Kris Bistro & Wine Lounge

Friday, April 3, 2015
Sometimes you just need a big ass head of cauliflower in your life.

But we'll get to that.

Jon and I recently had dinner at Kris Bistro & Lounge with our friends Lindsey and Caleb. The unassuming fine dining spot is located just north of the loop in a nondescript building. Blink and you'll miss the Culinary Institue LeNôtre, which houses Kris Bistro. Walk into the building with the harsh industrial facade, meander through the hallways that peek into different, expansive kitchens, and enter the dark, intimate, luxorious dining room where you'll be given the utmost of excellent service and cuisine.

I have to give credit to Jon's coworker Vicky, who had been telling him for months we should have dinner at Kris, a restaurant widely regarded as one of Houston's most romantic spots.

The fancy menu offers a 3-course option for a decent price (yours truly has no idea what price, #badfoodblogger), so Jon, Lindsey, and Caleb all took that option. I also had 3 courses, but since all of my courses were vegetarian, they were less expensive. <---- #cheapdate

I spotted the roasted cauliflower listed under the appetizers, so I asked our super attentive server about it. "It's great, but I must warn's an entire head of cauliflower."

Sometimes you just need a big ass head of cauliflower in your life.

(with a knife stuck in the middle)

(for dramatic effect)

Served with a side of creamy, tart, sheep's milk feta dip, this was a wonderful appetizer.

(an appetizer which is actually an entire meal)

(if you're anyone but me)

The cauliflower is steamed in aromatics and white wine, then roasted in olive oil. The crispy, beautiful, herbed exterior was lovely. The cauliflower overall was subtle, and heightened by the goat cheese dip. If you love cauliflower, I definitely recommend this.

(if you're hungry)

(which let's be honest, you are)

The menu is pretty small so my only vegetarian entree option (not counting the B.A.C.) was the caramelized polenta. The green onion polenta is topped off with Danish blue cheese, roasted walnuts, pickled grapes, and sliced apples. Due to its solid form and crispy exterior, I believe the polenta was baked. Or fried. Or...  fr...aked? (don't hate me)

The interior was soft with whole pieces of sweet corn shining through every now and then. The grapes and apples combined with the blue cheese were wonderful contrasting accents. I always enjoy polenta, and this unique take on it was no exception.

I do wish, however, that the polenta would have been a smaller portion and paired with a side of greens of some sort. The polenta itself was quite large (no, I didn't spoil my appetite on cauliflower, WHY DO YOU ASK?) and pretty filling.

Jon ordered the Moroccan grilled akaushi sirloin (pictured above), and I lost him to a blissful oblivion. Lindsey ordered the diver scallop and declared it one of the best meals she's had in a long time. Caleb had the duck confit gumbo, and while he really enjoyed the combination of duck, sausage, okra, tomato, green onion, and dirty rice, he felt the dish as a whole would have benefited more without the inclusion of crab, shrimp, and oysters - He said it was almost overwhelming.

Caleb and I each ordered the chocolate toffee piedmont for dessert. First of all, the presentation was gorgeous. Second of all, it was pretty darn good. The dessert consists of layers of toffee, chocolate ganache, hazelnut sponge, Praline, and coconut feuillantine, with a side of LeNôtre salted caramel ice cream. FYI- feuillantine is basically a French method (?) of using leaf-like layers to construct a dessert (and no I didn't just google "what is feuillantine"...). This hearty dessert was rich and filling. The salted caramel ice cream gave it some lightness, though overall it was a bit heavy, and I was not able to finish it.

Jon ordered the chocolate noisette (pictured below), which was also a tad too rich, though beautiful and delicious.

Lindsey chose the opéra for her dessert (7 layers of joconde biscuit, coffee buttercream, and chocolate ganache, with LeNôtre vanilla ice cream), and hers was the fan favorite of the three desserts. The opéra was much lighter than the other two desserts, and the chocolate ganache combined with the coffee buttercream and fluffly, moist biscuit was fantastic.

While the vegetarian options at Kris weren't extensive or completely mindblowing, they were still very enjoyable. My meat-eating dining companions however were completely blown away by their courses. The attentive service, carefully executed food, and intimate fine dining environment make Kris Bistro & Wine Lounge a wonderful place to have a special dinner in Houston.

 Cauliflower, anyone?

Kris Bistro & Wine Lounge on Urbanspoon


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