Heights West

For someone with no restaurant experience, Connie Masterson sure seems to know what she's talking about and, more important, what she wants. "I live in the area and what we needed here was a restaurant serving high-quality food at very reasonable prices, where you can get a bottle of wine for under $30. I found this old auto repair shop, redid it, found an amazing chef and here we are," she says of Heights West (2307 Ella, 713-868-6148).

Masterson used to live in Humble, and when she moved downtown three years ago, she thought what was lacking was the "homey, neighborhood feeling of Humble," she says. "So I wanted to try to recapture that small-town feeling." The chef she found was Glen Trumble, who worked and trained all over France and in the UK and Germany. "We have a small menu so that we can deliver quality, and we're serving classic French cuisine with simple ingredients served as simply as possible," says Trumble.

The small restaurant serves Southern food during lunch — dishes such as Shiner-braised pot roast, smothered pork chops and chicken pot pies. It turns French at night, serving duck terrine and salmon sautéed in white wine.

Dish sampled the Friday lunch special, fish and chips. The fries were very fab, and the batter on the fish was as authentically English as you can get. It was a great dish. We also sampled the leek terrine with goat cheese, which we have never encountered in Houston before, as well as the rabbit covered in a mustard sauce served with noodles. These, too, were expertly prepared. We finished with a very French cheese plate.

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Paul Galvani