HOUSTON VOICE • JANUARY 21, 2000
OUT ON THE BAYOU
Dipping into the cool saute
Upon entering the lobby of the REMINGTON GRILL in River Oaks, guests are greeted
by a wall-sized painting of several well-
dressed men sitting around a table. Rendered
in brilliant, wet reds and deep navy blacks, this
scene could be a weekly club gathering of the
good ol' boys, or a post Depression-era business meeting replete with cigars and scotch.
Either way, the canvas perfectly fits
Remington Grill. Similar paintings adorn
inside walls, providing a contrast between
the vibrant paint
against the dark
wood walls and
We settled in
with some Pinot
Cirigio ($7 a
glass), and then
tried to imagine
the place with more customers than us. It was
an early lunch on a weekday, but I've seen
other tiny neighborhood establishments
packed during the same time.
The bread basket impressed me, not so
much because it was more than your run-of-
the-mill basket, but instead because of the
diverse selection of thin breads, including
some good ones with creamy smoked mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan
baked right in. The rosemary bread was less
earth-shattering, but just as fresh, as was the
more traditional sourdough.
With such innovation in the bread, I was
surprised the menu offerings weren't more
adventurous. The grilled steak, beef and
chicken options seemed like solid choices, but
hardly anything seemed to stray from classic
1919 Briar Oaks Lane
Scene: C? CT C
'' Opt for bread, water at home
OK, if you really must
Fine for most
Worth the drive, so live a little
As good as it gets
We started with the most unusual item—a
plate of Avocado Fries ($6.25). These thick
slices of avocado are breaded in thick bits of
toasty batter, deep-fried and served with a
Bourbon-flavored ketchup. While there's
something wonderful about the creamy texture
that oozes from the batter after a bite, the tiniest driblet of sauce overpowered the avocado.
On my second bite (okay, maybe my fifth), 1
went for the control group and tried the fries
without sauce. Still, a beautiful, flavorless goo.
After such a striking sauce in the Bourbon
ketchup, I was surprised to find no dipping
I L L shredded
and bits of
roasted corn, yellow and red bell pepper, and
the slightest hint of melted jack cheese.
Although I loved the absence of the typical
gloppy cheese of quesadillas, the ingredients
did have a difficult time staying together
between the finely toasted tortillas. The mingling of fresh vegetables and seafood, and
only a silky hint of cheese transformed this
dish into an incredibly flavorful choice.
The Oyster Stew ($7.25) is a bit of a misnomer, with only four small oysters floating
in the salmon colored base. Change its name
to something like "Creamy Ovster Bisque,"
however, and you have a rich, delicious soup
that isn't overly fishy or salty.
Loyally sticking by the seafood, I ordered
Crab Cakes ($16), and was surprised to find
this plural-sounding item delivered with only
one fluffy, lonely crab cake on a bed of wilted
spinach. The thickness of the patty turned the
edges golden brown, while allowing the
inside to remain a clump of fresh meat that
The Sauteed Snapper ($16) was a bit tix>
bare on top, but its own slightly briny flavor
emerged easily and heartily. On the bottom,
the saute lent a respectable, if uneventful, bite
of garlic, pepper and lemon. The entire fillet
would benefit from a baste in this saute.
The fingerling potatoes were attractive in
their flat, oblong shapes, but a bit dry and
salty. Again, we would have appreciated a dipping component, even the bourbon ketchup.
The service at Remington Grill was helpful
and attentive, if a bit cold. The formality
seemed to breed a certain amount of stuffiness. If you are looking for a dining experience both elegant and impressive, there still
seems to be so many other neighborhood
choices equally as classy. But if you don't
mind spending time in the River Oaks scene,
you'll find a more than reliable meal here.
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