LOCAL Houston | The City Guide October 2016 - Page 23

FOOD | ARTS | COMMUNITY | STYLE+LEISURE ATTENTION, MEN! Are you looking for that new (to you) hidden gem to take your current or prospective lady on a date? Perhaps you’re just looking for a night out away from the kids with a great wine or craft beer. Whatever your reason, we’re sure Plonk! will meet your expectations – you may just not know it yet. Unless, of course, you live in Oak Forest. In that case, you probably already know Plonk! resides in the strip center at 43rd and Ella (for the last 17 years), is staffed by mostly locals and is right by the owner’s house, because he wanted to open a place for his hood. What he likely didn’t realize is that he opened a food and wine destination. Plonk! has a lot to offer and does so many things right. Perfectly clean interior design (and impeccably clean in actual cleanliness) with a stellar patio, Plonk! wants you on a date, with friends or your entire crew for that night out. Let them show you the service, food and wine list that have kept them going 17 years strong. It’s a labor of love and it shows. We could go on and on, but we’re space-limited. Now, this pairing is real manly, but that’s certainly not saying everyone won’t enjoy it. When you get two generous cuts of Berkshire pork (a 36-hour sous-vide belly and an applewood smoked shoulder), served in a cast iron skillet on a butcher block (obviously not shown in Kennon’s masterful photo) you can’t help but think manly. But then you see Le Cochon’s (that’s French for pig) sides – the butter lettuce, house-made steamed buns, the mint/green onion/cilantro garnish, the pineapple/serrano relish, stir fried peanuts and a garlicky Asian sauce, and it confirms what you need to know: Plonk! can put out some food! So pack everything on the board into a steamed bun, or go sans pineapple relish if you don’t like the heat. Or, try the butter lettuce because with pork this tender, Le Cochon is an adventure for parties from one to even four people. And it is perfectly paired with the punchy Rockpile Zinfandel from Mauritson. Apparently. the 2014 growing season was epic and just a taste of that fullbodied, tannic Zin with flavors of berries, cocoa and oak, shows it’s as good as any Zinfandel we’ve ever had. Pass a steamed bun and some more shoulder, please. By Mike Cook Photography by Kennon Evett PLONK! | 1214 West 43rd Street | Houston, TX 77018 713.290.1070 | www.plonkbistro.com october 16 | L O C A L 23