Souffles rise to the occasion in Houston
Houston, Texas Published by Houston Chronicle, Author: Greg Morago
In Truman Capote's notorious short story "La Côte Basque, 1965," two friends about to have lunch at the celebrated New York restaurant decide to go big and order a soufflé Furstenberg, "a froth of cheese and spinach into which an assortment of poached eggs has been sunk strategically." The owner tries to talk them out of the laboriously extravagant dish: "Furstenberg is a great nuisance. An uproar."
But sometimes an uproar is precisely what's in order. Soufflés - those eggy show-offs that love nothing more than puffing out their chest - are a nuisance we can live with. Nay, look forward to. You can find them in all their glory at Tony's, where both savory and sweet soufflés have been on the menu for more than 50 years, and at west Houston's Le Mistral Restaurant, which impresses with a dark-on-dark Valrhona chocolate soufflé with chocolate sauce. Here are four more favorites.
Toulouse Café and Bar
One is Grand Marnier. The other is chocolate. And together they are the two puffy dessert-list masterpieces at this slice-of-the-Left-Bank bistro in River Oaks District. 4444 Westheimer, 713-871-0768; toulousecafeandbar.com
The lemon soufflé at this Rice Village charmer is, menu-wise, a daily decadence. So's the Grand Marnier version. But now that winter's here, Prego is also offering a pumpkin version - gourds never tasted so good. 2520 Amherst, 713-529-2420; prego-houston.com
The elegant Chateau restaurant under the La Table umbrella wows with gorgeous desserts, the most indulgent being the Valrhona chocolate soufflé for two, served with a whitecap of vanilla ice cream. 1800 Post Oak, 713-439-1000; latablehouston.com
Rise No. 2
Imagine a restaurant that specializes in sweet and savory soufflés (escargot, anyone?). Imagine that two dozen indulgent puff-ups are on its menu. Now imagine those offerings at this charming new spot in the Galleria area. 1700 Post Oak, 713-850-7473; risesouffle.com