Monday, January 11, 2010 - 3:42 PM
Feast Restaurant in Houston, as the sign says provides rustic European fare. What is rustic you might ask? The restaurant has the look and feel of a nice pub, with dark woods throughout the building and strange paintings on the walls. However, the food is not your standard pub fare of bangers and mash and fish and chips. Dining here is indeed a culinary experience. The standard American palette will indeed want to forego any normal notions of what’s for dinner, and choose from the menu with an open mind. After all, this restaurant was picked as one of the top ten best new restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit Magazine. Both chefs hail from top establishments in England, some with the coveted Michelin star. We started out the meal boldly by ordering the rabbit custard. This was a quiche with rabbit meat smothered in cheese and bacon. It featured leeks, black pepper, and a hint of citrus. This was comforting food with a lot of flavor. If you have never tried rabbit, and wanted to introduce yourself to it, this would be a good way to try it. For my entrée I went with the crispy roasted pork belly. The pork was served in a rectangle and had crispy cracklings on top. The pork was tender and juicy and the little bit of grease from the cracklings complemented nicely. The pork belly was served atop a potato cake. The potato cake was essentially creamy mashed potatoes topped with cheese. They were buttery and tasty. Apples and red cabbage garnished the dish. For a side I order the Welsh rarebit as well as bubble and squeak. The Welsh rarebit was a toast topped with a mixture of worcestershire, cheese, mustard, beer and cayenne. The mixture of ingredients was satisfying and the distinct flavor made you want to keep trying it. Bubble and squeak is mashed potatoes with cabbage mixed in. While this doesn’t really sound appealing, it is actually very good. I preferred the bubble and squeak to the potato cake. My wife had the Cock-a-Leekie. This is braised chicken with cream and leeks, plums, bacon and red potatoes. This dish will leave you satisfied and reminiscing of grandmother’s home cooked meals gathered around a family table. The chicken is left on the bone with both breast and dark meat. The chicken is cooked to perfection, left juicy but not pink. The leek adds a nice flavor dimension of a hint of onion and anise. The cream sauce is not too thick and not too heavy and it has an ever so slight sweetness from the plum. An added bonus is the sprig of mint which throws in a fresh palette cleanser after each bite. The flavors burst in your mouth, earthy and rich from the leek and potato, garden freshness from the mint and saltiness from the bacon. Paired with a lovely Portuguese wine from the Douro Region, the Cock-a-Leekie will be sure to please any foodie, young and old. The list of wine and beer was great and featured selections from throughout Europe. The wait staff was very helpful, knew the ingredients, and answered any questions you had in an unpretentious manner. I think rustic was fitting to describe the cuisine. The food used simple ingredients, but together they left you with something more. Experience Feast. It will indeed leave you thinking of food in whole new light.
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