On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," Lance Fegen joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss Fegen's. Best known for Glass Wall and Liberty Kitchen, the veteran chef opened his new establishment in April.
As Fegen explains, this new restaurant is more personal than his previous projects, and not just because it's his name on the sign. Part of the menu features the Italian-American fare he grew up eating in New Jersey. Overall, it's brought a whole new energy to the space on Studewood that was home to the original Liberty Kitchen.
"I'll be honest. I didn't always love walking into Liberty Kitchen. It became a monster, and it got out of hand, personally and professionally," Fegen says. When I walk into Fegen's, I feel relieved that we have this really nice little place, and we've got a culture that's developing nicely.
"The food is simple and easy to understand. I just watching the dining room — I'm shucking oysters at the bar — and I can see every human in the building. What I'm seeing is this close knit camaraderie between the tables. They're not on their phones . . . Now I love being in my restaurant."
Tune in to hear the restaurant of the interview, in which Fegen discusses his new path as a professional coach who helps people with both their businesses and in recovering from addictions. The work has also led him to adopt a new approach in the kitchen.
Prior to the interview, Avondale Food & Wine owner Mary Clarkson joins Sandler to discuss the news of the week. Their topics include: Atlas Restaurant Group's plans to open a new Italian restaurant in Montrose; Mastro's Ocean Club coming to The Woodlands; and the recent openings of Agnes Cafe, Homestead, Badolina Bakery, and Shokku Ramen.
In the restaurants of the week segment, Clarkson and Sandler review their meal at Le Jardinier, the recently opened fine dining French restaurant at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Listen in to hear whether they think it lives up to reputation of its sister location in New York that holds one Michelin star.