Both literally and figuratively, Humble, TX is not France. Doubtful anyone has ever confused the two. Yet a beacon of French culinary culture is tucked away in the remnants of a small Pentecostal church in an unassuming residential neighborhood a short drive north of downtown. Chez Nous is Humble's best kept secret, but now the word is out.
Founded originally by acclaimed chef Gerard Brach in 1984, Chez Nous is as authentic as it gets in terms of French Gastronomy. The French Toile wallpaper depicts the idyll pastorals of French peasant life, while the beautifully stained wooden tables and chairs complimented by the luxurious carpet make any diner feel like they have been transported to a French country home lost in the forests of Bretange or Normandy. The intimate ambiance is augmented by servers of the highest caliber, never rushing a patron to finish their foie gras mousse or Château Margot, and always up to date with the menu specials on offer each evening.
Ambiance and history aside, the highlight of this place has to be the food. Authentic French recipes, such as the rack of lamb with a port-shallot reduction, or the grilled Muscovy ducking with burgundy-poached pears and citrus glaze, populate a menu that reads like those found in country restaurants scattered across the French landscape. Each item, from the charcuterie appetizer prepared in-house to the souffle medley desserts, are cooked to perfection. Furthermore, all the herbs and veggies are grown in the backyard. Eating with the eyes is a tried and tested truism, and the chefs at Chez Nous do not disappoint with their presentation either. The rack of lamb is broken down before an eager patron's eyes, the shallot-port reduction generously drizzled over the beautiful arrangement, and the eyes feast mere moments before the palate indulges.
Traveling to France is a wonderful experience, yet for those who might not be able to jump across the pond to Paris anytime soon, do not worry. A small piece of France is twenty minutes north of Houston off of 59.