LOCAL Houston | The City Guide August 2016 - Page 19

FOOD | ARTS | COMMUNITY | STYLE+LEISURE RITUAL CUISINE: Texas Farm/Ranch to Table | EXECUTIVE CHEF: Jordan Asher 602 Studewood | 832.203.5180 | www.RitualHouston.com | Mon–Thurs: 11am–10pm; Fri–Sat: 11am–11pm Ritual restaurateur Ken Bridge pulled out the stops for the latest incarnation of his space at White Oak and Studemont, partnering with Felix Flores of Black Hill Ranch to craft something special, inspired by the ranchers and farmers of Texas for a true farm-to-table experience. The space has a farm-chic/industrial feel, featuring a huge “train station-style” beer menu and a large window peering into the refrigerated drying room where the in-house butchered meat hangs from above. That meat comes from a humanely raised past, a principle that guides the restaurant’s purpose and creation of dishes that show off the product’s quality at the hands of former Dosi chef, Jordan Asher. Photography by Ritual Asher does a brilliant job of executing the many flavors that we’ve come to consider as Texas coastal cuisine, with dishes that might lean “southern” but certainly not traditional in terms of execution. Take the smoked kielbasa red beans and rice, with its savory ham hock broth and luscious red beans served atop creamy Texas gouda risotto. The molasses-cured sausage has good spice, crisp skin and great texture aside the tender Gristmill cornbread served with honey-whipped lardo. Hell. Yes. Fresh Gulf seafood shines in dishes like the seared snapper with capellini pasta and field peas and hints of Latin spice, olive oil and an herb salad, topped with red pepper crema. Even vegetarians will rejoice in items like the “Ritual Roughage” salad featuring delicious sustainable lettuces and vegetables like watermelon radish and dill, tossed in a lemon-feta vinaigrette or the “Granbury Gold” cheese skillet, with green tomato chutney, pecans and pretzel beignets. Also, there are fantastic cocktails and there is great pie. Run, don’t walk. Interior numerous, uniquely decorated dining rooms in addition to the large lounge, with full attention paid to every detail in terms of food and service. The gargantuan menu goes well beyond steak. A slew of delectable appetizers – superb prime steakhouse meatballs, smoky shishito peppers and terrific crispy shrimp served with sweet Thai chiles and garlic aioli – are meal worthy on their own, along with the fresh salads, like the heirloom tomato with champagne vinaigrette and salty feta crumbles. Sustainable seafood offerings are a big feature as well, from the Raw Bar to its seafood tower, king crab, fresh oysters and Hawaiian poke to grilled salmon, sea bass and scallops. As far as the prime steaks and chops, choices include what you’d expect but a bit beyond with items like a luscious bone-in filet and domestic Wagyu options. “More than steak” options include a fab meatloaf, bone-in short rib, heritage pork chop and Colorado rack of lamb. Side options include but go vastly beyond the usual steakhouse fare. Try the delightful sugar snap peas. And don’t forget the grilled banana split for dessert. 18oz Bone-In Filet august 16 | L O C A L 19