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Plinio Sandalio now at Gravitas

Looks like the talent drain from the Cordua restaurants is finally complete. You can now find Plinio and his brilliant desserts at Gravitas, which should be a much better fit for his abilities than America’s. There is only so much you can do in a restaurant where nostalgia for the “original” tres leches cake recipe dictates what happens in the kitchen.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the Cordua family at one of Randy’s dinners. Both Michael and David are clearly highly intelligent restaurateurs who care about their business and their customers. Still, I can’t stop thinking about opportunity lost here. Under JJ and Plinio, America’s was shaping up to be one of the best restaurants in Houston. What will happen to it now that they are both gone?

As I have said before, food at Gravitas has recently taken a turn for the better and I hope Plinio get’s to pull double duty and fill the pastry chef role at the Textile, when it opens. Having just completed a tour through some of the top restaurants in Europe I am even more convinced that Plinio is a rising star. Maybe Textile is just ambitious enough of a project to let him show what he can really do.

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For now, drool over these smoked brownies served at a recent Tenacity dinner, which really taste more like luscious nuggets of smoke inflected chocolate ganache.

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Ironically, these would fit right in at Beaver’s, where desserts have been very disappointing thus far.

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