Genesis Steakhouse: Compelling Fare That Just Happens to Be Kosher

In the middle of Genesis Steakhouse "grows" a tree, a fitting allusion to the "tree of life" and origin of creation outlined in the eponymous first book of the Bible. Its presence is soothing and presages the luxurious dining experience that awaits you when you take your seat at one of the large, round tables in the blue and green accented dining room.  

First, it should be noted, though I do so reluctantly, that Genesis is a kosher steakhouse, which means its meats come from animals who died in a pain-free fashion and are treated via kosher preparation, specifically drained of blood and soaked in sea salt prior to cooking. My reluctance in making this admission comes only from a fear of dissuading those unfamiliar with kosher food from wrongly assuming Genesis is not a "regular," or, God forbid, "real" steakhouse; yes, as Orthodox it's unorthodox, but this difference may make it better.

To enhance flavor in its meats, Genesis employs various marinades with combinations of strong seasonings. Our starter of short rib tacos was composed of slender cylinders stuffed with beef redolent of cumin and cinnamon and was accompanied by a mound of chunky guacamole, which provided a luscious balance of garden fats. 

An angus steak that followed was terrifically supple and encased in an aromatic sheath of garlic and onion, whose tangy and acidic flavors were further enlivened by traces of olive oil.  Clearly, Genesis has a firm handle on how to make a great steak; however, focus on this cut of meat and you will miss out on what I believe are actually the superior dishes on offer: the lamb chops and côte de veau. 

Rosemary is the primary ingredient in a fragrant reduction used to dress the tender, yielding chops. They're arranged in a trifecta tower with the bones intertwined, and it's just too tempting to throw decorum out the door and grab one by hand and gnaw blissfully...that is, until your husband whispers loudly, "This is a NICE place."

The côte de veau, a 14-ounce veal chop crusted with caramelized garlic and rosemary, oozes with juices even before the addition of a demi-glace.  It's designed for sharing, and in an ideal world this comes in the form of your eating half during your dinner and then offering the other half to (oh, wait!) yourself tomorrow at lunch.

Straight out of the gate, the servers at Genesis are very friendly but assertively informative, which I found reassuring since it was clear that they sincerely wanted me to have the best dining experience possible.  They are generous with their wine recommendations and extremely knowledgeable when it comes to pairings.  Our waiter made multiple spot-on recommendations, leading us to try a fabulous Barkan Reserve Cabernet with our lamb and veal. This leggy Israeli wine with strong berry and spice notes tasted like Christmas in a glass (irony noted) and would be the perfect libation to sip fireside. 

With the end of the meal came a sense this was just the beginning. Genesis is unveiling a whole new wine list soon and there is a litany of other appealing dishes, especially those on the brunch menu, yet to be tried. I can't wait to keep keeping kosher.

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Joanna O'Leary