|Beautiful table settings are still de rigueur at Tony's|
I had the opportunity to visit Tony’s during Houston Restaurant Weeks (HRW) and it was one of the best dining decisions I’ve made during the month of August.
It had been a long time since I’d been to Tony’s and my experience validated every memory I have tucked away from my childhood and adult life. This iconic Houston landmark was the first place my uncle Artie wanted to dine when he’d come visit from New York for good reason. Tony Vallone had the best Houston had to offer and he still does. Vallone has made a very smart decision naming Kate McClean the first female executive chef of Tony’s. Chef Kate keeps the kitchen in good order while turning out amazing plates.
The HRW menu allows diners to have the full Tony’s experience down to your own personal soufflé. It’s worth every penny of the $8 supplement. But I’m getting ahead of myself!
I started with Pansoti, squash filled pasta, with a Parmesan puff, and sage essence. The pasta, sauce, and filling were sublime.
For my main course I chose the roasted Hudson Valley Duckling with Oregon bing cherries, almonds, and venetian black rice. The duck was well executed, if only slightly overdone for my taste, but the sauce more than made up for any shortcomings as did the inventive venetian black rice.
One of my dining companions ordered the seared speckled trout with stone ground Sicilian blood orange emulsion. This entrée was absolutely flawless.
For dessert I had a berry crostata, with a praline ice cream. A different take on a classic crostata, but an absolute success as the tart berries provided a welcomed contrast to the ice cream and sweet crumb topping.
As luck would have it, there was soufflé at my table as well as Tony’s eponymous chocolate tuxedo cake. Suffice it to say, that there were several good reasons to share around our table.
It’s great when HRW reminds you of what is great about our great city of Houston. Mr. Vallone, it won’t be as long before I return and you can make sure Chef Kate has a lot do with my sentiment.