Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Brasserie 19

      For my birthday, my husband and I went with some friends to Brasserie 19, a relatively new restaurant on West Gray in River Oaks. From the moment that we stepped out of the car at the valet stand, we received fantastic service, starting with enthusiastic greetings from the staff working the patio to the instantaneous seating at our reserved time and continued care at the table throughout dinner. The entire restaurant remained full during our time there.
     Having eaten many times at the Tony Mandola restaurant that was at this location prior to this restaurant opening, I was pleased to see a new brightness in the decor. A glass window looked into the room where the cold seafood platters were prepared and it all looked delicious. There had been a chef change since we had made our reservation. Chef Michael Gaspard, who we love from the Pappas Wine Dinners had designed the menu but Chef Antoine Ware, formerly of Catalan, was now running the kitchen. The wine list arrived in the form of an iPad; there was much to choose from and information on all the offerings. We started with Champagne.
      We ordered the chilled platter of seafood to begin our meal; it came with a mix of oysters, clams, shrimp, lobster, tuna tar tare and snapper ceviche. It all tasted very fresh. Everyone at the table followed that with soup. I had the lobster bisque which was a creamy white style and I also had a taste of the Texas Sweet Onion soup. I would probably pick the onion soup next time, although both were good.
      We switched to red wine next, a bottle of 2007 Oakville Nickel & Nickel, to go with our filet mignon. Both were fantastic. We tend to keep our selections simple when trying a new restaurant, once satisfied with that we get more creative on future outings. I am looking forward to trying the Gulf Coast Bouillabaise, the Ricotta Crepes and the Pan Roasted Duck.
      We were having dessert/after dinner drinks at our friends' home so when we declined dessert at the restaurant, I was treated to a martini glass filled with fresh cotton candy for my birthday. It was a festive bit of sweetness to end our meal.
      Brasserie 19-Highly recommended for diversity and quality of both the wine list and menu and for exceptional service, as well.