LOCAL Houston | The City Guide November 2017 - Page 31

FOOD | ARTS | COMMUNITY | STYLE+LEISURE Personally, I don’t care much for gnocchi. Small balls of potato pasta don’t quite get my juices flowing like a pesto fettuccine or ragù tagliatelle can . But that all changed after tasting Cavour’s spinach gnocchi with curry sauce and lobster. The fusion of subcontinental spices with Italian cooking is surpris- ingly well paired, and the spinach gnocchi is a fresh take on an overdone dish. If you’re not sold on the gnocchi, I recommend the scallops over yellow rice, or risotto with porcini mushrooms, asparagus and melted fontina cheese. As a finishing touch of dec- adence, I was served both the tiramisu and the panna cotta over strawberry sauce. Cavour hardly needs my recommendation to continue its long run of success, but I offer it nonetheless. I strongly recommend a trip to this little slice of Tuscany right here in the heart of Houston. With a dining room and waitstaff that embody the definition of luxury, Cavour feels like it would be more at home on 5th Avenue than in the Bayou City. The restaurant recently welcomed new Executive Chef Henry Hamor, who is busy introducing a new menu that is set to be released in November. Chef Henry plans to unveil seasonal menus every few months, and invited me to sample several items from the upcoming fall menu. As far as red meat, it goes without saying that Del Frisco’s does it like no other. But it should be noted that nothing they’ve done to date holds a candle to the 45-day dry aged prime strip, and the 14-day dry aged Colorado prime lamb. 16 oz. and 22 oz. respectively, these plates make excellent sharing portions after a round of appetizers and sides. The strip (and the equally aged prime ribeye) is to steak what a 1961 Ferrari California Spyder is to cars. It’s perfect. Double Bone in Ribeye the top floor of the building, the dining room seats less than 100 guests. The menu, designed with fashion in mind, is curated to appeal to health-conscious diners with a taste for elegance. Upon being seated, I was offered what was likely the most mem- orable aspect of my dining experience: a small cup of chicken broth. Made in-house and served as a pre-meal palette cleanser, the broth is a knockout punch. Served in a small tea cup (more suited for espresso than soup) it’s an appropriate introduction to the light yet thoughtfully designed menu at Mariposa. Chicken broth was followed by another house specialty, the monkey bread yeast rolls. Locally famous among Mariposa’s loyal customer base, the house rolls are buttery and flaky, served with homemade strawber- ry butter. On to the menu. I began by tasting the Shrimp Louie Salad, a Mar- iposa best seller. This is a fresh lettuce salad topped with jumbo lump crab, jumbo shrimp, and avocado. Next up was the Roasted Salmon Salad, topped with quinoa, pistachios, roasted beets, and orange slices. Mariposa knows how to make healthy eating both satisfying and mouthwatering. My personal favorite is the Salmon Tacos with chipotle mayo, avocado and coleslaw. Served along- side a roasted tomato salsa, these overfilled tacos are worth the mess. I finished my meal off as anyone should at Neiman Marcus, with a box of their world-famous chocolate chip cookies. Curious fans are welcome to try their hand at baking them, as each box comes with a recipe card inside. 11 . 2017 | L O C A L 31