Eddie V's 2016 Sparkling Sounds of Summer

Thursday, August 25, 2016
This post was done in partnership with Eddie V's, who provided me with food and drinks, free of charge. I was not monetarily compensated for writing this Houston restaurant review. All opinions are completely, 100% my own!

Sometimes you just need a date with your mom.

Eddie V's - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

(A date with your mom where you drink all of the amazing bubbles and eat all of the wonderful things in Houston because life is too short for dull food and champagne that gives you headaches!)

This past Monday my mother and I went to the Eddie V's in Houston's Upper Kirby West Ave complex, and we were on a mission to sample food and drink items from the restaurant's Sparkling Sounds of Summer menu, new Eddie's Hours menu, and main menu. Through August 28, the restaurant is celebrating the Sparkling Sounds of Summer with live iconic music genres - including Jazz, R&B, and American Standards - paired with a sparkling and shareable Lounge menu. Seated in the restaurant's beautiful lounge area, my mom and I totally dug the jazzy standards coming from the live band nearby!

First we were presented with some complementary bread and butter.

bread at Eddie V's - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

The fresh bread was dense and spongy, and the butter was wonderfully soft and herby.

Because Eddie's Hours (aka Happy Hour for all you day drinkers out there aka me) were ending soon at 7 pm, we both started with a cocktail from that menu. I ordered "The Perfect Martini" (I mean, how could I not.), and my mom went with the restaurant's "Bulleit Sour."

drinks at Eddie V's - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

For those of you who have spent any iota of a second reading my blog (and thank you!), you probably are attuned to the fact that I love martinis with a fiery passion to the moon and back and insert any additional cliche lovesick phrases here. LOVE them. And y'all? I loved this one! I asked to have vodka in my classically prepared martini (though I do love gin as well), and it was stiff, ever so slightly dirty, and garnished with blue cheese stuffed olives, which duh is a total game changer. It was a fantastic martini, and I know it was made with the finest of vodkas because the drink went down entirely too smoothly!

My mother's drink was a concoction of Bulleit bourbon, honey, and fresh lemon and lime sour mix. Hers was suuuuper boozy, not overly sweet, and soul-warming, and it came garnished with drunken cherries, um hello, also a gamechanger. This was also a great choice!

For our first round (of about 70 rounds total) of food, my mom ordered three east coast oysters from the Eddie's Hours menu, and I chose the heirloom tomato tartare from the Sparkling Sounds of Summer menu.

oysters at Eddie V's - A restaurant in Houston, Texas
tomato tartare at Eddie V's - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

My mom went crazy over her oysters (while I clung to the Epi-Pen in my purse because, #shellfish), and I also enjoyed my appetizer. Served with crispy crostinis, a blend of vine ripe heirloom tomatoes was drizzled with balsamic vinegar and herbs. It was a bright, beautiful, flavorful, summery bruschetta, and I was all to pleased to gobble it up!

Next up for food, we decided to split the Fuji apple salad.

salad at Eddie V's - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

A bed of mixed greens was topped with subtly sweet golden beets, tart dried cherries, delightful candied walnuts, a light ginger orange vinaigrette, and just the right punch of blue cheese crumbles. I tend to go for savory salads, but this is one salad on the sweeter side that I was definitely into! All of the flavors came together in such a fun, simple, and pleasing way!

After our salad, we ordered some drinks from the Sparkling Sounds of Summer menu - A glass of the Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Champagne for my mom, and the 24-Karat Cocktail for me.

drinks at Eddie V's - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

Mom's champagne was very dry but VERY smooth. It was definitely a solid bubbly choice! My cocktail contained Belvedere vodka (my favorite), Grand Marnier, raspberries, peach, and Ferrari Brut rosé, and was topped with a gold sugar rim. The sweet counterpart to my savory martini, this drink still managed to be light and refreshing. And how could you not love that gold sugar rim?!

