and a plate decorated in chocolate saying "Happy Anniversary," our night was complete.
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It's not every day that I get to enjoy delicious, comforting food at a sophisticated and classy restaurant. Brennan's definitely delivered in all aspects, making this a dining experience to remember.
Oh, and the pralines on the way out were phenomenal.