Today I'm technically showcasing two Houston restaurants- though the sit under the same roof- The Pass and Provisions.
The Pass is a high end dining experience offering an intimate environment and a set menu. Provisions, on the other hand, offers a more casual environment with dishes designed for sharing- a perfect spot for a double date or a dinner with friends/family. Both restaurants offer menus built around fresh, seasonal ingredients creatively combined to create delicious bites!
Our close friends took my husband and I to Provisions for a "Welcome to Houston" dinner when we first moved down and I was immediately hooked! To date, Provisions is my favorite restaurant in Houston and one of the only restaurants I've convinced my husband to go back to (instead of continuing to check new restaurants off the list). As I mentioned above, the menu is best experienced with friends/family because there are so many delicious dishes you will want to try.
That first night there we had a few things that are still on the menu (it changes regularely). We had a delicious baguette with salted butter paired with their Ham 'O Day, a pasta composed of Cresta di Gallo/Hen of The Woods/Roasted Yeast/Parmesan, some Crispy Pork Belly/Masa Fritters/Pozole. We also had a wood fired pizza featuring figs and lemon ricotta (which was THE BEST and needs to go back on their menu ASAP) and I'm sure we had some sort of vegetable dish that I can't remember at the moment. We had all that in addition to a few cocktails and a shared bottle of wine.
Provisions is my #1 recommendation if you're looking to have a great night out with friends or family in Houston. We've already decided it's where we're taking our families when they come to visit.
The Pass is a little different. When you walk in to the restaurant and check in at the hostess stand, the host/hostess will take you through the dining room of Provisions toward what appears to be a wall. The wall pushes open leading to a relatively small dining room that looks over an open kitchen. The Pass offers a vegetarian or omnivore menu that can be five or eight courses in length. There is also an option for beverage/wine pairings with each menu.
We went to The Pass to celebrate my husbands 30th birthday. We chose the five course omnivore menu with wine pairings (though the beverage pairing which consisted of beers/cocktails was very tempting). Being a wine lover, I'm a huge fan of wine pairings with menus. It allows me the opportunity to try wines I might not otherwise try and I am fascinated by the way different wines can be paired with a dish to complement or accentuate different flavors. I won't do the dishes justice by attempting to describe them so here is a snip of the current menu (which is very similar to the menu we had in early October).
Our favorite was course number three- the pork raviolo. My husband describes it by saying "the broth was rich and complex, infused with smoke from the freshly burnt hay that was released before us as the dish was presented. The raviolo was large and filled with a succulent mix of ground pork and spices." His colorful description can be complemented by mine which is simply that "it was really freakin' good".
Overall, both restaurants are incredible. The Pass is more of a splurge but well worth the experience. And Provisions is a great choice for a group and truly my favorite in Houston thus far!
Where are you from and what's the one restaurant in your town you would take friends/family to (if you had to choose)?