Raven Grill

Located on the North end of the village sits the Raven Grill tucked away at the corner of a strip of boutique
shops serving up dishes with Tex-Mex influences.

The interior resembles a modern daybistro, with a modest selection of wine and a quaint patio.  Unfortunately this
is one of the few good things about the restaurant.

After being seated our waitress came to the table with bread and butter, not to sound jaded but, the bread
wasn’t warmed or toasted or anything.

The first few minutes after a customer walks into a restaurant are important in that this is the diner’s
first impression from the establishment, and like in a relationship or a
marriage, it is the little things that count.

The Ceviche and Tuna Carpaccio caught my eye, and were brought to us fairly quickly.

At first glance with the Carpaccio, I see it is sliced thick when a traditional Carpaccio is meant to be paper thin
slices, but these were thick steak strips and with the bed of greens it
appeared to be more of a salad which would be perfectly fine to call it.

Misnomers aside, it was a pretty tasty dish; it had a nice dressing with some acidity and a hint of wasabi,
although I could have done without the bits of tuna tendon left on the fish.

The Ceviche is advertized to have a Texan influence to it, looking down at the plate, I see a lovely Ceviche with
fish cured in lime juice with a crown of tortilla chips surrounding it making
the portion size of the ceviche looking that much smaller… where is Texas being presented in
this dish?

After the appetizers, the main course was brought to the table, a bowl of pot roast with two slices of toasted
sour dough bread followed by a plate of Red fish tacos with rice and black
beans.

The Pot Roast was rich and full of flavor, a bowl full of root vegetables and beef swimming in a thick ocean of
port wine sauce, although it was very heavy especially for having it on dinner
menu, also if the portion size was smaller, I know that this is Texas but this was a big
bowl of Pot Roast.

Also the twigs from the herbs were still in it, before anyone thinks I am crazy for complaining about it, let me tell you,
all the kitchen has to do is tie the herbs that have branches all together in a bundle or wrap it in cheese cloth and remove it before serving, this is known as a Sachet de Piece, this is basic a cooking technique.

As for the fish tacos, I have never seen an entire dish be an absolute fail, from the seasoning to the side dishes to the
price.

The tacos had a chipotle mayonnaise that completely over powered the taco leaving the other ingredients to be
experienced through texture.

When dealing with chipotle, you should always use it sparingly when you are trying to blend it with other flavors other wise
you are left with a single note dish.

The rice and beans for all intents and purposes could have just been left off the plate, I have never had black beans
with absolutely no seasoning, same goes for the rice, it was like eating air
that felt like rice and beans.

As for the price, $17 for two fish tacos….need I say more?

I don’t care if God opened a taco stand selling the greatest tacos ever created, they still wouldn’t be $17.

For the dessert, I selected in similar fashion as a trailer park prepares for tornado season, hoping for the
best and expecting the worst, I had no idea what I was in for.

The Blue Berry with Coconut tart and the Cherry crisp arrived at the table both served with a side of vanilla
bean ice cream.

These two dishes, for lack of a better word, were perfect.

It is astounding how pour the previous dishes were, nearly bringing my moral down to nothing but thanks to
the dessert it had changed my recommendation from, “stay away” to “you must
have the dessert”.

The blue berry is encrusted with a soft warm blanket of crust and soaks up the ice cream creating a perfect bite
every time

Tart cherries topped with toasted nuts are balanced by the sweet creamy flavor of the vanilla bean ice cream, my
favorite part of the entire meal.

While Raven Grill has its many faults, they are not impossible to fix, if the chef was only to taste the food
and check the seasoning half of the problems would be sorted out.

The menu looks to be full of interesting dishes and gives a feel of a rustic Texas style bistro, the dishes simply need
more refinement and reset the prices to a much more affordable range, though
the dessert was phenomenal it did not save the entire dinner and certainly was
not worth the $70 check.

As I mentioned earlier, eat out somewhere else but if you are in the neighborhood stop by for dessert and
coffee.

 

1916 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005-1645
(713) 521-2027

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