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Houston's most high-profile sommelier makes a big restaurant move: And those $200 burgers are selling

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Chef Fritz Gitschner September 2013
Certified Masterchef Fritz Gitschner says he's excied to have Treviño Boyd on board at the ranch to table restaurant.  Photo courtesy of 60 Degrees Mastercrafted
Sommelier Vanessa Trevino-Boyd
Chef Fritz Gitschner September 2013

Award-winning sommelier Vanessa Treviño Boyd will have a new home beginning Jan. 2 when she makes the move from Philippe to recently opened ranch to table restaurant 60 Degrees Mastercrafted

"We're very happy to have her," chef Fritz Gitschner tells CultureMap. "I think what my knowledge is in food, her knowledge is in wine. I think together we can make a unique concept and a unique restaurant here." 

Four weeks into the restaurant's life, Gitschner has discovered that most of the restaurant's patrons are ordering wine, and that they were asking for bottles not on the original list he created. Hee's given Treviño Boyd a couple of criteria. "I definitely want to stay with the boutique wineries, with the lesser known winemakers that have small production and introduce them to the wine connoisseurs here in Houston . . . I want to have 50 percent of my wine list up to $50, 25 percent up to $75 and the other 25 percent can be anywhere."

 "I think what my knowledge is in food, her knowledge is in wine." 

For her part, Treviño Boyd tells CultureMap that her list at 60 Degrees will be "contemporary and progressive. It will be the smallest list I've ever created, hence challenging . . . It will change often to keep people curious."

She adds that she's "thrilled to be working with" Houston's only Certified Masterchef.

Finally, no conversation about 60 Degrees is complete without an update on the $200 bistro burger. Gitschner reports that customers have responded favorably and are buying almost one every day, but he wants to set the record straight about Chronicle columnist Ken Hoffman's depiction of his staff's behavior when he and Alison Cook visited to sample the burger.

"We had no clue who she was . . . The only time we found out who she is (happened when) she gave us the credit card and paid for it," he says. "That's when the waiter came to me and said we have Alison Cook sitting out there in the restaurant. I had no clue."

While he's happy with the press attention for the dish, Gitschner wants diners to understand something else about his restaurant.

"I knew people would talk about the burger when I put the $200 burger on there," he says. "I think it’s a great burger, but I’m more into the beef that we’re serving and the fish that comes from the fishmonger who shows me every day what’s been caught in the Gulf

"That’s really what the restaurant is."   

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