Glass Wall is probably the best restaurant in the Heights, and for our money, one of the best in Houston. We visited during Houston Restaurant Weeks and were truly wowed by the food, atmosphere, and service. For those unfamiliar, HRW allows patrons to indulge in multi-course meals at some of the city’s best restaurants for a very reasonable set price. It’s a great deal, and part of the price of each meal goes to the Houston Food Bank.
Having never had the pleasure of dining at Glass Wall before, we stuck with the dishes we knew to be their signature items. The crab cake appetizer was perfectly seasoned, served with jicama slaw and mango-habanero aioli, and hit the spot for the seafood lovers in our party. The mushroom risotto with seared veal medallion was another to-die-for selection from the first course menu. Portions were generous, but not so big that you can’t enjoy the entire meal.
For the entree, we sampled the tenderloin, cooked a textbook medium, and it was declared by more than one person at the table to be the best steak they had ever encountered. The real star of the meal, though, was the cornflake-crusted chicken fried steak. I know, chicken fried steak doesn’t exactly scream “fine dining,” but this one isn’t your run-of-the-mill diner chicken fried steak. It’s made from Hereford tenderloin, pounded thin enough to be crispy but still substantial, and served with mascarpone mashed potatoes and green beans. Our table came to the conclusion that the gravy on the steak must include some kind of highly-addictive drug, because we wanted to buy it by the quart and take it home to put on everything. Somehow we managed to save a bit of room for the excellent chocolate caramel cake our waiter recommended, and we were glad we did. To top it all off, we were brought complimentary glasses of very good champagne once the staff caught wind of the fact that we were celebrating a special occasion. All in all, it was one the best meals we’ve had the pleasure of consuming in recent memory.
One of the more interesting things about Glass Wall is that the menu suggests a wine pairing for every single dish on the menu, and the menu is updated regularly to take advantage of the season’s freshest available ingredients. Owner and wine lover Shepard Ross sees to it that diners have the opportunity to experience each dish to its best advantage by carefully pairing them to a glass from the excellent wine list. While a dinner at Glass Wall is undoubtedly an indulgence, it’s nice to be able to enjoy wine pairings without shelling out a few hundred dollars a plate for a full-fledged tasting menu.
If you aren’t much of a wine drinker, there are also several tasty signature cocktails on the menu. The pink lemonade cocktail was a big hit at our table. Owing to the celebratory nature of the meal, many of these were consumed, and they were fruity and went down easy without being cloyingly sweet.
It would be remiss not to mention the fantastic service we received. Our server was friendly and efficient but unobtrusive, and was happy to recommend menu items when we were being indecisive. Each item he recommended was delicious, and he even had the kitchen write a congratulatory message in chocolate sauce on the guest of honor’s dessert plate. His personal attention made our special evening even better. To be quite honest, there is not an aspect of this meal I think could have been improved, and I’ve been known to be particular when it comes to dining out. Glass Wall is officially our new place to go for any and all special occasion meals. I’m already dreaming of that chicken fried steak!
For more information, please visit: http://www.glasswalltherestaurant.com/