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Michelle Obama's favorite Houston restaurant makes a big change: Are you ready for afternoon delights?

Michelle Obama's favorite Houston restaurant makes a major change

chef Ryan Hildebrand in Triniti
Ryan Hildebrand is rolling out a new lunch menu that he thinks is more approachable.  Facebook
Triniti lunch menu winter 2015
The choices are built around sandwiches and salads.  Triniti/Facebook
Dinner Crowd at Triniti Restaurant
A look inside Triniti's stylish dining room.  Courtesy of Triniti Restaurant / Facebook
chef Ryan Hildebrand in Triniti
Triniti lunch menu winter 2015
Dinner Crowd at Triniti Restaurant

Triniti chef/owner Ryan Hildebrand has a simple explanation for his decision to resume lunch service at his stylish, River Oaks-area restaurant on Feb. 3. 

"We're ready to do lunch and do it right."

For more than a year, Triniti has only served dinner during the week, but the success of the restaurant's weekend brunches, and the highly publicized transformation of its bar into a cocktail lounge called Sanctuari, helped convince the chef that the time had come for a change.

"It’s a more approachable space. I think it’s a more approachable concept. People are understanding it better," Hildebrand says.

 "We're ready to do lunch and do it right."  

"We’re not forcing a multi-course lunch on guests. The structure in the past has been that way. People might not have time for that at lunch," he adds.

Instead, the new lunch menu is built around one-course sandwiches and salads that are satisfying by themselves. For those with a little time to linger, the menu offers a local greens salad, cheese board, oysters and catfish and corn hush puppies as starters. On the entree side, Hildebrand says his two favorites are the shellfish salad and a classic steak frites.

Wine enthusiasts will appreciate the synergy of a by the glass list that's selected from popular Houston Wine Merchant sommelier Antonio Gianola's weekly Antonio's Picks.

"It’s a fun way to work with them," Hildebrand says about the partnership with his across-the-street neighbor. "People can try something by the glass. If they like it, they can get it and take it home."

The lunch menu's most intriguing dish may be the burger. Not because of its toppings of lettuce, tomato, cheese and "shhh sauce," but for what it represents. "It’s the components of a preview of a burger that’s coming to 903," Hildebrand says.

In other words, FM 903 — Triniti's long-delayed companion restaurant that's slated for the former Ruggles Grill site at 903 Westheimer — actually lives! Hildebrand isn't ready to offer many details beyond stating that the concept has changed. Construction should begin with 90 days, but that "depends on the city," Hildebrand says. 

Whether to taste the future or simply to get a salad, Triniti's lunch menu offers something for everyone. Now we know where First Lady Michelle Obama may choose to dine if she's ever in Houston during a free afternoon.

Triniti begins lunch service February 3. It will served from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

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