In her review this week, Chronicle critic Alison Cook makes The Pass, the conceptual, tasting-menu only half of The Pass & Provisions, Houston's fifth four-star restaurant. "A course listed baldly as "Bread" on the winter menu, explained in the next line as "French (onion soup)/Onion Variations," is quite simply one of the best things I've ever tasted. I ate it three times, and I never tired of the complex, savory dance in which craggy toast played off delicate dehydrated onion rings, tiny yellow roasted bulbs consorted with red ones turned jamlike, and tart and pickled notes bounced off a mysterious black-garlic ice cream." [Houston Chronicle]
Press critic Katharine Shilcutt finds unexpected thrills at Pakistani fusion restaurant Bismillah Cafe. "The ten-spice is lilting and delicate, crackling across your tongue like pinpricks followed by a surprising rush of sweetness. I sometimes swear that I can detect the citrusy flavor of ghost peppers in there alongside the sweet smoke of paprika. Moghul says his ten chicken sandwich is a best-seller, and it's easy to see why: You can experiment with the firecracker sauce in a smaller dose, which is tempered with a wheat bun, cooling lettuce and tomatoes, and a thick slice of Swiss cheese." [Houston Press]
The Blogs: Devour Houston enjoys the new lunch at the Saint Arnold Brewery. Daniel the Gluttonous Chinaman comes out in favor of the miso ramen at Goro & Gun. Hank on Food is one of the only person who's ever had something nice to say about Dallas-import Dickey's Barbecue Pit. Catherine Martin arbitrarily awards +20 to Frida Mexican Kitchen for serving rice in its own container. Finally, Houstonia food editor Robb Walsh's daughter Katie recounts her own visit to The Pass with her father.