Richard Knight & James Silk, chef-owners of Feast, have brilliantly mastered their craft, bringing the menu to a level of rustic European fabulousness not many restaurants will ever achieve. It’s different on every level imaginable. Frank Bruni, the critic of all critics from the New York Times, raved about Feast, saying “Feast has no real peer in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other major cities that pride themselves on their epicurean adventurousness.”
The accolades continue, with Star Chefs, the online magazine featuring the world’s best chefs, recently stopping by Feast for a tasting with Chef Richard. Not surprisingly, this chef’s wow factor began with an entire duck. That’s right. Duck Neck Sausage… head on… with white beans & kale. Next, this British sensation served pork brain fritters with piccalilli. Yikes. Then came the panade of fennel, mushrooms, and orange. Last, but oh so not least, tongue in breasts served with garlic rutabaga & mustard greens. Genius.
Restaurateurs James Silk & Richard Knight have been friends since childhood, growing up together in England. James received butchery training at St. Johns in London, under superstar Fergus Henderson. James & Richard eventually opened Feast in Montrose, with James’ wife, owner & front house manager, Meagan Silk.
Feast sits along Westheimer in the same two story house Chez Georges previously occupied. The wooden tables match its dark wood surroundings in the very best British pub way. European paintings adorn the walls, with the kind of music playing that could easily make everyone break into a fantastic clog.
During a recent tasting with Chef Richard, we discussed the misconception many Houstonians have concerning Feast. Certain basic humans feel it is impossible to dine here unless you fancy brains, tongue, and maybe a little pickled pig’s nose appetizer!
There are two sections listed on the menu. The “Feast Favorites” section stays the same, thus giving those frightened, a feeling of ease while ordering. The section beneath changes daily, with an array of fearless features. Don’t be afraid! Experiencing the phenomenon that is Feast… is one every Houstonian must have & have again.
As the menu states, respecting their meat is what it’s all about. Not for a moment will any patron wonder where their meal previously called home. From the bones, to the liver, to the shanks, bellies, and lard… this information is visible at the bottom of the page each day. Total Carcass Excitement.
With that being said, imagine the presence of pure joy upon learning the endless entrée possibilities available for AVH. It goes both ways, giving those with the “adventurous” appetite a miraculous menu, while still offering a tame tasting for the semi snores of the world.
Scottish Smoked Salmon is sliced & served with horseradish, lemon, capers, red onion & a side of toast. Salmon satisfaction simply does not get any better than this. Really.
The Scallops St. Jacques has sweet & tender half shell bay scallops, topped with a mushroom Brandy cream sauce. While listed on the main menu, this scallop appetizer is also a part of the happy hour menu.
Another item is Albondigas, which is Spanish style meatballs with tomato sauce. Feast also offers Feta Parcel, Pork Rillons, Pork Rillettes, and Black Pudding with peas, mint & the always fabulous fried egg on top.
Feta Parcel consists of feta cheese & olive oil with a mixture of different herbs… thyme, rosemary, tarragon, mint, and parsley, then wrapped in a parcel, baked in the oven & served with toast.
Chef Richard explained the Welsh Rarebit is traditionally a dessert in England, with spicy cheese served on toast & mixed with Belgium beer. Several ingredients, including English mustard & cayenne pepper help create a paste which is then spread on toast.
The Snails & Bacon appetizer is cooked in butter & garlic, then served on toast. Determined to prove I am worthy of sitting at the same table with this iconic chef, I soon felt myself living on the edge… determined not to slip into rookie status, I ate food that was on the same plate as… bacon.
Cauliflower soup is served with Pastis soaked raisins & is beyond tasty, with so much more to come…. We also tasted the panade of wild mushrooms, fennel & orange. The options are abundant, which I never would have expected… Feast also offers a tasting menu which is featured Sunday night through Thursday night, costing $52.95 per person.
The salad offered is on a bed of crispy romaine with cucumber, radish, celery, herbs & raisins. The uncontrollable fried egg add-on obsession continues… This extra ingredient will send the status of your order soaring. You have just received fried egg enlightenment.
Although my 4th grade teacher ruined the thought of chicken for our class, it does indeed fall into the category of an appropriate selection for AVH. To prepare the chicken, a whole red onion is topped with herbs, salt & pepper, as well as fresh thyme. Chef Richard said it is then wrapped in chicken skin & slowly baked in foil until the insides get “sweet & sexy.” Total food description excitement.
Yes, fish head is an ingredient in this dish… alrighty then. Served with snapper, shrimp, and mussels…the Bouillabaisse is prepared by cooking down fish heads & bones with tomatoes & pernod, orange zest, fennel, saffron, garlic & leeks served with rouille, cheese & croutons.
This English fish pie & scallops is prepared with a light milky white sauce, hard boiled eggs, onion, celery, and… fish… which is placed inside, then topped with mashed potatoes, leeks & cheddar cheese. Once out of the oven, it is served with a side of roasted Brussel sprouts.
Sticky Toffee Pudding is an exceptionally moist sponge cake made with dates, in a super sticky molasses style sauce, served with a savory clotted cream. Other desserts are St. Clements Sorbet and Spotted Dick & Custard, which is a pudding with spots.
Molten Chocolate Cake is a bittersweet chocolate made into cake batter & slightly undercooked so the molten chocolate falls out upon cutting… The dessert at Feast is out of this world, with the freshest ingredients & oozing quality. The impossible happened at Feast. So many options, from apps to dessert, it all blew me away…minus the bacon.
Chef Richard Knight, with his British accent & glorious pig tattoo, possesses a raw talent that leaves every commoner in awe. He’s like a kid in the kitchen, with new animal parts, rather than a brand new toy. His passion for outrageously creative cooking is… bloody beautiful.
FIVE: High 5!
FOUR: Please & Thank You
TWO: Double Wow
ONE: Wow + Ouch = Wouch