Dallas celebrity chef Kent Rathbun knew exactly what he was doing when he came up with his namesake restaurant. He wanted to approach Texas home cookin’ in the same way that French chefs have with their own cuisine. The French elevated simple, home cooking to haute respectability. The same can be said for Rathbun. To start, Rathbun serves barbecue at prices that are fine-dining level, with several dishes inching past $30. Many are in the $20s, including our favorite – ancho-rubbed baby back ribs, slow-cooked until the meat eases off the bones with just a little tug from our fork, or teeth. It was served with a chile-kissed barbecue sauce, swirling with a hint of citrus, that was so lush, we couldn’t resist asking for extra. Chunky potato salad, rich with blue cheese, was the perfect companion along with an ice-cold glass of beer. Another tasty choice in this sleek, masculine space is the wood-smoked, peach-barbecued pork loin served with creamed corn and a hint of bourbon.
Jasper’s crispy, juicy golden-brown Gramma Minnie’s Fried Chicken competes with the best in Houston (and the Woodlands). It’s available at lunch on weekends.