After that, we ordered a ton of food to try! Starting with the jumbo lump crab cake for my mom, and the market vegetables for me.

crab cake at Eddie V's - A restaurant in Houston, Texas
vegetables at Eddie V's - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

My mom loved her crab cake, and I loved diving into my vegetables. I'd tried this on my last visit and there were only a few changes (brussels sprouts and roasted carrots instead of roasted beets and sauteed mushrooms included in this week's version), so I won't go too into too many details to avoid repeating myself. Just know that I LOVED it, and my favorite was absolutely the vegetable fried rice. Lordy was that awesome!

Then we ordered some more food from the Side Dishes portion of the menu - Crab fried rice, truffled macaroni and cheese, and au gratin potatoes.

crab fried rice at Eddie V's - A restaurant in Houston, Texas
mac and cheese at Eddie V's - A restaurant in Houston, Texas
potatoes au gratin at Eddie V's - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

My mom loved her rice, I went crazy over the truffled macaroni and cheese AGAIN (it won a strong honorable mention in my Houston Favorites post from last year), and we both loved the potatoes au gratin. They were creamy, cheesy, rich, indulgent, and oh-so-comforting! My mom had declared the potatoes her favorite dish of the evening, and I voted for the mac and cheese...

...that is, until we ordered dessert.

bananas foster cake at Eddie V's - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

For dessert, we ordered the restaurant's hot "bananas foster" butter cake, which was served with a side of butter pecan ice cream and topped with what can only be described as liquid fire (I'm a person who is easily impressed by magic shows, FYI). This was, hands down, THE best bananas foster I have EVER had. The cake was wonderfully crispy, crumbly, and sponge-y; the caramel was thick, buttery, and dripping with magic; the butter pecan ice cream was nutty and not overly sweet, and the bananas were absolute heaven. We couldn't get enough!

Hurry to Eddie V's in Houston's West Ave or City Centre area now so you don't miss the wonderful Sounds of Sparkling Summer event that ends this week. The music, food, drinks, and overall atmosphere in the restaurant's lounge area are beyond lovely. And the Eddie's Hours menu offers great deals on food and drinks as well. Or just go for a special night out, because you are sure to get just that!

food at Eddie V's - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

^ So who's coming over for leftovers?

Houston Restaurant Weeks Brunch at Indika + A Giveaway!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
(Psst, Houston residents - Scroll down to the bottom for an exciting Giveaway!!)

Only four more days until the weekend, which means only five more days until Sunday Brunch!!!

Indika - an Indian restaurant in Houston, Texas

Not that we're counting.

(but okay we are).

Last Sunday, my friend Meredith drove into Houston from Humble and met up with me for brunch at Indika, located in Houston's Montrose neighborhood. One aspect of Houston Restaurant Weeks that I'd yet to take advantage of was brunch ($20 per person for three courses of food, um hello). I've been eyeing Indika for quite a while, and their Houston Restaurant Weeks brunch menu looked ah-mazing, so it seemed like the perfect place to visit!

(And take note: Brunch at Indika is only offered on Sundays, and the place really filled up quickly, so make your reservations now!)

Indika - an Indian restaurant in Houston, Texas

The inside of the restaurant is massive, with high ceilings and dramatic drapes. It's open, airy, and super inviting. We weren't drinking during this particular brunch because Meredith is pregnant with her cherub #2, and I prefer not to drink alone. <~~(I'm lying to you. I'd had a wild evening the night before, and by wild I mean played Monopoly and drank wine with Jon at home, so I needed a breather because this is what being an adult looks like).

Before we ordered our food, we were presented with the restaurant's green onion naan with yogurt sauce.

green onion naan with yogurt sauce at Indika - an Indian restaurant in Houston, Texas

The bread was fluffy and gooey in that wonderful naan-like way, and the green onions in it created a unique and lovely flavor. Dipped in the tart yogurt, it was fantastic!

For our first course of food, Meredith ordered the restaurant's sweet potato samosas with cilantro chutney, and I went with the spinach cutlet chaat.

samosas and chaat at Indika - an Indian restaurant in Houston, Texas

Meredith's samosas were slightly crisped and doughy, and the outer casing did not overpower the fluffy sweet potato filling inside. The tart chutney offered a nice counter-balance to the softness of the samosa. And my spinach cutlet chaat was possibly my favorite food item of the whole meal. A spinach patty of sorts was topped off with the tart chutney, a sweet barbecue-esque sauce, a yogurt sauce (I think?) and crispy noodles. The patty was soft and super herby, and the combo of bright, contrasting, delicious flavors and textures on top was an absolute masterpiece. I couldn't get enough!

