Devouring Houston: Exploring Houston One Bite at a time

Houston has so many incredible food establishments...from sumptuously designed restaurants to fun storefronts selling gourmet cookies. From Mexican Food Carts to the Best BBQ in the World. And...I want to expore it one bite at a time.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I had not been to Tony's in at least a year.  Although I grew up going there (Tony's is where I always chose to celebrate my birthday), I had not visited the iconic Houston restaurant in over a year. It was long overdue for a visit.  Now, I realize why I waited so long.  The word -- DISAPPOINTED -- doesn't even accurately describe my time there yesterday.  I was SO deflated and SO let down at my visit. 

I ordered the Greenway Express lunch for $17, which is a great deal - soup of the day or the Dicampo Salad (similar to a house salad), choice of Chicken Involtino or Tony's Cannelloni, plus dessert choices of assorted gelato or chocolate chip cheesecake.

I went with the Soup of the Day -- Roasted Cauliflower.  And, It. Was. Good!  Creamy.  Sinfully creamy.  Addictively rich, luscious, and delicious.  Cream based with a subtle cauliflower flavor.  I mean, really good. 

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Sadly, our lunch was all downhill from here. 

I opted for the Chicken Involtino for my entree -- chicken stuffed with spinach, sundried tomatoes and fontina cheese, pan fried with a crispy, light crust.  Sounds good, doesn't it?  Not so much.  The flavors just didn't work well, and truly, it was just bland.  And, the spinach was bitter, not the succulent, sweet fresh vegetable that I have come to expect from, well, everywhere. 

Chicken Involtino

I opted out of the dessert options, ordering a famous Tony's souffle instead.   In the meantime, one of my dining companions ordered the Elysian Fields Farm Rack of Lamb.  Rack of, uh, 2 lamb chops -- for $49.  Yes....$49. 

Elysian Fields Farm Rack of Lamb

Where to begin on how horrible this particular dish and experience was....she ordered her lamb medium.  The first time it came out rare.  No big deal, that happens.  She sent it back for a little more cookin'.  Ten or fifteen minutes later, as the rest of us had finished our entrees by now, her lamb came back to the table even RARER than the first time (new set of chops).  This little lamb was baaa -ing.   So, back to the kitchen this plate went, too.  The third time the lamb came back totally over done.  Tough.  No flavor.  Horrible.  And do you know, no sorries from our server.  No apologies.  Nothing.  NOTHING.  Great service, huh?

Other disappointments: the Foie Gras.  Tough. Leather-y.  The Sauce Bercy superb, but the fois gras, not so much.  ($24).  The Seared Tuna Ai Fagioli ($36) was tender and cooked well, but bland, no flavor, boring, dull.  But, the white bean ragu was tasty.

Fois Gras al Midoilo

Finally....the reason for my visit.  THE Souffle.  The Grand Mariner Souffle.  It was good.  Although I do think it had been sitting in the kitchen awhile (probably due to the fact we had to send the Lamb back a gazillion times), so the dessert was a little lukewarm (not piping hot).  But, it had not fallen and the sauce was delectable.  The souffle was light and fluffy.  I was momentarily happy.

Grand Mariner Souffle

Tony's last parting gift to their guests is a big glass of pink cotton candy.  Super cute and fun, right?  Might have been if it was actually tasty.  Have you ever had non-sweet cotton candy?  I mean, isn't cotton candy by definition sweet?  It is spun sugar afterall.  Well, this cotton candy was not so sweet.  The Rodeo cotton candy blows Tony's version away.  Literally, my last bite at Tony's left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Cotton Candy

The service was ho-hum (for the amount of money one spends at Tony's, an apology, a "how is it," as little interaction would have been appreciated).  The food was maybe mediocre.  The ambiance is okay.  Seemingly a little tired, in my opinion.

Unless you can convince me otherwise, I'm not going to go back anytime soon.  Houston has way too many amazing eating establishments to waste my time and money here.

3755 Richmond Avenue
Houston, Texas 77046

No comments:

Post a Comment