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Coming soon: Feast

One of my most memorable meals last year was at Taverna Restaurant, which served up rustic food with big, uncomplicated flavors. Taverna got great reviews when it opened, but driving out to Conroe for dinner seemed rather impractical. I changed my mind after I came back from London, where I discovered that, contrary to popular belief, British food does not suck.

If anything, I found British food to be a breath of fresh air from the monotony of menus excessively dominated by French techniques and preparations. A little Calfs Liver with Black Bacon at Rhodes W1, where Gary Rhodes is doing his part to bring respect back to British cuisine, a spectacular dinner at St. John anchored by brain terrine and deviled kidneys, a surprise find of salted braised beef cheeks at The Ivy (yes, the very same Ivy where celebrities go to binge and purge), and I was convinced that detractors of British food were hopelessly confused.

Remembering that one of the chefs at Taverna had a connection to St John I finally decided to make the trip and was very glad I did. I didn’t find a true faith "nose to tail" outpost, but the food was great and menu was clearly put together by people who respect the beast. Sardines, liver pate, stuffed orchids, pork belly, tart tatin. No artsy fartsy presentations, no conceptual hubris, no trendy excess. Just food that makes you happy.

The only problem with Taverna was that it was not destination dining. You don’t want to drive an hour to have comfort food in a casual setting. You want to pop in after (or during) work, dig into whatever the daily menu brings you and head home. Turns out I wasn’t the only one that got that point.

Within a few days the former Taverna team will open Feast in the space once occupied by Chez George and things look promising already. The menu even has vegetarian dishes, which means I can drag my wife there when ever I am damn pleased. Brilliant!

What do I hope to see from Feast?

  • Lunch. Please let there be lunch.
  • More small plates
  • More offal tasty bits. Give me tongues, lips and assholes!
  • A blog with daily updates about the daily menu. I’d clear my social calendar if I knew there was a market special that just had to served that night and that night only.
  • An occasional whole beast dinner event

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