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sorrel urban bistro, houston

July 10, 2012

Since it opened, we’ve heard lots of great things about Sorrel but we hadn’t had a chance to try it until a few weeks ago. We went with some friends – Brooke and Jason – because I like to try restaurants with lots of people so that we can taste a bunch of different things! Also, Jason has a rule that no one at the table can order the same thing, which fits perfectly with my goal of tasting as many things on the menu as possible.

I forgot to take pictures of our appetizers, so you’ll just have to use your imagination… Brooke and Jason split the Spicy Steamed Mussels with Smoky Bacon and Roasted Tomato Cream. The mussels were really big and they said they were delicious. Whitney had the Local Artisan Greens with Jamon Serrano, Fried Caper Berry, and Sherry Vinaigrette. This was probably the only strikeout of the night. He said the dressing had no flavor.

I am still thinking about my appetizer, Grilled Scallops with Corn Puree, Apple Slaw, and Fried Sage. It was easily the best preparation of scallops I’ve ever had! The corn puree was salty and buttery, and the apple slaw seemed to be pickled – all were perfect compliments to the fresh, sweet flavor of the scallops. I told the waiter I wanted to come back just to have those scallops again, and he said the saddest thing to me – “Well, they may not be on our menu because it changes daily.”

On to the entrees….. I rarely get steaks when I am not at a steakhouse, but I guess I was craving iron that evening. I couldn’t convince myself to get anything but a steak. I had the Grilled Filet Mignon with House Mash, Stewed Bell Peppers, and Pink Peppercorn Demi Glace. The steak was perfectly cooked and there was only a little of the demi glace, which was great because it did not overpower the flavor of the steak. The best part of the dish, though, was the stewed bell peppers. They were meaty and hadn’t been cooked to the point of being mushy and they had a great caramelized flavor.

Brooke ordered the Cold Water Lobster Risotto with House Pickles and Artisan Cheese Blend. I loved my steak (and bell peppers) but she definitely out-ordered me in this course. (Don’t worry though because I come back from behind with dessert). The risotto was really light but had a lot of flavor and the lobster was really fresh and sweet.

And here is where we broke Jason’s everyone-has-to-get-something-different rule: Whitney and Jason both wanted the Crispy Duck Breast on Stewed Lentils and Pomegranate Molasses and neither would fold. I didn’t taste Whitney’s duck but I did try the lentils – yum. He said the duck was great and loved the crispy skin.

I have no clue, after all of that, how we had room for dessert. But we did! I can’t ever pass up a doughnut so I ordered the Sweet Corn Beignets with Jalapeño Blueberry Sauce. I loved how light they were – the perfect end to my meal. Whitney and Brooke both had the Salted Caramel Chipotle Semi Freddo with Chocolate Ganache and Cashew Brittle, which was delicious, but nothing at the table beat Jason’s Bacon Chocolate Flourless Torte with Salted Caramel and Sweet Creme Fraiche. This was the densest, most delicious dessert I have had in a long time. There wasn’t an overpowering bacon flavor, just a little hint of smoke and saltiness. I wish he would have let me have more than one bite!

I definitely can’t wait to go back. I know the menu will be different, but I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with! I hope you all try it too if you’re in Houston!

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