Discovery Green Restaurant’s Family-Style Dinners are Anything But the Usual Night Out
BY ANNIE GALLAY // 07.16.18
A bold all-new restaurant experience is headed to the heart of Downtown. The Grove is starting a new Sunday Supper series this summer. The special communal-style dinners will spotlight local food and carefully curated wine pairings.
Three dinners are scheduled, with the inaugural one set for July 29 at The Grove. The following two will be held on August 19 and September 9, locations to be determined. Each dinner will share a vibe, but no two will share a menu. But you can certainly count on house-butchered meats, local Gulf seafood and farm-to-table veggies for all these Sunday Suppers.
The dinners are only $50, which covers the meal, gratuity, valet and a complimentary welcome cocktail, making it a relative bargain by the standards of high-end dining. Optional wine pairings run an extra $20. These special Sunday Suppers will be limited to 40 people, providing a touch of exclusivity.
Menu highlights for the first July 29th supper include campechana shooters, sauteed gulf shrimp with fava beans and Serrano, pan roasted potato gnocchi in basil pesto and live oak grilled lamb racks with chimichurri.
Grove chef de cuisine Ryan Williams believes that the restaurant nestled next to Discovery Green is the ideal spot for this sort of dinner.
“It demonstrates the versatility of Houston,” Williams tells PaperCity. “Seeing all the different people doing so many different things. It’s uniting. It really shows what kind of food we do here. No one specific genre or category. It’s things from all over the world. We take influence from everywhere, just like Houston.”
Williams has put a twist on the creative process behind prix fixe menus. “We start with a protein or vegetable and pair that with a wine,” the chef says. “We let the wine dictate what other ingredients we use in the dish.”
The wine essentially acts as a key second ingredient.
Take the first Sunday Supper’s first course. Williams recommends a dry white Vouvray wine called Silex d’Orfeuilles, with the shrimp dish. He considers combinations of the wine and food’s flavor profile and even texture when crafting each course. The wine’s strong mineral feel pairs well with creamy dishes, hence the smooth fava beans.
If it will be your introduction to Vouvray, you’re not alone. The evening’s meant as a sort of vino eye opener.
“Wine is one of our major goals,” Williams says. “We’re introducing wines to ourselves. We’re really diving into it. I believe we have one of the best wine selections in Houston, with a lot of hard-to-find wines from very small vineyards.”
The first in the Sunday Supper series pairs sautéed gulf shrimp and fava beans with a dry Vouvray.
All will be enjoyed in the main dining room during the Sunday Supper. A long, family-style table will stretch down the center of the room. The oak grill will be out too, part of the interactive aspect of the dinner.
“We have an open kitchen. We’ll be cooking and preparing everything, walking it all directly out to all the guests, presenting all the food and explaining everything. It’s very exploratory,” Williams notes.
He finds it a fitting extension of what The Grove does everyday, from catering events to family-style dining. “We want to showcase that to the public so they can come and experience this fantastic, communal-feeling dinner,” Williams says.
The Grove’s clearly going for a Sunday best.