An exemplar of refined modern British cooking with a penchant for offal set in a comfortable old house, Feast has been one of the most interesting restaurants in the city since opening in 2008. Without using much in the way of peppers and garlic that Houstonians love – being properly British – there has almost always been quite a lot of flavor in the myriad of their often unfamiliar preparations. Well-practiced, expert hands in the kitchen are part of the reason for the success on the plate, of course, but also their assiduously sourced local and regional foodstuffs, especially noticeable with the meats, dishes with which are usually terrific.
One example, their Crispy Roasted Pork Belly was fantastic last night. Perfectly cooked, it was delicious without being overpowering and with a proper level of salt – this is far from just a hefty slab of bacon – tender and even gelatinous in the middle, it had a welcome, contrastingly crisp exterior that provided a different taste sensation. The other main, pan-fried hake from the Gulf, was nearly as enjoyable. One the sweet side, the rich Sticky Toffee Pudding was excellent, a decadent coda to the dinner.
Feast seems to be closing simply for a lack of business, the reason most restaurants do. A banner announcing the space for lease was hung above its entrance this morning. It is a shame. Feast deserves better. I imagine that the combination of being known for serving odd bits and its British heritage scared off more than a few diners. It certainly did a few of my friends no matter how much I sang its praise. The lack of parking – valet only – might have been another factor.
In any case, Feast will be greatly missed. Even Frank Bruni, the former restaurant critic for the New York Times, wrote gushingly about Feast a few years ago (listen to the audio slide show, too).
219 Westheimer (east of Bagby), 77006, (713) 529-7788