We’ve not been keeping up with our postings, and we are way over due writing about this recently opened restaurant. We’ve now been twice, including Valentine’s Day, and we’ve been very impressed. We were somewhat reluctant to go on Valentine’s Day, particularly as it was a Saturday night, and were dubious about the phone reservationist’s assurance that the chef would have his full menu and not a fixed course and price menu. Sure enough, while the menu may not have been absolutely every item, it was darn close. And the quality and service were very impressive for such a busy holiday. We weren’t rushed and the food was as good as our prior visit.
The chef who hails from Barcelona (with great Spanish cooking cred) cleverly borrowed the Barcelona airport designation in naming this new restaurant. A lovely contemporary environment sets the stage for this small, ambitious, upscale restaurant serving what we’ve dubbed “contemporary continental” cuisine, although the restaurant’s description is “traditional and modern Spanish cuisine.” Like most restaurants in Houston nowadays, all manner of attire is seen, but dressing up a little would not be out of place here. Our reservations were honored right on time; however, as we were leaving, we heard some grumbling in the bar area (which is quite small) that folks with reservations had been waiting quite awhile to be seated.
Complimentary olives and bread set the stage. For Valentine’s Day, we tried two of the gin and tonic specialty cocktails. They were refreshing and delicious, particularly the one with rosemary.
For starters, we tried the salted anchovies (both visits) and the mussels. We can’t get enough of the anchovies — a standout dish, briney and swimming in olive oil, the little filets were delicious topping toasted bread that was very lightly smeared with tomato (Having visited Barcelona a couple months ago, we can atest that the toasted tomato bread is served with many dishes.) The mussels were very fresh, served in a light cream-based broth with hints (perhaps a little too subtle for our taste) of leeks and Iberico ham. On our second visit, we tried the Iberico ham starter (also served with the toasted tomato bread), and it was delicious. We shared the roasted vegetable and goat cheese salad which was quite pleasant but not exceptional. We enjoyed the poached cod with saffron aioli gratin and fresh vegetable ratatouille. Our second entree — stewed pork cheeks (with prawns and artichokes) — was appropriately tender, but we were seeking perhaps a little more depth to the sauce. We concede only remembering we had a fish entree on Valentine’s day, and it was very good.
This is a great addition to the Houston restaurant scene, one of our new favorites. Prices are on the high side but not over the top or unreasonable. Given the location, complimentary valet parking is a must (access off Roseland).
4210 Roseland Street (near the intersection of Montrose and Richmond)