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[Houston] Textile


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We were delighted to secure a table last night at Textile for what we were told was the first full night of service. I think their soft opening for friends and family might have been on Tuesday. We went knowing that they were freshly opened and we were ready to overlook obvious opening jitters. Fortunately, and to our surprise, service at Textile mostly ran like a well-oiled machine.

The dining room at Textile is a really cool blend of rustic hardware, French antiques and modern dining furniture, with of course, wonderful textiles of varying shades of whites/neutrals hanging from the ceilings.

Our table had the chef’s 5-course tasting menu. Without getting into the minutiae of what that entailed, my final impression is that I cannot believe Houston finally has a restaurant that can compete on a national level. My feeling is that if Textile doesn’t improve one bit over last night’s experience and it remains exactly the same (which I’m sure they will work the minor kinks out—I’m mostly just being dramatic) it is the type of restaurant that would make itself a destination for food enthusiasts from across the country.

Our meal was easily in the top five dining experiences that I have had. The flow of service was exceptional and not rushed in the least. All of our courses were thoughtfully prepared and presented, paying particular attention to balance in flavors and textures. It is obvious that Tycer is extremely sensitive to making sure the ingredients he uses are the best that are available and that everything which is paired with them enhances the flavor, not distort it.

The bottom line is that in my opinion, Textile is running on a completely different level than other restaurants in Houston. It has been a long time since I left a restaurant of this caliber in our City already anticipating with great pleasure, our next visit. I really wish Tycer and McAnear the very best on a job, thus far, well done. More than that, I hope Houstonians “get” this place. It is definitely a destination I will brag about to anyone who says Houston is lagging behind on the national scene.

My wife and I absolutely cannot wait to go back.

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Thanks for the early review Morgan. I really missed Tycer's Aries and am glad to hear that he is finally back to the Houston fine dining scene. Looks like their website is not up yet, so any more information about the menu (no minutia necessary) and prices would be good. From what I've read elswhere, Tycer will be focusing on tasting menus ($75 for 5 and closer to $100 for more courses) and very few a la carte items.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Thanks for the early review Morgan. I really missed Tycer's Aries and am glad to hear that he is finally back to the Houston fine dining scene. Looks like their website is not up yet, so any more information about the menu (no minutia necessary) and prices would be good. From what I've read elswhere, Tycer will be focusing on tasting menus ($75 for 5 and closer to $100 for more courses) and very few a la carte items.

My pleasure foodman. The menu that we had on Wednesday had a decent amount of a la carte items. Also offered for $85, was a 5-course degustation. The captain informed us that a 7-course was soon to be appearing, although it was not available that night. Also, it was BYOB because they hadn't gotten their liquor license yet. I think that was remedied yesterday though, so that was probably just a one-time thing. We started the meal with a tasty amuse bouche and ended it with some Kraftsmen shortbread, fudge, and brittle. It was a great way to end an evening.

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Morgan, what was on the tasting menu? Here you haven't mentioned any food other than the end of the meal and I am already getting hungry!

Thanks

Red meat is not bad for you. Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.

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Very jealous of you getting to preview Textile. I've been watching this one with interest; never ate at Aries but I have a definite soft spot for Gravitas and what Tycer's trying to bring and do to the Houston food scene.

And let me add to the requests that you go ahead and indulge in that minutiae of what you ordered; it'll be a long time I fear before I can even try this place.

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Very jealous of you getting to preview Textile.  I've been watching this one with interest; never ate at Aries but I have a definite soft spot for Gravitas and what Tycer's trying to bring and do to the Houston food scene.

And let me add to the requests that you go ahead and indulge in that minutiae of what you ordered; it'll be a long time I fear before I can even try this place.

Alright folks. I'll see if I can remember what all we had. I have pictures that I can throw up here at later date.

The night started with an amuse bouche of what I think was thinly sliced, cold pork tenderloin, wrapped around greens, with maybe an accompanying sauce to moisten things up a bit. Honestly though, I can't remember what all was with it. Also included were four squares of delicious, fried pork belly--near and dear to my heart.

Course 1 was, what I can best describe as a caramelized onion strudel, presented how spring rolls might be typically presented at a nice restaurant (on end). With it were some bitter greens and sauce.

Course 2 was a bacon tart with a lightly fried quail egg on top and aged balsamic--I think that is pretty accurate.

Course 3 was Wahoo. I had never had Wahoo before and really dug the meaty texture. With it, were I think, maybe pickled mushrooms? All I remember about this dish was that it was awesome.

Course 4 was Elysian Field Farms lamb. This lamb is from the same farm that Thomas Keller sources out to for The French Laundry and Per Se. It was cooked sous vide and was nicely rare. It was served with, I think, a sweet corn puree and possibly a fava bean puree. The texture of the lamb was unbelievable--extremely rich and flavorful. According to Tycer, the future of serving lamb from Elysian Field Farms at Textile is still up in the air because of the enormous food cost associated with it. If you do have the chance to partake, enjoy. It is pretty amazing stuff.

Course 5 was all about the pumpkin. Hello Fall!! (My favorite season of the year) To call the main part of the dish something similar to the pumpkin equivalent of "molten chocolate cake" is a HUGE dumbing down of Plinio's talents, but I can't remember exactly what he called it. No offense is meant, but I'm working on what my feeble brain remembers, which is definitely a scary thing. It was served with a brown butter ice cream.

Before we left, we were fortunate to go on a tour of Kraftsmen and the restaurant kitchen to say hello to the executive sous, Dax McAnear. As we returned, a plate had been brought to the table that contained shortbread, fudge, and a type of brittle. The shortbread was unlike any shortbread I've ever had. As I ate, it just seemed to explode into buttery awesomeness.

Because Textile had not received its liquor license yet, we were able to take our own wine, which was nice. I have gotten word though that since our trip, they have indeed received it and the BYOB is a thing of the past.

Another item to note: Arrive a little early and cozy up to the circa 18th Century "Dough Box-turned-bar" for a couple of pre-dinner cocktails from Mixologist Justin Burrows. He's doing some really interesting things--trying to expand people's minds on what the cocktail can be. He's a great compliment to Textile's forward-thinking menu.

A little over a week since our meal and my mouth is still watering while recalling all that we ate. I think it was a freakin' brilliant move on Tycer's part to put the small, but intensely focused Textile in the same shared space that houses Kraftsmen. My opinion is that it could enable him to do some different things and take risks that couldn't normally be taken under different circumstances.

My hope is that I'm not getting everyone's hopes up too high. This experience was obviously based on one trip, very, very soon after they opened and are of course, just my opinions.

I will work on getting a copy of what we ACTUALLY ate from the degustation so I don't possibly offend anyone that was involved in cooking our meal. I'll post that errata with the pictures.

Cheers.

M

edited to fix some of my sucky grammatical issues

Edited by Morgan_Weber (log)
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Thank you so much for the details! This won't be in my budget for quite awhile, so I live through your descriptions. Looking forward to the photos!

Red meat is not bad for you. Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.

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