For our second round of food, we got to pick two items (TWO ITEMS!!!). Meredith ordered the restaurant's coconut and millet pancakes with bananas, blueberries, and jaggery syrup, as well as the bacon cumin biscuit, pulled pork, and a fried egg (sans pulled pork). I opted for the chickpea crepe stuffed with mushroom and topped with tomato masala as my first choice, and the akuri (scrambled eggs) with a green onion masala.

pancakes at Indika - an Indian restaurant in Houston, Texas
crepe and eggs at Indika - an Indian restaurant in Houston, Texas

Meredith enjoyed her biscuit, but she was going NUTS over her pancakes! So of course I had to take a bite or three because they were UNREAL. The pancakes themselves were crispy/crunchy on the outside, and super dense and earthy on the inside. The bananas were essentially caramelized and downright sinful. The crispy topping of coconut flakes added wonderful texture, and it was all so delightful! It was definitely up there as one of the best bites we had!

My chickpea stuffed crepe had a nice sponge-y texture, and it was filled with sauteed mushrooms. The tomato masala was bright and acidic and went well with the crepe. I enjoyed this dish, though I think I enjoyed my eggs more. The taste of the akuri was wonderfully chive-y, and the texture was SUPER creamy. I'm definitely going to try to master the art of Indika's scrambled eggs at home!

For our final round of food (dessert!), Meredith ordered the rose cake parfait, and I opted for the restaurant's olive oil black pepper cake with blackberry compote.

parfait at Indika - an Indian restaurant in Houston, Texas

Unfortunately, neither of us got really jazzed about the parfait (pictured above). To me, it was way too sweet and almost had a perfume-y taste. Meredith claimed it made her molars sing. BUT THAT OLIVE OIL BLACK PEPPER CAKE (pictured below), OMG. That cake was outstanding! The outer bits of the cake were crumbly and crunchy, resembling that of a coffee cake or cobbler. The flavors of it sang of harvest and Christmas time, with hints of cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. The earthy, soul-warming cake was made brighter with the use of the sweet, tart blackberry compote, and the end result was just fabulous. This cake was neck and neck with the chaat for being my favorite dish!

And as if that wasn't enough, when we were finished, we were presented with two cardamom butter cookies. While having the texture of English tea cookies and the buttery-ness of shortbread cookies, they were on a whole other level with the warm, festive spice of cardamom thrown in. We loved them!

Houston's Indika offers high quality Indian food in a beautiful, inviting setting. The Houston Restaurant Weeks menu is a wonderful way to explore their different food offerings, and I cannot recommend Indika's Sunday Brunch enough!


cake at Indika - an Indian restaurant in Houston, Texas

Here's where the Giveaway comes in:

One lucky Adventures in a New(ish) City reader will receive two (2) VIP tickets to the Inaugural Houston Press Morning After Brunch Event, held at Bayou City Event Center Pavilion on Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm. These VIP tickets, valued at $55 – $75 each, grant you early entry 30 minutes prior to the event (11:00 am), as well as food, wine, beer, and cocktail sampling. To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is follow me on Instagram (if you don't already), and leave a comment on this photo, telling me what your favorite brunch item is! A winner will be randomly selected by the end of this week, Houston residents only please. Good luck!

cookies at Indika - an Indian restaurant in Houston, Texas

Most important meal of your day/week/life.

Indika Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Capital Grille's 2016 Generous Pour Summer Wine Event

Thursday, August 18, 2016
This post was done in partnership with The Capital Grille, who provided me with food and drinks, free of charge. I was not monetarily compensated for writing this Houston restaurant review. All opinions are completely, 100% my own!

Would you like some wine?

The Generous Pour Summer Wine Event at The Capital Grille - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

Of course you would. I know you too well.

