LOCAL Houston | The City Guide May 2016 - Page 20

OPEN By Jodie Eisenhardt | @foodiehouston CURRENT CUISINE: Modern American EXECUTIVE CHEF: Nathan Friend 2 Waterway Square | 281.419.4300 | www.westinthewoodlands.com/CURRENT Sun–Thurs, 6:30am–10pm; Fri–Sat, 6:30am–11pm Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are available with plenty of thoughtful, healthy choices. For dinner, an appetizer of poached Maine lobster artfully arranged with shaved fennel, citrus segments, avocado, orange dust and a light vinaigrette is a wonderful way to begin, along with any of the wonderful salads, like the Baby Beet Salad with sustainable baby greens and tri-colored baby beets along with roasted almonds, bleu cheese and a savory roasted beet vinaigrette. Photography by Julie Soefer THE WOODLANDS could use more chef-driven restaurants vs. chains, and this one comes where you’d least expect it – in a hotel (albeit a new, fabulous one). The chic dining room doesn’t have a hotel-vibe and neither does the menu, created by rising chef Nathan Friend. Friend is utilizing local farmers to provide seasonal fare that reflects his point of view, which is to let beautiful ingredients shine. While the restaurant uses some ingredients not available locally, attention to sourcing is still paramount with all ingredients obtained from within the U.S., which is comforting, given some of the toxicity issues with foreign seafood in particular. Current For mains, enjoy a variety of high-quality proteins including roasted free range chicken, NY Strip or the fantastic whole “Genuine” Gulf Snapper, fried whole and served with a fermented black bean sauce, shaved parmesan and charred lemon. The delightful wild salmon sits atop a delicate vegetable orzo and a roasted yellow pepper sauce and cilantro. Shareable sides, including simple yet picturesque sliced heirloom tomatoes, are welcome additions as are dessert choices like the current seasonal rustic strawberry shortcake. CORNER TABLE | new chef + new menu CUISINE: Gourmet Paleo & Beyond EXECUTIVE CHEF: Eric Aldis 2736 Virginia Street | 713.568.9196 | www.CornerTableHouston.com Lunch: Mon–Sat, 11am–3pm; Dinner: Mon–Wed, 5–10pm; Thurs–Sun, 5–11pm. Photography courtesy of Corner Table Eric Aldis has landed at Corner Table after private venue “The Marque” shuttered in March. Aldis, who once served as Executive Sous Chef at Mark’s American Cuisine, has an impressive résumé, but more importantly, a true passion for creating delicious food. Corner Table has been through numerous kitchen incarnations since Bruce Molzan departed in 2014 but is poised to return to our list of favorites with Aldis’ fantastic new menus including small plates, lunch and dinner. Oyster Virginia 20 L O C A L | may 16