Although she concedes that's nothing cutting edge about the food at fine-dining, Spanish-influenced restaurant Costa Brava Bistro in Bellaire, Chronicle critic Alison Cook awards it three stars. "I'd seek out Costa Brava for the paella (it's the recipe of Madrid native Dueñas's grandfather) and those gambas al ajillo alone. Yet there is much else to admire here. Each of the four salads on the menu competes with the city's best, and as a group, in a menu category that's often a throwaway, they are remarkable. Romaine with white anchovy (boquerones, in Spanish tapas-speak) has the purity and verve of a really good Caesar variant. A house salad with thin disks of goat cheese and red ribbons of pimenton arrives in an almond vinaigrette as haunting and nutty as sesame." [Houston Chronicle]
Although she acknowledges that making a meal out of the $15 plates of raw meat and seafood that constitute the menu at Cove would be pricey, Press critic Katharine Shilcutt praises the raw bar located within Haven. "But not since Reef and chef Bryan Caswell's pioneering attitude toward Gulf fish has there been such a fascinating seafood restaurant as Cove. Part of the allure is the interaction with Gaston himself, which allows you to direct your own meal in any number of ways while learning — if you're interested — about the various raw fish and meat preparations that Gaston learned in his travels and stints at spots such as Kata Robata, Soma Sushi and, yes, Reef. If you're the quiet type, it's just as satisfying to watch Gaston work, folding those slips of fish into insouciant rosettes, bending them with his fingers into a form that's very much his own signature." [Houston Press]
THE BLOGS: Dr. Ricky documents a meal at Coal Vines in Sugar Land where chef Steve Marques paired each course with a non-alcoholic beverage. Catherine Martin arbitrarily falls in love with a cat at Luigi's Pizzeria. Hank on Food finds that Japanese restaurant Kata Robata lives up to the expectations he had based on that restaurant's considerable reputation. Finally, local sommelier and twitter personality Justin Vann urges wine drinkers to pair sweet wines with savory foods.