Despite what its ritzy 77019 River Oaks zip code and clientele may imply, Brasserie 19 is as much casual as it is elegant. The restaurant's blend of sophistication with electric New Orleans flare make for a fully charged atmosphere that attracts a swanky crowd, yet its Big Easy charm helps strike a balance of warmth and hospitality.
During Houston Restaurant Weeks, it becomes more approachable from a price standpoint as well.
Braised beef bourguignon and foie gras torchon are just a few of Brasserie 19's signature dishes. They're also part of the Houston Restaurant Weeks' $35, three-course dinner menu (see video above).
First course highlights:
Gulf Coast Crudo: The fresh and delicate raw fish is dressed in olive oil, Hawaiian black sea salt, and tangerine and grapefruit citrus juices. Basil and fennel are added for flavor.
Foie Gras Torchon (Torchon is French for "in a towel"): This rich and buttery French delicacy of duck liver comes with a hint of sweetness provided by a fresh fig compote. Spread it on a piece of accompanying toast.
Second course highlights:
Braised Beef Bourguignon: A classic French dish — aromatic vegetables are combined with beef, marinated in red wine and braised for four hours until tender. The result is a tasty and hearty stew.
Rainbow Trout Almondine: Seared and lightly coated with crushed almonds plus a sweet and savory brown butter sauce, the fish is plated with red potatoes and haricot vert (green beans).
For dessert, my top two picks are the Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee, a rich custard topped with a contrasting caramelized sugar crust and fresh berries, and the Warm Chocolate Cake with sweet, vanilla-flavored creme chantilly and almond toffee.