On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," Avondale Food & Wine owner Mary Clarkson joins CultureMap food editor to discuss the news of the week. Their conversation begins with a review of how restaurants responded to Winter Storm Uri.
Clarkson shares a dramatic story of being in the middle of service when her Montrose restaurant and wine bar suddenly lost power. The hosts also note the revenue restaurants lost due to spoiled inventory and canceled Valentine's Day reservations.
From there, they discuss the addition of Blue Sushi Sake Grill to the Heights M-K-T mixed-use development and whether the Omaha-based restaurant will be a good addition to its neighborhood. The news segment concludes with the recent announcement that two Houstonians, Sasha Grumman and Dawn Burrell, will compete in the upcoming season of Top Chef.
The restaurant of the week segment offers an in-depth look at Roots. The duo attended the restaurant and wine bar's friends and family preview, where they experienced chef JD Fouche's creative take on contemporary cuisine and the innovative self service wine setup.
A friendly debate develops over the extent to which Roots is a wine bar. Clarkson notes its restaurant-style seating and lack of an actual bar to sit at, while Sandler counters with the presence of lounge-style seating and tidy menu as making it more of a bar with food.
"I do like the self service component," Clarkson says. "For a lot of people, that's going to be amazing. For the people who want more interaction, maybe they'll build out a wine bar space."