Cook & Collins is Open and Impressive

                                                                                                                Thanks to Kim Coffman

Most of us who write about food, dining and restaurants head out to a new restaurant with a general plan in mind… certainly, not what the results will be, but merely an approach to “judging” (in OUR opinions) the physical layout, the food and the service. I attended a “Media Dinner” at Cook & Collins in Houston and the entire plan vaporized. The evening was transformed from a dinner out, sampling a couple of entrees and attendant sides, to a culinary orgy of epic proportions with no disappointments.

Chef Joshua Shobe

Partners Chef Jared Estes, managing partner Donny Salvato, executive Chef Joshua Shobe and general manager Chris Payne, have opened Cook & Collins, 2416 Brazos Street. Cook & Collins is natty neighborhood restaurant (not a bar) featuring a menu they describe as “Fun American Fare” set in a “Modern Classic” design. It’s not a bar. It IS a contemporary casual neighborhood restaurant (Midtown) that runs like a clock with service that is both unpretentious and disarming at once.

Donny Salvato, Jared Estes, Joshua Shobe, Chris Payne
Photo thanks to Kim Coffman

So, back to the plan change I mentioned. We were flawlessly served darned near every entree… most sides… most appetizers… several desserts… and with all entrees to order. So THAT speaks to the service, as well as the smooth mechanical flow from the staff of the new pre-opening kitchen. I tasted and photographed for your pleasure everything that came out from the kitchen… and halfway through, I was wondering if we could take a break and start again tomorrow. 
Because there were so many creative and well-executed offerings, I present a couple of general thoughts. I kept hearing utterances such as “the scallops weren’t overcooked at all!” Really? Isn’t that what you expect in a place like this? I would rather say that the scallops were perfectly cooked to MY taste. I would rather say that the Rib Eye steak was a juicy medium rare and just to my liking. The monster Pork Porterhouse was cooked medium and juicy, just as pork should be served in this day and age. This restaurant is all about taking American comfort food to the next level (witness the juicy and delicious Buffalo Meat Loaf). SO, the game change is that I thought I would make these simple comments, then move into a culinary art gallery of the menu items sampled and let the photos speak for themselves:

Gallerie de Cuisine
Red Eye Fries
Loaded Potato Smashers
Lump Crab Cake
Mac & Cheese “Crab Rolls”
Oyster “Rockefeller” Fondue
Duck Tacos
Angry Birds
Wild Buffalo Meatloaf
Pork Porterhouse
3rd Coast Pot Pie

Free Range Fried Chicken

Steak and Fries
Big Popper Sweet Heat Flatbread

“The Hugh” Filet Mignon

Jumbo Scallops Chowder Style

Duck Leg

Bread Pudding
Butterscotch Pudding Jar

In case it’s not obvious, this would be considered a very positive review!

2416 Brazos Street, Suite 100
Houston, Texas 77006

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