Tasting menus in Houston?
A good friend and I will be in Houston in November for a wedding. We are visiting from Chicago and would like to eat somewhere forward-thinking on a Friday evening.
Can anyone suggest a restaurant with a tasting menu/wine pairings? Looking for something nice -- think Trotters, Alinea, Schwa in Chicago.
We will have a car, and no pre-set price limit.
As much as I love t'afia for what it is - chef-driven, local produce focused - I don't think that it is, nor is it trying to be, in the caliber of the restaurants the OP mentioned from Chicago. This is an area where Houston does not have a wealth of options. The first place that comes to mind is Voice in the Hotel Icon downtown. It will fulfill the high-end tasting menu quota but isn't all that forward thinking (aside from cooking one dish sous vide). If you happen to be in town on a night when Randy Rucker does one of his Tenacity dinners (unfortunately few of them are on weekends), that would be the most forward-thinking cuisine you will find in Houston.
I don't recall if they have tasting menus, but the best restaurants in Houston that would be similar to your Chicago picks are Reef and Gravitas.
I really, really wanted to like t'afia, but have been underwhelmed on my two visits.
i agree with bhutani. VOICE's tasting is the best choice for something nice. you can also book the chef's table which is literally IN the middle of the kitchen.
catalan started doing a tasting menu a couple months ago ($85 i think). they are also offering a special 4 course tasting menu for $60 of which $10 of it goes to the koonce family relief fund (they were burned in the brennan's fire).
tenacity dinners are usually on weeknights but you can look up the schedule here: http://greensandbeans.wordpress.com/. he doesn't have any dates up for november yet. they are casual, BYOW kind of events. you'll run into at least a few houston chowhounds there.