Typically, when locals think of Spanish food, they think tapas. But Luis Roger says he didn't leave Spain, uproot his family and quit his lucrative consulting job to "just make a tapas bar." "I'm going to be proud of what I'm doing," Roger tells Eater. "I don't want to have paellas but will have very nice rice, and I'm not going to do tapas but will have exquisite appetizers." So the Spanish businessman turned chef is opening BCN Taste & Tradition in Montrose, an upscale Spanish restaurant that he says will show the "reality of the dining scene" in Spain, rather the Americanized version he's come to see in Houston.
So far, his local visits have included places like Costa Brava, which he says is different than what he's planning for BCN, because he wants to "enhance the offerings" by sourcing ingredients and even equipment from Spain, including the Josper charcoal broiler — a pricey oven we've only seen at Coltivare so far. "Houston is lacking in top restaurants, many are medium, average. I want to do something like Da Marco's or Mark's," but focus exclusively on authentic Spanish cuisine, he says. As the chef and co-owner along with investor Ignacio Torras, Roger says he will focus exclusively on world-class Spanish cuisine that doesn't just compete with Houston's restaurants but with the best in the world. He's even been in communication with El Celler de Can Roca's sommelier Josep Roca for advice, and he says that he's excited for when the Roca brothers come to Houston this August.
Roger says that they expect to be open in late August of this year, since the buildout on their space is nearly complete. Back in August, Swamplot reported that the 2,154-square-foot space was a 1920s house that hadn't been sold since 2010. Roger says he and Torras signed a lease there and have been working on it since December of last year. "It took so long to get that house," Roger tells Eater, it was another delay after the nightmare that was obtaining work visas. Now that permits are in place and his family will be settling in for good next month, he's ready to go full speed ahead with his local fine dining debut.
· BCN [Official Site]
· All Other Coming Attractions [-EHOU-]