Here, Eat This

Inside Ruggles Black's Kurios-Cabinet of 'Delicacies'

Mini Lili's Mango Orange Mojito is sweet, tangy and boozy.
Mini Lili's Mango Orange Mojito is sweet, tangy and boozy. Photo by Cuc Lam
Update 4/11:  A press release sent to Houston Press notes that "due to unforeseen circumstances, this partnership has been discontinued until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience, but wanted to inform you as soon as possible so that there would not be any further postings or mentions concerning the special menu." Last week, Texas game wardens alleged that Ruggles Black chef/restaurateur Bruce Molzan had been running one of the biggest illegal seafood networks in Texas history.

Ruggles Black
is presenting a special menu in conjunction with Cirque du Soleil's return to Houston. For a limited time only, to coincide with the running dates of Kurios-Cabinet of Curiosities, chef Bruce Molzan and his team have created a tasty selection of unique plates, including a cocktail and a dessert, for diners to enjoy from the premiere of the show on April 6 through May 21. Houston Press had a preview of the menu over the weekend.

The fun and creative items are delightfully named after characters from Kurios. The Mini Lili's Mango Orange Mojito is the only cocktail that appears as the Opening Act. It's a wonderful balance of citrusy sweet and tart flavors garnished with fresh mint and a slice of orange. ($13)

click to enlarge The fried quail egg tops this meaty, full dish of chili. - PHOTO BY NGUYET VO (TAMING OF THE SPOON)
The fried quail egg tops this meaty, full dish of chili.
Photo by Nguyet Vo (Taming of the Spoon)

The Main Acts selection is a broad range of paleo-friendly deliciousness. The Cirque Paleo Buffalo Chili, a mixture of ground buffalo meat and an onion trio of white, green and purple, is topped with goat cheese, curls of thin sweet potato crisps, spicy micro-greens and a sunny-side up quail egg. The dish is tangy and full of bold flavors, with just a hint of heat present. ($13)


click to enlarge The Contortionist Taco plate comes with two tacos cut into halves, dressed with olive oil and Cuban spices. - PHOTO BY CUC LAM
The Contortionist Taco plate comes with two tacos cut into halves, dressed with olive oil and Cuban spices.
Photo by Cuc Lam

The Contortionist Taco is presented with roughly chopped lobster, perfectly sautéed with Cuban spices inside a "taco shell" that could very well replace our taco shells on the regular. Chef Molzan told the Press that he uses almond flour, coconut flour, egg whites and herbs to create the thin and crispy crepe-like shell. ($18)

click to enlarge Rubbed with Szechuan pepper, the marinated NY Strip is full of flavor. - PHOTO BY RENIA BUTLER (GRISTLE & GOSSIP)
Rubbed with Szechuan pepper, the marinated NY Strip is full of flavor.
Photo by Renia Butler (Gristle & Gossip)

Microcosmos' New York Strip
is a medium-grilled, grass-fed natural steak rubbed with Szechuan peppers and topped with an out-of-this-world orange-lime garlic mustard compound butter, and is served with roasted vegetables and a cauliflower mash. ($35)

click to enlarge Fish & Chips is Caribbean-inspired and presented with sweet potato fries. - PHOTO BY RENIA BUTLER (GRISTLE & GOSSIP)
Fish & Chips is Caribbean-inspired and presented with sweet potato fries.
Photo by Renia Butler (Gristle & Gossip)

Klara's Caribbean Fish & Chips
, a lightly fried white fish with sweet potato fries, arrives with orange habanero kimchi sauce and mini mojo dipping sauce, accompanied by an Asian peach and papaya slaw. The slaw is very good and the heat of the habanero in the kimchi sauce is subtle. ($25)

click to enlarge Arroz con pollo with a taste of the Caribbean in the mix. - PHOTO BY NGUYET VO (TAMING OF THE SPOON)
Arroz con pollo with a taste of the Caribbean in the mix.
Photo by Nguyet Vo (Taming of the Spoon)
Nico's Rice con Pollo is a delicious cauliflower rice cooked with East Indian and Caribbean spices and presented with a grilled marinated chicken breast. The roasted asparagus is a nice touch. ($23)


click to enlarge Dessert is light, yet sweet and citrusy with a zesty, candied syrup of lime and orange peels. - PHOTO BY CUC LAM
Dessert is light, yet sweet and citrusy with a zesty, candied syrup of lime and orange peels.
Photo by Cuc Lam

YoYo's Tequila Lime Cake
is the sweet Encore item on the menu. The angel food cake is generously drizzled with a candied syrup of lime and orange peel and served with a scoop of homemade coconut ice cream on top. ($9)

click to enlarge Kurios - Cabinet of Curiosities marks the 35th creation of Cirque du Soleil. - PHOTO BY MARTIN GIRARD
Kurios - Cabinet of Curiosities marks the 35th creation of Cirque du Soleil.
Photo by Martin Girard

Publicist for Kurios Jeff Lovari told the Press that this show marks the 35th creation of Cirque du Soleil. "What makes this show different is the audience will be closer to the performers onstage." He added that "the director stripped away the more overtly technological aspects, like projections and automations, to focus more on the human performances in the show and the storytelling."

Kurios is set during the Industrial Revolution. "It's actually the first time a Cirque show has been set in a real time period," said Lovari. The show follows the main character as he is inspired by the incredible inventions of that period to bring his own creations to life.

Kurios-Cabinet of Curiosities is premiering under the tents at the Sam Houston Race Park at 7575 North Sam Houston Parkway from April 6 through May 21. Tickets range from $35 to $175. Tickets are available for purchase to the general public at cirquedusoleil.com/kurios or calling 1-877-9-CIRQUE.

Ruggles Black, 3963 Kirby, 832-530-4493
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Cuc Lam is a freelance food writer for the Houston Press and local pop-up chef. She enjoys teaching cooking classes and hosting dinner parties when she is not writing.