Date Visited: October 9, 2012
Tonight we tried out a new place ~ The Pass and Provisions ~ which is two restaurants in one. The catch is Provisions is currently the only one open, and The Pass is still a work in progress. The Pass and Provisions is located where Gravitas was on Taft Street next to the Federal Reserve, however it has been remodeled into this new concept.
We arrived and tried to decide between the dining room or the bar, as it was 6:00 on a Tuesday when we arrived without a reservation. They were happy to seat us in the dining room but let us know that due to reservations, they needed the table by 7:30 which would not have been a problem for us. In fact, it impressed us as we have been to places that overbook and end up having you wait for 30 minutes with a reservation. We decided to find a place in the bar after all.
The bar area is comfortable with one long community table, bar seating and a standing rail wide enough to hold a drink. Pam was impressed that the standing rail had purse hooks, just like the bar. One thing to note that is both a positive and a negative is that the bar has no TV. This actually fits with the scene and crowd overall. As for the crowd, when we arrived only a few patrons were there, yet as the night rolled on, the crowd grew in size and diversity. The crowd ranged from guys just grabbing a bite at the bar to high maintenance women, couples out for a date night to groups of friends catching up. Business casual for the men and casual cocktail apparel for the ladies was the typical dress.
We sat at the end of the bar near the server’s pickup station. Pam ordered a cocktail call a Wiley Post containing vodka, yuzukosho, chamomile, lemon and cava. It was nice, refreshing and not overly sweet. Jeff grabbed a beer called No Label “El Hefe”. It was okay but there are much better hefeweizen choices out there.
For food, we started with two of their bread and cheese parings. Each has a bread and accompaniment to go with the cheese. The first trio was Cocoa Nib Rye with violet mustard and Dunbarton blue cheese. This cow’s milk-based blue cheese was mild with a nice grassy undertone which paired well with the rye bread and mellow mustard. The other trio was Kimchi Pan au Lait with warm egg yolk and Coupole. Pam was in heaven with this trio since it included an egg yolk and goat cheese. The goat cheese was strong and the star of this trio, yet it did not overpower either the bread or egg yolk.
By this point we had finished our cocktail and moved to wine. Jeff started with a glass of 2008 Adelaida Pinot Noir, Paso Robles, which is a nice pinot with cherry and a hint of smoke. Good, but there are much better pinots on the market. Pam ordered the 2010 RedHeads Studios Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale, which is a flavorful artisan with powerful flavors of black cherry and currant.
To go with these wines, we ordered Beef Shortribs au poivre with pursiane tossed in a bone marrow vinaigrette. The short ribs were great ~ moist and tender ~ which contrasted nicely with the slightly sour leafyness of the pursiane. The vinaigrette was almost absent and added little, if anything. Overall, we would have enjoyed the short rib just as much if everything else had just been left off.
For dessert we decided to go with the the liquid variety. Jeff ordered a sweet sherry ~ Moscatel “Emilin”, Lustau, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain which is sweet with flavors of raisins, candied citrus and honey. Pam decided on an Austrian ice wine ~ Gruner Veltliner, “Ice Wine” Fahrenheit 19, 2009, Burgenland. It is a nice example of an ice wine that has flavors of butterscotch, baked apple and nectarine.
While we had planed to skip the dessert, our bartender had other ideas. He brought us the Yuzu Sherbet with Beet Cake, Panna Cotta and Juniper. The sherbet was light and just slightly sweet which balanced with the creamy panna cotta. The beet cake was nice, however the flavors in the cake were overwhelmed by the other ingredients in the dish.
The staff was welcoming and casual. Everyone was friendly and offered excellent suggestions. Our bartender was great and had excellent suggestions. We will most certainly go back!!
Provisions Menu Link: http://passandprovisions.com/menu/DINNER.pdf
807 Taft Street
Houston, TX 77019