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.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Catalan - Food & Wine

Since Catalan opened 5 1/2 years ago, the restaurant has been the talk of creativity and innovation when it comes to food.  Chris Shepherd, chef from the inception, has made the eatery famous for using original ideas and thoughtful choices, especially in proteins. Catalan describes itself as Spanish inspired, taking its name from the Spanish region, Catalonia.  The foods are fresh and local.  The decor and ambiance are upscale, but not stuffy or formal.  Service is always great.

Main Dining Room - Catalan

We sampled a few items, starting with the Market Greens with goat cheese, marcona almonds, and citrus vinaigrette ($11).  The almonds were delicious, the greens fresh (although they could have been a little more icy cold), goat cheese extra thick and yummy (I could have used another or large hunk), and the vinaigrette light (a tad sweet, but I think it was supposed to be).    Next, The Porkbelly.  Roasted Berkshire Porkbelly with Steen's pure cane syrup ($10).  Here is where Catalan has made a name for itself -- creative meats and dishes.   We could taste the beautiful charred outside.  These little guys were packed with flavor, chewiness. I was biting down on delicious meatiness.  The syrup was sweet, but not over the top.  A nice compliment.


The Spicy Garlic Gulf Shrimp ($12) were spicy, but nothing you can't handle.  The shrimp were tender and happy swimming in the spicy sauce.  Not so much a dipping sauce, as it was pretty thin, but a sauce that gave the little guys a great flavor without detracting from the freshness of the shrimp.

Spicy Gulf Shrimp

We also tried a side of the Butternut Puree ($5).  Made with lots of butter and cream, this "vegetable" side was not necessarily on the healthy side.  (Although, I'm sure I did meet my nutritional requirements of vitamin A and beta-carotene).  This side dish was like a mashed potato -- creamy, delectable.  Very savory.  Very delicious. 

Butternut Puree

As usual, our time spent at Catalan was enjoyable and delicious.  Although Chef Chris Shepherd is soon leaving Catalan to open his own restaurant this fall, called Underbelly (with partners Bobby Heugel and Kevin Floyd), I still look forward to many more meals at Catalan (and trying Underbelly, too)!  We have the best ever restaurant scene in this city.  Rejoice Houstonians!

5555 Washington Avenue
Houston, Texas 77007

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