Brennan’s of Houston

As the hostess completed the one up one down look around, she slowly investigated my dining companion before semi growling, “Sir, you will have to cover your t-shirt with the sweater wrapped around your neck, as we do not allow those kinds of shirts inside… Brennan’s.” Gasp.

Really? Seriously? To give a better description of the outfit Biff was wearing is just that. Biff. Enough said. What more do you want, blood? He all but rode up on a horse wearing polo boots holding a mallet. Jeez.

Living in the subculture we call prep, this Ivy Leaguer is comparable to that of having just left the yacht club after a round of croquet, only to have a mini moment for sailing before squeezing in an afternoon game of lacrosse.

As if she hadn’t already caused post traumatic prep disorder, this hostess escorted us past the main dining room where we slipped into a hypnotic slow motion moment. Chair backs, in which we call highball (…because we want to), reach the ceiling with a thunderous roar, only to be tamed by a fluffy little pillow simply aching to be touched.

We quickly snapped back into reality upon realizing our table is located in the… Terms of Endearment Room. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

It’s just peachy and all that Terms of Endearment was filmed in this particular part of the building, but, um, no thanks. Jack Nicholson, Shirley Maclaine, Biff, and I could all be snug as a bug at a four top and it is not going to produce the explosion of highball chair slash fluffy pillow joy awaiting non commoners next door in the main dining room.

After an agreement was reached, drinks and a seat in the bar was our next feat to complete. By the by, reserved seats can be yours, oh yes, they can.

As the table master later summoned us for seating, it was true… somehow… someway… the hostess decided our worthiness was suitable. She quickly approached the bar and said, “You are in luck! A gentleman cancelled a reservation for two because his wife is… vomiting.”  Well, joy to the world! Let’s get this party started.

Drum roll please. The picture in your presence just so happens to be none other than… Table 45. Pause. Of all tables existing in the world of restaurant seating, table 45 is it. The granddame. The cat’s meow. A boyfriend without a double life. Bread & butter. A free upgrade. The only thing better than table 45 is what comes with it… amazing service.

Settle into the infamous highball chair, only to witness an onslaught of perfection within seconds. Whether it’s solid menu knowledge, debonair flair, or simply scraping mid air before crumbs become one with the table, the service industry workers at Brennan’s are out of control precise. Brennan’s has, hands down, the most outstanding service of any restaurant in Houston, minus one trauma causing hostess with the non-mostess.

New Orleans people rejoice, for feelings of home fluently flow through Brennan’s southern sophistication & charismatic charm. Rooms, upstairs & down, each hold their own in the very best way. Potentially causing a Table 45 sacrifice would be… The Kitchen Table, located in the middle of the… kitchen.

Sommeliers can be found hosting a Wine Table daily. Guests work with somms to find a snazzy pairing of their preference to compliment a five course tasting by executive chef Danny Trace.

Begin an immediate tongue wag as the blue crab & Petrossian caviar crêpe arrives. Upon pretending caviar is not the baby egg of a fish, which is located in that of its fish mom’s belly, well, bon appétit! Repression of this fact occurred last March and has since become a welcomed sight on any given night!

Texas wild shrimp oozes remoulade, forcing an instant appetizer win. Other starters during lunch are a crispy oyster BLT, as well as three salads. Brennan’s salad excitement includes a fire roasted fall beet salad, a chopped salad, as well as a spiced three apple salad.

Brennan’s salad selection becomes somewhat sassy during dinner, offering a Cooper Farm peach salad and the always exciting summer five tomato salad.

Ah, turtle soup au sherry. Yikes. Upon realizing many are appetized by this ingredient we call turtle, moving on with life was ultimately the next hurdle. Other potential soups are Coplin Farms honey butternut squash soup or roasted tomato & jalapeno soup.

After a full investigation, AVH became convinced the Gulf Coast seafood gumbo did not possess any kind of super secret hidden meat something somewhere. Brennan’s smoked chicken & fall mushrooms gumbo is available, as well as pheasant & venison gumbo ya-ya. Yikes.

Let it be known that Brennan’s is not afraid of caviar. Fact. Executive chef Trace will not hesitate to place Petrossian caviar upon all plates. Whether nestled atop crab salad or all comfy in a crepe, he is not messing around. Curtsy.

Brennan’s Texas Creole Brunch is available for $32, with a choice of soup or salad, entrée, and dessert. Entrée choices range from eggs Benedict or Sardou, as well as the obviously awesome eggs Brennan.