Last year I had such a great experience sampling The Capital Grille's Generous Pour menu, that when I was invited to try it this year, I jumped at the opportunity!

Jon came along for the ride, and we sampled seven different wonderful wines paired with food at the restaurant's Houston City Centre location. The theme of this year's event is "Rebels, Rule Breakers & Game Changers." For $28 per person with dinner, guests are invited to explore seven remarkable wines and enjoy as many as they like. This is an incredibly good value because some of the wines offered cost almost as much, just for a glass!

The first glass of wine we were presented with was the Stellina di Notte Pinot Grigio, which comes from the foothills of the Italian Alps (home of the world's most famous Pinot Grigio) and "is the result of a unique partnership of American innovation and traditional wine making." For our food pairing, Jon received prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella with vine ripe tomatoes, and I had the restaurant's fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil salad, with 15-year aged balsamic.

prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella with vine ripe tomatoes at The Capital Grille - A restaurant in Houston, Texas
mozarella, tomato, and basil salad at The Capital Grille - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

The wine itself - which had a hint of chardonnay - was lemony, oaky, and light. I was a big fan of this wine, and it was one of Jon's favorites. Regarding the food, my caprese was absolutely lovely. The hunk of mozzarella was super fresh, the variety of tomatoes was flavorful and welcoming, and I was delighted that they didn't skimp on oil and vinegar. The balsamic was syrupy and exquisite. I was a fan of the restaurant's caprese last year, and I am happy to report that I am still a fan!

Next up, we were poured a glass of Provenance Sauvignon Blanc. The folks who make this wine took a gamble on it because they grow it in Rutherford, California - an area that is traditionally known for its reds. For our food paring, Jon received a lobster and crab cake, and I was presented with roasted whole tomatoes stuffed with mushroom, asparagus, parsley, balsamic vinegar, and Parmesan.

roasted tomatoes stuffed with vegetables at The Capital Grille - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

Sauvignon Blanc is usually low on my list of whites to buy. However, I was able to sip and enjoy the nuances in this one. Hints of citrus, grapefruit, and grass made this an intricate and interesting pour. While I also generally don't go nuts over roasted tomatoes, I did enjoy them, especially the filling inside. My absolute favorite part was the freshly grated slabs of oozy Parmesan cheese. The different earthy flavors and textures made this a unique and yummy appetizer!

We were then given a pour of the Chateau St. Jean, Robert Young Single Vineyard Chardonnay, which was a welcoming glass for me! This wine was produced from a single vineyard in 1975, which - for a chardonnay - was unheard of. Chardonnay is easily my favorite white varietal, and this one was no exception. Creamy, velvety, full, buttery, and oaky, I felt that it counteracted the citrus in my roasted tomatoes beautifully. It was by far my favorite pour of the evening!

For our next glass of wine, Jon and I were given a pour of the Lyric by Etude Pinot Noir. In 1982, its wine makers were determined to grow one of the world's most "unforgiving" grapes, and they definitely succeeded! For our food pairing, Jon's main course was the seared citrus glazed salmon with marcona almonds and brown butter, while I was given a plate of lasagna with roasted vegetables.

salmon at The Capital Grille - A restaurant in Houston, Texas
vegetable lasagna at The Capital Grille - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

The wine was woodsy, spicy, and had a fuller body than your average Pinot Noir. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed it. Jon adored his salmon, and I went crazy over my lasagna! The roasted vegetables inside included red peppers, asparagus, and mushrooms (shiitake and oyster), and the whole thing was topped off with a fresh salad. The cheese was bubbling, oozy, and crispy on top, and the vibrant flavors of everything were gasp-inducing. This was a really really REALLY exceptional lasagna!

We sampled the final three wines alongside our main course of food as well. The Penfolds Bin 2 Shiraz was a game-changer in that it ultimately altered the landscape of Australian wine when it was created in 1951. This wine was suuuuuper dry, and as such was probably my least favorite of all of them. Jammy, with flavors of stone fruits, I definitely could taste how special this wine was, but I was definitely puckering with each sip! I'll say it - I'm a ninny when it comes to super dry wines.

