Here we are. The Dinner Club.
Two of my very best friends in the entire world and I like to do something I am somewhat ashamed to admit.
We like to be fancy. Obnoxiously fancy. We dress up, we spend way too much on food, we go to only the trendiest restaurants. And there is much talk and deliberation and telling others what we are doing before we ever actually arrive. We are THOSE people.
There’s something about enjoying this aspect of life with two people that you have the most unfancy relationships with. Because when we get together, we are crude, we are rude. We talk about things in our lives that suck, and reasons we are gross people, and give no-holds-barred updates on our lives. We are unashamed of anything as we
nibble crowd around and gorge like cavemen enjoy overpriced charcuterie.
So, when my birthday coincided with a recent business trip, it was ON.
(This photo doesn’t really go with the blog post, but it’s too cute a picture of my “niece” and the present from her “mama” not to include.)
Anyhow. We gathered again. This time at Uchi. And it. was. amazing.
kara kyuri cocktail – cold sake, cucumber, thai chili, yuzu
saba shio – grilled norwegian mackerel٠parsley٠preserved lemon
makimono – “ham & eggs” – katsu pork belly٠yolk custard٠espelette
good enough to be dessert – brie ringo – tempura-fried brie٠apple chutney٠ sweet potato crisp
Not pictured, but also AMAZING menu items: crispy brussels sprouts with sweet chili, and the “hamachi nabe” (baby yellowtail٠koshi hikari rice٠ farm egg٠soy broth).
Takeaway: Some of the best food I’ve had in Houston, but GO AT HAPPY HOUR. Surprisingly good deals for an otherwise PRICEY restaurant. Probably wouldn’t get my sake cocktail again, but it was unique, which is sometimes hard to do in Houston. The “eggs and ham” roll was not my favorite, but I did love the presentation. Every single other thing I would order again, and order two.
* * *
Then the next business trip, we reunited to try a trendy little place called Down House in the Heights.
Tempura Zucchini Fritters, Quick Pickled Cucumbers, Cardamom Chile Yogurt, Mint
Houston Dairymaids’ Cheese Plate, Three Cheeses with Pairings, Slow Dough Bread
Chicken Fried Portobello Mushrooms, Mashed Potatoes, Spinach Salad, Spicy Pepper
Takeaway: Delicious, but a little overrated/overpriced for what it was, and had a lot more Asian influence to the menu than it really gave the impression of from the website, menu, atmosphere. My “chicken fried” Portabello mushroom had a honey soy glaze that pulled it away from the “country fried” experience I was expecting. Wilted spinach salad with pears and endive was amaze-balls. Potatoes were potatoes. Zucchini fritters were the best thing there. The cheese plate was a tiny portion, and their second-cheapest bottle of white was $30. The end.