The Treadsack team's anticipated farm-to-table Northern Thai restaurant, Foreign Correspondents, is now open in the Heights neighborhood. Initially the plan was to co-develop the concept as the adjoining restaurant to the new Hunky Dory space. After the announcement was made that Bernadine's would be in fact moving into that space, the relocation of Foreign Correspondents was made to N. Main and the opening date pushed back.
Executive chef PJ Stoops has finally opened the doors and diners are in for something very special. Unless you've been to Northern Thailand and eaten there, you've likely not tasted anything like his menu at Foreign Correspondents. In a way it breaks free from what we consider "traditional Thai food" because many of the restaurants have crafted menus over time to adjust to the palettes and expectations of Americans. In other words, pad thai and green/red/yellow curry selections are noticibly absent and by design. Chef PJ is a native Texan who's cullinary tour through France led him to live and work in Thailand for several years. Since being back stateside, it was important to him to develop relationships with local fishermen and likely has the first relationship with a Thai farmer just north of Houston who is sourcing the local goods.
Highlights from Stoops' dinner menu includes stuffed sticky rice (khao bai), coconut sticky rice stuffed with lightly salted and grilled mackerel, caramelized shallots, and fresh cucumber; lemongrass and tamarind fish soup (tom saep), chunks of white fish and gulf shrimp in an aromatic broth made with lemongrass, ginger, galangal, makrut lime leaf, and tamarind. These are paired with bar director Leslie Ross' creative cocktails, like the punnily-named T(hai) Punch with Rhum Agricole, petite cane syrup, coconut water syrup, and lime.