Sorrel Urban Bistro has been open for a while and although I have stopped in a couple of times, I thought it was time to write about a quick lunch there after all of the other reviews slowed down. Interesting thing about Houston (and many other places, I guess), is that restaurants have to point out that they are a farm-to-table restaurant to attract a crowd that cares about such things.
Ray Salti is also owner of Ray’s Gourmet Country
Ray Salti has been in the organic/local/green business for some time as demonstrated by his restaurant, Ray’s Gourmet Country in Fulshear, where I first noticed his dedication to a constantly changing local and seasonable menu. While I’d rather just talk about the fact that the food at Sorrel is excellent… the produce is fresh and crisp (at least the produce that is supposed to be crisp is crisp), I felt that diners should know that in addition to all of that, they are supporting local farmers, ranchers and seafood industry… as well as supporting the growth on an organic, green wine industry, which at the time I dined there, made up about forty percent of the solid wall of wines at Sorrel.
Executive Chef Soren Pedersen
Executive Chef Soren Pedersen is the inspiration and artist behind the menu at Sorrel… a menu that changes not once a day, but twice a day, depending upon what he, local farmers as well as foragers might bring in that’s fresh and gorgeous. I assume that this is heaven for Pedersen, as before he and Salti put this together, he had to drive to Fulshear every day to practice his craft, when he actually lives near this new restaurant in Montrose.
Heirloom Tomato, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Basil Aioli
is a Deconstructed BLT
The lunch menu on our recent visit included offerings like Seared Black Drum with Herb Rissoto and Charred Lemon; Green Peppercorn Crusted Pork with Pan-Seared Polenta, Watercress and a Dried Cherry Demi; Chili Cured Scallop with Boston Bibb Salad and Anjou Pear, Texas Bleu Cheese and Simple Dressing.
Grilled Sirloin, Texas Bleu Cheese and Caramelized
on House Corn Bread
While the lunch menu was what we chose from on our visit, the dinner menu looked equally enticing with choices like Rack of Lamb with Spaghetti Squash and Pinot Noir Reduction; Seared Ahi Tuna with Lobster White Asparagus Reduction; Smoked White Rabbit Ravioli with Chardonnay Root Vegetable Glace; and Sea Salt Crusted Pork Chop with Creamy Pancetta Cous Cous and Rustic Local Tomato Confit.
Chili Cured Scallop with Boston Bibb Salad, Anjou Pear
Tecas Bleu Cheese and Simple Dressing
Frankly, all of my choices were excellent and even taking the local-organic part out of consideration, I could still see this place becoming the favorite neighborhood bistro. But don’t spot a dish that you like here and run over hoping to order it, as it may or may not be available, depending on what is seasonal, and available TODAY.
The Reception Area Has a TV Screen Showing the Kitchen.
Salti and Pedersen are proud of the preparation, as is demonstrated by the fact that when you enter the restaurant, the first thing you see at the reception area is a TV screen showing activity in the kitchen… then after being seated, the fully open kitchen is the entertainment.
In the words of Owner Ray Salti, “When local organic produce, game and seafood are available, I really cannot understand why all restaurants don’t offer that quality to their customers. It’s not just the right thing to do… it actually tastes so much better.”
2202 West Alabama
Houston, Texas 77098