The Beaulieu Vineyard Tapestry Cabernet Blend was first created in 1938 using French oak barrels. This resulted in California's first "cult" cabernet. Though not as dry as the shiraz, this was also a very dry wine. It had perfume-y, piney aromas and had me puckering once again! (For the record, Jon enjoyed this wine, as well as the shiraz. He can stomach dry wines better than I can).

For our final pour, we tried the Stag's Leap "The Leap" Cabernet Sauvignon. This winery is so bold that it named an entire growing region after itself! Being a cab, this was also a dry wine; however, it was one I could take on. It was smooth and full, and my second favorite of the reds (first being the Lyric Etude Pinot Noir). This one is also an insanely good value as part of the restaurant's Generous Pour event, because on the restaurant's regular menu it goes for almost $30 a glass!

Even though we were stuffed on fabulous food and wine, Jon and I decided to go for the gold and order more food - dessert! He ordered the cheesecake, and I went with the cookies and ice cream (maybe gelato? I don't know, I blacked out).

cookies and ice cream at The Capital Grille - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

I had tried their cheesecake the previous year, and it was just as creamy, crumbly, buttery, and delicious as before! For my scoops of ice cream, I selected vanilla, hazlenut, and chocolate. They were accompanied by a chocolate cookie and a vanilla/coconut-esque style cookie. Each element was lovely on it's own, and even more wonderful when paired with another. My favorite choose-your-own-adventure-party-in-my-mouth option was the vanilla coconut cookie combined with the chocolate ice cream. Heaven!

Once again I was completely blown away by my experience at The Capital Grille in Houston's City Centre area. The service at the restaurant was well beyond exceptional; the food was intricate, thoughtful, and outstanding; and the wine on The Generous Pour menu was interesting, varied, and delicious! It is also worth noting that neither my roasted tomato appetizer or lasagna were on the restaurant's menu-The Capital Grille is incredibly accommodating to all different kinds of diets and willing to work with its diners to create meals in line with their food preferences. And just like last year, The Capital Grille is also participating in Houston Restaurant Weeks, so if you pair that with the Generous Pour, you're going to have a fantastic evening of food and drinks at a fine dining restaurant for quite the bargain!

The Generous Pour Summer Wine Event at The Capital Grille - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

More wine?

Houston Restaurant Weeks at Radio Milano

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Man, I LOVE this place.

Radio Milano - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

So it was a cryin' shame that Jon and I hadn't been back to Radio Milano in over a year! As this is definitely a fine dining restaurant on the pricier side, we decided to take advantage of their Houston Restaurant Weeks menu and enjoy dinner there last weekend with our friends Dillon and Melinda.

Radio Milano is great - not only because the food is out of this world - but because if you want, you can make a whole experience out of it, which is exactly what we did. It's located in Hotel Sorella in Houston's City Centre area, so there are so many additional things to do nearby. The restaurant has a beautiful bar with excellently crafted cocktails downstairs, so we enjoyed a pre-dinner drink. Jon ordered a bourbon, and I went for the greatfruit rose cocktail, with vodka instead of gin.

Milano Bar in Houston, Texas
Milano Bar in Houston, Texas

The (beautiful!) drink consisted of lillet, grapefruit, elderflower, and vodka. It was subtly sweet, subtly bitter, perfectly boozy, and super refreshing!

After we'd all enjoyed our cocktails, we headed up to the restaurant's main dining room for some food. We ordered a bottle of wine and were presented with some bread to snack on.

bread at Radio Milano - a restaurant in Houston, Texas

The bread was herby and fresh, and it was served with a side of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The vinegar was syrupy and sweet, and paired very nicely with the savory bread!

All of us decided to order from the Hosuton Restaurant Weeks menu (in contrast to last year when the four of us visited Caracol for Houston Restaurant Weeks, and we all went rogue and ordered off the main menu). But before we even delved into our individual meals, we ordered their antipasto (meat and cheese) plate to share.

meat and cheese at Radio Milano - a restaurant in Houston, Texas

The cheeses consisted of a soft cheese similar to a brie, Manchego, and something else I don't remember (blue maybe?). All had incredibly prominent, delicious and different flavors and textures. Served with lightly toasted bread, honey, jam, and pickled vegetables, I was a big fan!

