TRINITI

 

Triniti, located at 2815 S. Shepherd, is one of the few really nice Houston restaurants open on Sundays.  We recently dined there on two Sundays — one was a farewell dinner for friends moving to California, and the other was a celebratory dinner for friends who had both just taken positions as general counsel.  Any night of the week is great at Triniti, but there’s something special about the relaxed pace on Sunday evenings.

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Described as a “progressive American restaurant focused on seasonality and local sourcing,” the restaurant is a stunner — in fact, it was nominated for a James Beard Award for Restaurant design in 2013.

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Triniti’s beautiful interior with exposed kitchen

While waiting for our friends at the bar,we chatted with Nas, the friendly bartender:

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Nas is the creator of my favorite cocktail, the Broken Clock, a spicy raspberry/grapefruit/jalapeno/gin concoction.  I told Nas he’d sell twice as many if it weren’t pink (from the raspberry) — guys tend to think it looks kind of girly and won’t order one for themselves, although they will happily slurp down their date’s or spouse’s.  :)

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The Broken Clock

Executive Chef Ryan Hildebrand is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, and we have consistently been wowed by the seasonal dishes on his Chef’s tasting menu, which changes weekly.

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Chef Ryan Hildebrand

On this occasion, the meal began with an amuse bouche of smoked duck mousse, toast, and braised baby bok choy.

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Next up was Bacon Consomme, with daikon noodles, pickled radish, foraged mushroom, and soft egg.  I’ve noticed soft-boiled eggs showing up on menus for the past year or so, and there is something very satisfying about interacting with the dish by breaking into the egg and watching the still runny yolk combine with other ingredients.

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A variety of beets with sunchoke custard, lemon crumbs, and pumpkin seeds was a delicious vegetable course.

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This was followed by my favorite course of the evening — a satiny fig panna cotta with herbed granola, duck prosciutto, and apricot balsamic.

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A donut-shaped gnocchi with lima beans, hearts of palm, brussels sprouts, and carrot nage was an unusual and fun presentation.

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Arctic char with escargot, basil vichyssoise, red wine syrup, leek, and asparagus fondue was nicely prepared (although I confess to not really liking arctic char).

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For the intermezzo, we enjoyed kabosu sorbet, lemon streusel, and mascarpone.

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A New York strip with parmesan tots, asparagus, funions, and smoked tomato bordelaise came next.  I wish I’d had pants like Napoleon Dynamite to smuggle some of those tots home in!

027Goat’s milk cajeta, with cherry dark chocolate and sugar cloud concluded the meal. Those luscious cherry dark chocolates were like chocolate-covered cherries, except that they were silky truffles, and nothing squirted out or dripped down your chin when you bit into them.

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Along with the check, came individually-wrapped peanut butter scones for everyone to bring home for breakfast the next morning.

I don’t think Triniti gets quite the attention it deserves, partly because it is easy to be overshadowed in Houston these days by the many restaurants getting — and deserving — national acclaim, not to mention the hoopla that accompanies the new restaurants that seem to pop up every day.  If you’re looking for a delicious, beautifully presented meal, thoughtfully incorporating seasonal ingredients, with superb service, in a gorgeous setting, Triniti fits the bill perfectly.

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