In its understated way, Feast has taken the Houston restaurant scene by storm. This pricey eatery has consistently been lauded since it opened in 2008. Local food critics love it, shown by favorable reviews appearing in the Houston Chronicle and Houston Press, as well as awards lavished on co-owners Richard Knight and James & Meagan Silk. Perhaps more impressive is the heavy acclaim Feast has earned from the national press, evidenced most recently with its inclusion in “2009’s Top Ten Best Restaurants in America” by Bon Appétit.
Seeing - or in this case tasting - is believing. Let go of your assumptions about supposedly bland British cuisine and prepare for an unforgettable culinary experience.
Built in a restored house on the south side of Westheimer, the interior is humble and sparsely decorated, emphasizing that the focus here is on fine food and keeping things casual. While billed as 'rustic European fare', the menu incorporates many elements usually associated with the British Isles, including such favorites as bubble and squeak (mashed potatoes with cabbage), black pudding (blood sausage) and stargazy pie, a dish from Cornwall which features fish in a baked pastry shell (the fish heads stick out and ‘gaze’ at the stars). If it sounds heavy, it is, and portions are large. Come hungry.
European continental cuisine is also well represented in dishes like French bouillabaisse, Spanish albodigas (meatballs) and Greek-style feta & herbs. Desserts rely heavily on goodies from the British Isles, with sticky toffee pudding and spotted dick (pudding with dried fruit) being the most popular.
The changing menu, regularly posted on the Feast website, is divided into two sections. ‘Feast Favorites’ are tried-and-true dishes popular with regulars, while the daily or weekly specials are often more esoteric. There’s a finite supply of ingredients, and certain daily specials run out as early as 6:30 p.m. depending on demand. Peruse the menu online prior to going; if you see something you like, try putting in your order early when calling to reserve a table.
If dishes like devilled kidney or stargazy pie give you pause, ask your server for descriptions and recommendations. The well-mannered staff are incredibly enthusiastic about the cuisine, and you may find yourself more adventurous after hearing mouth-watering descriptions of dishes you’d never considered trying. Who knew pork cheek was edible, let alone delicious?
Open every day but Tuesday, Feast draws a diverse crowd and also offers a balcony bar area upstairs.
219 Westheimer Road, 77006
Portions of this review previously appeared at WorldGuide.eu (used here with permission).