For our first course of food, Melinda let me try her caprese salad, and I ordered the corn soup without bacon.

caprese salad at Radio Milano - a restaurant in Houston, Texas
corn soup at Radio Milano - a restaurant in Houston, Texas

The caprese salad was SUPER fresh and sat in a lovely, creamy Thai basil sauce. My corn soup was awesome. Smooth, rich, and sweet - it was summer in a warm bowl!

For our next course of food, everyone ordered something different. I went with the vegetarian choice, the goat cheese tortellinis.

goat cheese tortellinis at Radio Milano - a restaurant in Houston, Texas

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I never met a cheese I didn't like. BUT there are some that I'm less enthused about than others, one being goat cheese. I think goat cheese must be carefully done in dishes because it has the tendency to dry everything else out. So while the goat cheese didn't necessarily have that effect on this pasta, I think something softer in flavor like ricotta might have brought it together a little better. HOWEVER the rich, decadent brown butter sauce combined with fragrant sage and crunchy hazelnuts certainly was outstanding!

For our final (dessert) round of food, we made sure at least one of each desserts was ordered. Thus, we were all able to try the chocolate souffle, affogato, and pistachio napoleon.

chocolate souffle at Radio Milano - a restaurant in Houston, Texas
affogato at Radio Milano - a restaurant in Houston, Texas
pistachio napoleon at Radio Milano - a restaurant in Houston, Texas

The chocolate souffle was covered in an amaretto sauce and served with a side of marscapone cream. It was a full, rich, dense brownie of a chocolate cake, and the marscapone cream added a lovely softness to it.

The affogato was a scoop of hazelnut ice cream topped with vanilla infused espresso. This was basically coffee in dessert form,-It was completely different from the souffle, and also great!

I think all four of us agreed though, that the colorful pistachio napoleon was our favorite. The dessert consisted of raspberries, pistachio cream, raspberry sorbet, and a light wafer of some sort. The flavors were so contrasting (bright and tart raspberry sorbet, versus earthy, soft pistachio cream) that the end result was fantastic!

Extending our lovely Houston evening, after dinner we walked over to a bar right next to the restaurant (still inside the hotel) that had lounge chairs and cabanas around a little pool. Then we also may have had another drink downstairs? (shh...)

Both times I've been to Radio Milano have been wonderful. This fine dining Houston restaurant has incredible food and an incredible atmosphere, so it's definitely one to add to your list. And I DEFINITELY recommend taking advantage of their $45 Houston Restaurant Weeks menu to get a taste of several different outstanding food items. I refuse to wait another year and a half to go back!

dinner at Radio Milano - a restaurant in Houston, Texas

Like, seriously. I want to marry this restaurant.

Radio Milano Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Houston Restaurant Weeks at Hunky Dory

Thursday, August 11, 2016
Hi hi hellooo, my name is Kim, remember me friends?

Hunky Dory - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

I should have mentioned this about a month ago, but my Houston restaurant posts have slowed down a bit, and here's why: I was recently promoted at the nonprofit I work for, which has been very exciting!! HOWEVER, I'm way busier now, which means a) I'm going out a little less for my sanity; and b) I'm blogging a little less for my sanity. When I get home from work now, I'm more inclined to chill out (with wine, let's be real) than crank out three restaurant posts in a week, you feel me? BUT I'M NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!

Because, duh, I love food too much.

So. This month is exciting because not only are the Olympic sporting games happening, but the Olympic Houston food games (aka Houston Restaurant Weeks) are also happening! I don't know about you all, but I like to take advantage of Houston Restaurant Weeks at spots that might be a little on the pricier side that I wouldn't necessarily frequent on the reg (because my bank account says so).

Enter: Hunky Dory.

