Alison Cook’s top 100: No. 32. Branch Water Tavern

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Branch Water Tavern

32. Branch Water Tavern
When disciplined and exacting young chef David Grossman is in attendance, this restaurant is one of the best exemplars of modern American bistro cooking in town. Such commonplaces as a chicken or a salmon dish can emerge with a quiet verve and beautiful textures: the local pastured chicken crisp of skin, say, and anchored by caramelized root vegetables lightened with pillows of lemon-scented ricotta gnocchi. Or the salmon skin flash-seared, its interior satin, its sauce a light-on-its feet kimchee emulsion well-suited to the Houston palate. The details are careful, from the bread program to a killer wedge salad to a justly celebrated sticky toffee pudding dessert. But the wine list has lost some of its original flair, the short menu stays relatively static, and when Grossman is not on duty, oversalting and other glitches can keep the restaurant from its potential to rank higher on this list.
Cuisine: American
Entree price range: $$$
Where: 510 Shepherd Dr.
Phone: 713-863-7777
Web: branchwatertavern.com

 

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