The pilot light has been lit: Chefs Terrence Gallivan and Seth Siegel-Gardner of Pilot Light Restaurant Group finally announced plans for their first restaurant space yesterday. The Pass and Provisions will be opening at 807 Taft, in the former space of both Gravitas and -- before that -- the original Antone's Famous Po'Boys & Deli. The historic building housed Antone's for 50 years, and will now be home to two young chefs who hope to create another Houston classic in the 1930s-era building.
After months of hosting sold-out pop-up dinners around town -- called Pilot Light dinners after the chefs' ambition to help spark a new culinary movement in Houston -- and winning accolades such as the recent Houston Press MasterMind award in January, fans of the chefs' food will no doubt be pleased to discover that the duo's new restaurant will actually be two restaurants in one, affording diners the opportunity to have two different experiences under one roof.
According to a press release, The Pass and Provisions aims to be a "fine-dining and casual concept wrapped into one, along with a bar and patio. And in an homage to the building's former history as Antone's -- which, in addition to making po-boys, also served as a global import warehouse in the vein of Phoenicia or Cost Plus -- the restaurant plans to incorporate regional and global techniques and flavor into casual and refined dining experiences.
This will also serve to showcase the chefs' diverse work experience at restaurants across the world, such as Aquavit (Nordic cuisine in New York City), August (contemporary French in New Orleans), The Fat Duck (Heston Blumenthal's famously modern "molecular" restaurant in Berkshire, England) and more.
The "Provisions" side of the house will be built around a massive wood-burning oven, in which the chefs plan to turn out not just pizzas, but also roasted meats and pastas. In addition, Provisions will feature a verdant outdoor dining area and a bar with creative cocktails and an extensive wine list.
"The Pass" will be contained within Provisions, and will function much as a Chef's Table does in other restaurants. It's here where guests familiar with Siegel-Gardner and Gallivan's previous Pilot Light or Just August dinners will likely feel most at home. Says the press release of The Pass:
Bringing the essence of the kitchen to each table, chefs will serve, describe and answer diners' questions, creating an authentic experience for each customer while placing emphasis on the process behind transitioning food to plate. Similar to dining at a chef's table, diners will be able to connect with the local and global inspiration and experience of each chef and behind every dish, in an upscale, casually elegant atmosphere, complemented by a thoughtful international wine list.
Along with the opening of a slew of new restaurants this year -- among them Underbelly, Uchi, Oxheart, The Hay Merchant, Roost and more -- The Pass and Provisions will likely be pivotal in helping to further transform Houston's quickly maturing culinary landscape. After all, it's hard not to be as excited about Siegel-Gardner and Gallivan's project as they are about the city itself.
"Why should you have to go to New York to eat amazing food?" Gallivan asked last year on the eve of their first Pilot Light dinner. "Houston is a great food community. It's just a matter of convincing people to try something new."