The Tasting Room
264 Elizabeth Street off Houston
about $150 for two, with two drinks, without tip
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Update: The Tasting Room is closed. I’ll miss you.
I am separating this review from the original restaurant’s because a new location deserves a new writeup. RenÃ©e and Colin Alevras’ new space is definitely bigger than the one on 1st and First. The wine bottles have their own room now and a beautiful sliding stable door opens up in the back. Because I went during their first trial night, I wasn’t sure if it will be another dining area or if it will remain as a storage room. (Stay tuned to find out!) Past the bar and sitting area in front, the new digs open up to a roomier space. The lighting is warm and comfortable that dining in there made us forget it was the hottest day of the year outside.
Moving into a new location usually means sacrificing something, but The Tasting Room seems to have brought everything with them to the west side. My sugar snap pea soup was a cooling summer starter topped with green peas and small and crusty pieces of pork belly. The Muscovy duck terrine was delicious, but what stood out was its side of parsley and pickled shallot salad with homemade Worcestershire sauce. And what would The Tasting Room stand for if not the season’s freshest ingredients from local farms? The chantarelle mushrooms with roasted Japanese eggplants in garlic confit was so beefy, their daintiness fooled us. It was a complete meal on its own. The Tamworth pork loin obviously came from a happy pig: sweet, succulent and juicy. The swiss chard’s bitter taste was the perfect accompaniment. We split the tomato and strawberry sorbet for dessert and had enough room to finish our glasses of Shiraz and Channing Daughters white blend.
Besides the new bar that can whip up some refreshing Moscow mules, everything at The Tasting Room is pretty much the same–I’m so glad they are.
Update: Yes to the extra dining room behind the sliding stable doors.
When The Tasting Room was young and small