I met up with three of my girlfriends (Kate, Mary, and Laurel) from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Wine Garden Committee for dinner there the other night. I've actually looked into dining at the restaurant before, but they never seemed to have much in the way of veg food options that really excited me. But I was pleasantly surprised to learn they had vegetarian options for all three courses on the Houston Restaurant Weeks menu, and they all looked very appealing!

For the first round of food, Laurel and I ordered the salad, while Mary and Kate ordered the Iberico ham and summer melons.

salad at Hunky Dory - A restaurant in Houston, Texas
ham & melon salad at Hunky Dory - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

My salad was comprised of mixed greens, marinated cucumber and avocado, and a creamy avocado dressing. All in all, it was a pretty average salad. The cucumber, avocado, and dressing were placed below the greens, and everything but the dressing seemed to get lost in the mix. The dressing itself was creamy, zippy, and lovely. I just wish there had been more of the other non-leafy ingredients, or maybe even the addition of citrus and/or nuts of some sort. It was fine, but it didn't blow me away, and Laurel felt the same. Kate and Mary, however, seemed to really enjoy their first course!

For the main course of food everyone but me ordered the restaurant's braised and grilled short rib. I went with the chicken tikka masala, made vegetarian.

short rib at Hunky Dory - A restaurant in Houston, Texas
vegetarian tikka masala at Hunky Dory - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

There wasn't a clean plate at the end of this round, y'all! My friends all enjoyed their shortrib, and I was a huge fan of my food. Root vegetables, and possibly some fruits (?), swirled together in a thick curried tomato yogurt sauce atop a bed of steamed basmati rice. The sauce was earthy, warming, and comforting (you forget that it's 100 degrees outside, promise), and the rice was firm and cooked al dente, which made it stand up against the sauce. The textures (pumpkin seeds were in there I believe?) were fun and varied, and the flavors were wonderful. I was definitely pleased!

For the final round we made sure to order at least one of each of the restaurant's desserts to split: the sticky toffy pudding, eccles cake with cheddar, and dark & stormy.

sticky toffee pudding at Hunky Dory - A restaurant in Houston, Texas
eccles cake with cheddar at Hunky Dory - A restaurant in Houston, Texas
dark & stormy at Hunky Dory - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

The sticky toffee pudding was not actually pudding as you might suspect (British people are such tricksters)- It was in fact a sponge date cake, soaked in caramel sauce, served with clotted cream. It was nicely spiced, sponge-y, and quite tasty on it's own, under the decadent caramel. The clotted cream added a nice softness to it though, and brought it all together. This was my second favorite of the three!

Because I don't have a huge sweet tooth, I anticipated the eccles cake with cheddar would be my favorite. While it didn't win that title, it was still very enjoyable. A flaky warm puff pastry stuffed with dried fruit, candied peel, and spices was served alongside a hunk of sharp mouthy cheddar. Cheese and bread, what's not to love?

But my favorite of the three was the dark & stormy, and no not because it had alcohol in it thank you very much (okay maybe a little bit because of that). Rum ice cream was topped with rum caramel (sensing a pattern?), lime, and ginger beer. So basically, what we were presented with was a spiked root (well ginger) beer float, and it was FABULOUS! The swirl of velvety caramel with the smooth ice cream in the fizzy ginger beer was playful, sinful, and outrageous. A squirt of lime added a nice punch as well, and I thought this was my favorite food item of the evening!


shortbread cookies at Hunky Dory - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

So, funny story- Hunky Dory finished up our meal with some complimentary bunny-shaped shortbread cookies. When our server brought them out, Laurel exclaimed, "WHALES!"

(turn your head sideways, and I promise you'll see it).

But these were SO GOOD. Like, S O . G O O D . The cookies were insanely buttery, crumbly, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I'd go back just for these!

Hunky Dory is a fantastic restaurant choice for Houston Restaurant Weeks. The cozy interior is decorated beautifully, the service is great (although at times a *tad* over-attentive, but I'll take that over inattentive any day), and the food is really really good. I definitely want to go back to this great Houston Heights spot!

Hunky Dory - A restaurant in Houston, Texas

For the whales, you know?

Hunky Dory Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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