Gushing over the blue crab scrambled eggs & caviar isn’t necessary. With a simple stare, prepare to get lost in its greatness. There’s no hurry, really. Other entrées during brunch are crispy Oak Island softshell crab, Texas pecan crusted fish, or Gulf Coast shrimp & grits.

For the carcass cohorts in our midst, there is the always terrifying Berkshire pork osso bucco or the filet of Harris Ranch black angus beef. Oh, let us not forget creole bouillabaisse.

Gulf Coast shrimp & grits is prepared by the server tableside, yet service continues to be solid. Brennan’s has mastered this dish, which can be found on both the lunch & dinner menu. Other entrées  during dinner are Gulf fish Pontchartrain, redfish & shrimp courbouillon, and Breaux Bridge crawfish Maque Choux, to name a few.

Creole bread pudding soufflé arrives fluffy & warm, with Brennan’s also offering a white chocolate bread pudding as well. Other desserts are pecan pie and an Artisan cheese plate. Perhaps with maturity cheese for dessert will make sense, but for now it always seems to hurt just a little.

After having tasted almost every dessert on the menu, have no worries when ordering because it’s all fantastic! Including cheesecake, Brennan’s also offers a cardamom spiced three apple galette, as well as Veronica’s lemon meringue pie, and the always exciting Santa reminder… milk & cookies.

Each time the chocolate Texicana mousse cake is delivered, it’s just as incredibly gorgeous & delicious as before. There is no need to periodically change the dessert selection at Brennan’s. With so many of their creations feeling signature, it would be sad to see them go.

Traditional bananas foster excitement rolls up to the club on a cart. Freshly peeled bananas lay in wait, for they are about to be transformed before us. A fun filled moment occurred during service industry worker story time. As he produced flames of fire, he spoke of the history of the bananas foster.

Bananas Foster was created in 1951 by Paul Blangé at Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans. Named after Richard Foster, a friend of Owen Brennan, this dessert is prepared tableside as a flambé, with alcohol forcing flames to flow. Joy.

We slipped in recently to try a couple of items from the courtyard bar 7-7-7 menu. Brain cells refuse to use this menu’s given name, for it is secretly the… happy hour menu. Gasp. In order to receive this gift, patrons must sit in the courtyard or at the bar. Feel unpunished people, for outside is a festival of gorgeousness.

A no brainer order is Saint Arnold’s BBQ shrimp & grits. BBQ shrimp frolic with homestead stone ground grits & Saint Arnold’s beer aioli. Interesting indeed, but doesn’t come close in comparison to Brennan’s shrimp & grits on the main menu.

Another appealing menu item is smoked Texas catfish mousse with charred lemon ravigote & crispy Yukon gaufrettes. Brennan’s also offers an Alaskan wild salmon martini with pickled okra, chopped egg & Petrossian caviar.

The sea drift blue crab enchilada with fire roasted tomatillo salsa & El Jimador crema comes together perfectly with light, fresh ingredients. Other choices are a crispy oyster BLT, blue cheese & olive onion rings, and an alligator meat pie. Brennan’s 7-7-7 menu also offers $7 specialty drinks & wine daily from 2 – 7 pm.

Ah, pralines. Who could talk about Brennan’s without mention of pralines? Heavenly best describes this gift placed at the front door & always in every to-go box holding bag. Just when full is the feeling, perfect timing arrives a few hours later from home. Quite possibly the best thing since sliced bread. Really.

Executive Chef Danny Trace Photo: brennanshouston.com

 

Brennan’s Creole cuisine comes to life through the vision of executive chef Danny Trace. Many years in New Orleans has given him the tools necessary to showcase his talent. During Brennan’s lunch or dinner service, every dish arrives plated to perfection for all to enjoy.

 

FIVE: High 5!

FOUR: Please & Thank You

THREE: Yada

TWO: Double Wow

ONE: Wow + Ouch = Wouch

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3 thoughts on “Brennan’s of Houston

  1. Vic & Anthony’s is a favorite. After I interview the exec chef I’ll be able to write. Hopefully by next month. I know he had been in Atlantic City opening a restaurant for Fertitta. Last month Strip House served the scariest lobster thermidor ever, so blah. Flemming’s has always been a great experience, but I have no plans to write about them. I just had dinner this past weekend at Del Frisco’s in Dallas. Exciting.

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