Playing That Funky Music
We know Houston is one of the top cities for dining out in the nation, but somehow we have very few restaurants that are mentioned among the best. Hopefully Clark Copper Concepts', Brasserie 19, will soon be changing things! They bought us Ibiza and Coppa and now Brasserie 19 where the concept is French classism meets modern luxury...we like it already.
This place had been on our list for the past several months, but for some reason we were in no hurry to try it out (what the HELL were we thinking). So last week after leaving an early evening event, we decided to FINALLY make our way to Brasserie 19.
As we approached the building we knew this place was a total "seen and be seen" type of spot, so we were completely jazzed and hoped that all the pieces fit together - good food and a good experience. Scanning the room only to find that every seat was filled, we were glad we made a last minute reservation! We were taken to our seats directly across from the bar. The color schemes of white and silver set a grandeur vibe never before seen in a venue of this size. Brasserie 19 is not a large place by any means, but it was grand indeed. Upon first sight, the woven white chairs seemed to lack comfort, but we were wrong.
Once seated and greeted by our waiter, we were handed a couple of IPad 2's and before the waiter could tell us what they were for, we had already accessed the touch screens like the pros that we were! Urban Girl knew what she wanted but she continued toying with the IPad like a kid in a candy store. Swanky Girl on the other hand ordered the drink with a cool ice ball, The Bees Knees. If you are a gin lover then you will heart this drink because it is a new twist that will leave you asking for more. Urban Girl opted for her usual Margarita, but instead of the house margarita she went with one of the most faithful men we know, Don Julio. He came through again and proved to be smooth and true to his word!
About 15 minutes in, familiar and rhythmic cords held steady in our ears. Around that same time, groovin' commenced in the very seats we were in. Oh yes...Brasserie 19 was jammin' old school favorites like Chaka Khan and Aretha Franklin (just to name a few). We even heard a little Outkast! There were times when we wanted to form a soul train line right there! Clearing the linens and jumping on top of the table wasn't out of the question either. Ummm...maybe after a few more drinks.
Our waiter, Brad, was extra helpful the entire night. Offering suggestions, checking on us continuously, and serving up the occasional laugh really rounded out the evening. We felt welcomed and appreciated the whole night. The party continued as we ordered our hors d'oeuvres and entrees and settled in to enjoy the remainder of our meal. One thing to note, the menu wasn't too long and had something for everyone, including vegetarian meals. With the evening's specials and their pleasing descriptions, ordering proved to be a feat, but we decided on the following:
Hors d’ oeuvres
Smoked Salmon Rillettes - Herb salad, Dijon, Baguette Toast
The spread was buttery smooth and the taste was exceptional. I would have preferred more toasted baguette, but made good use of the bread that was served earlier in the evening.
Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli - Hazelnut puree, brown sage butter, bacon, frisee
This was a beautiful dish rich in flavor and surprisingly not too sweet. The butternut squash was fresh and the bacon was a nice addition. It seemed to cut the natural sugars in the squash well, so you got a good balance. The texture was perfect and the ravioli was tender; even with its extra soft filling.
Dry-Aged Rib Eye - Potato Gratin, Bone Marrow, Broccoli Rabe, Bordelaise Sauce
We sometimes love food that has instructions with it; especially when the instructions are coming from a cute waiter…DING, DING, DING. The instructions were: first get a spoon and remove all the marrow out of the bone. Then spread that marrow all over the steak. Now enjoy...and enjoy we did! This took the taste to another level of deliciousness (is that even a word)???
Filet Mignon, au poivre - Wild mushroom, fingerling potatoes, asparagus, green peppercorn
We will say that it took us about 10 minutes to decide between the filet mignon and the Cape Cod Lobster Roll. We are always torn between something we know we love versus something new. It is a toss up, but the filet mignon typically wins. All pieces of this dish were cooked perfectly. As we graciously pierced the fingerling potatoes and cut through the center of the filet, we both held our thumbs to the ceiling. Thumbs up, Brasserie 19!
Warm Chocolate Cake - Creme chantilly, hazelnut gelato, toffee
Oh man, that toffee was good! It had to be one of Paula Deen's recipes because you could taste the butter! Brasserie 19 needs to be selling this stuff. We promise we would buy it in bulk. The molten cake was as we expected as everything had been so damn good all night. The hazelnut gelato gave the salty component which worked like a charm.
Lemon Bavarian- Lemon curd, shortbeard, toasted marshmallow, berry coulis
When the world gives you lemons, make LEMON BAVARIAN, should be a new mantra. This dessert reminds us of a lemon meringue pie meets a lemon tart, with the yumminess and great texture of both.
The music, the vibe, the people, and the food all made Brasserie 19 one of our new faves and we can't wait to return. Don't be surprised if we kick up the volume and get that soul train line going next time; I think it would be better then us doing the table dance thing!
~ Urban Swank