When it comes to aesthetically inspiring places to work, The Grove has to be towards the top of the list for local chefs, with its wall-to-ceiling views of art and nature in Discovery Green and rooftop garden.
But after three years, Ryan Pera, the restaurant's executive chef since its opening in January 2008, has decided to leave The Grove at the end of October. The Grove will continue under the direction of chef and co-owner Robert Del Grande and Grove managing director Susan Bennett.
Pera came to the Grove after earning city-wide praise in his stint as executive chef at *17, and since then has become one of the most respected chefs in Houston.
He is leaving to work with Morgan Weber, the founder of Revival Meats. Pera and Weber are opening a small grocer and full-service market that will offer charcuterie, a lunch counter with sandwiches, coffee, and prepared take-out entrees, all sourced locally and with ingredients made in house — down to the ketchup from local tomatoes.
"Robert has been amazing to work with, but coming up as a chef it was always a dream to be an owner," Pera says. "It's going to be small, serving the community of people who really care where their food comes from.
"There's a lot of great farmer's markets in Houston, but it will be nice to add a brick and mortar, full-service food aspect to that, where people can get fresh meats and ingredients every day."
Pera says the Revival market will use bread from Slow Dough Bread Co. for the sandwiches, pastries by Rebecca Masson, and prepared entrees for take out including salads and pasta changing seasonally to reflect the best of local offerings.
The new Revival Meats Grocery and Market will be at 550 Heights Blvd., and after building out the kitchen Pera hopes to be open in time for the holidays.