Much anticipated, Triniti opened in the last couple months to packed crowds. The restaurant is beautiful, a warm modern setting, with an open kitchen at the back. There’s a nice sized bar that was busy on the recent Saturday evening we dined. There’s also an outside lounge area. Attire was varied, but there were quite a few men in jackets and women in dressy attire. The noise level was very manageable. Service was a little spotty, but we had no big issues.
We’re enjoying the trend in artisanal cocktails and tried two particularly good ones at Triniti. The cocktail menu is divided between classics and those with a modern twist. We tried one from each, consistent with our latest bourbon theme — two styles of manhattans. Both were delicious. We later had a glass of Malbec. We didn’t focus alot of time on the wine list, but there appeared to be a well rounded selection of wines by that bottle that were not overly pricey.
What comes to mind when thinking about the food at Triniti is that it’s stylized. The executive chef-owner, Ryan Hildebrand, was the chef at Textile, which served some of the more creative food we’ve seen in Houston as of late. But the place didn’t last long. It was pricey, the portions were small, and there weren’t alot of selections, not your typical Houston restaurant. Although Houston is the 4th largest city in America, it’s still has a relatively small foodie crowd, unlike New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, which helps sustain these types of restaurants. We enjoyed our meal at Triniti, but we wonder whether the crowds will continue to come. The menu is more expansive than at Textile, but this is foodie-style food — interesting flavor combinations in smallish portions.
The evening started with a beautifully prepared salmon tartare amuse bouche. It had great rich flavor, absent any fishy taste. Next up were the appetizers. We tried the veal broth with foie gras dumpling. It was very good but didn’t wow us. (One of us is a stickler for food being hot and the broth, poured separately at the table, could have been warmer.) The brussel sprout appetizer, served with dungeness crab and chorizo, was an enjoyable few bites but also didn’t knock our socks off. We moved on to the pheasant and salmon entrees. The salmon was very fresh and nicely cooked (topped with crispy skin), sided by a mushroom asparagus mix and a smear of sauce on the plate. The pheasant may have been the highlight of the meal — two grilled (but still moist) breast pieces and confit-style dark meat over smoked fingerling potatoes.
Reservations are a must, at least on weekends. Complimentary valet parking is required unless you want to park on one of the side streets.
2815 South Shepherd
Another entry into the locally sourced, farm-to-table, concept, this time from a Haven alumni, Roost Restaurant appeared on the scene a month or so ago on Fairview in the Shepherd-Montrose area. Small and casual, Roost doesn’t take reservations and is BYOB on Monday and Tuesday evenings. We got there on the early side on a recent Saturday evening and the tables were full, although we didn’t wait long to be seated. For those who need to wait, there’s a two or three seat bar area inside and picnic tables outside. There are a handful of parking spots directly in front of the restaurant, otherwise it’s street parking in the neighborhood.
Only beer and wine are served. The wine list was modestly priced, and we enjoyed a NICE Malbec. Of note, Nice is the name of the winery. We recently learned this winery is owned by some local guys who seek out grapes from around the world and are producing some well-rated wines. The mark-up was less than twice retail.
The menu appears to change on a regular basis. As we sipped our wine, we nibbled on the bread service (a $6 charge ) — a warm, crispy slow dough loaf with your choice of two spreads. We enjoyed the chicken liver spread and foie gras butter. We moved on to the daily soup, a wonderfully flavored shrimp bisque. Creamy, but not overly rich, this soup was made with care and was the highlight of the evening. We were disappointed by the crispy pork belly with bbq beans. The pork belly was tough and not crispy, and the beans were lukewarm. The local goat cheesecake was pleasant but didn’t knock our socks off. The charcuterie board we saw at the table nearby looked enticing for another visit. We were also tempted by the freshly made donut holes that appeared to be a very popular dessert.
We want to give this restaurant a chance. It’s an unpretentious place that’s trying hard to turn out creative locally sourced food at modest prices. The most expensive entree (the flatiron steak) was only $21. The waitstaff couldn’t have been friendlier and the service was prompt. Give it a try.
1972 Fairview Street