Bistro Menil Continues Artistic Vision

Colin Conner ’15

One of the latest additions to the burgeoning Houston restaurant scene is Executive Chef Greg Martin’s new Bistro Menil. Housed in an Arts and Crafts-style bungalow directly across from the famous Menil Museum in the heart of Montrose. Both the exterior and interior of this cool, modern space echo the design elements of the museum itself and carry on the continuity of the whole Menil vision. When entering the restaurant guests will first see a visually striking bar fronted by white Carrera marble and topped with a single piece of raw-edged walnut. The main dining room is referred to as the “Vue” room and has large picture windows that look across to the museum entrance. The use of dark wood tabletops, grey tweed and black upholstered banquettes, and chalkboard menus all invoke the “Menil” feel throughout the restaurant. The menu was inspired by Chef Martin’s extensive travels through France, Italy, and Spain. The result he calls “European-inspired American fare.”

Starters include grilled polenta with roasted-vegetable relish, roasted beets with walnuts and chives, or an extensive charcuterie board which includes rillettes, jamon, and pate. Caramelized onions, mascarpone, and pancetta or fig and jamon are just a few of the creative toppings Chef Martin pairs with crunchy flatbread.

However, Chef Martin did not spend all of his inspiration on the first course. The main course selections include roasted salmon with horseradish dill sauce; crispy halibut with roasted tomato and caper berry relish; or a crisp duck confit with pink peppercorn butter. These are only a few of the offerings which also include selections of lamb chops, quail, and pork. Desserts feature a bittersweet chocolate tart, lemon curd tart, and passion fruit trifle just name a few. Bistro Menil is worth a visit for it’s pleasant artistic atmosphere as well as it’s creative worldly menu. It is open for lunch and dinner Wednesdays through Sunday.