I had a wonderful meal at Revival Market on a warm Saturday evening, and it made such an impression on me that I woke up three days later with one of their signature dishes on my mind. I’ll tell you more about that, but first let’s talk about the facts. Revival Market has expanded their dining options and added more seating and a dinner menu. Originally, the Market served breakfast and lunch alongside a wonderful coffee menu and their award winning butcher and charcuterie counters, but now diners have all-day options including brunch service on weekends.
Chef Ryan Pera and Morgan Weber, the owners and operators of Revival Market became friends years ago and share a vision for locally and sustainably produced dishes. Their combined backgrounds and commitment to top quality ingredients are evident at both of their restaurants, Revival Market and Coltivare Pizza and Garden.
When I visited Revival Market, my meal started out with Buttermilk Biscuits and a plate of Crispy Potatoes. The biscuits are large and feel quite dense, but it will only take one bite to realize that pastry chef Alyssa Dole is a master of the light airy biscuit. Top it with a little of the whipped lardo and the biscuit is the perfect beginning to any meal.
Let’s move onto the Crispy Potatoes which I mentioned above, because they were still on my mind after three days. The potatoes are baked, smashed, deep fried and served with bite sized pieces of andouille sausage and corn. Everything is covered in house-made seasoning – think of a fresher tasting version of Old Bay. The taste and texture of the potatoes and sausage is perfect; a little crunch before getting to the soft center. If you are dining with a few people, make sure you order more than one plate of these potatoes because one just won’t be enough – everyone will keep asking for more.
Next on the menu was the 44 Farms Sliced Sirloin and Roasted Pastured Half-Chicken, both of which are staples on the seasonal menu because of their popularity. The 44 Farm Sliced Sirloin is like the beef stroganoff that your grandmother used to make for Sunday dinner, but better. The hand cut noodles are made down the street at Coltivare and the sirloin is tender and full of flavor.
Don’t let the name Roasted Pastured Half-Chicken scare you, it sounds like you will be served half of a bone-in chicken, but what you get is two pieces of bone-out chicken that have been slow cooked and then roasted so that the skin in perfectly crispy while the inside is so tender you won’t need your knife to cut it. The flavor is amazing and the dish is accompanied with a lovely warm puree of sweet potatoes and thyme.
You must leave room for dessert where again, Alyssa Dole shines in her role as pastry chef. The Lemon Vanilla Panna Cotta, Buttermilk Pie and Flourless Chocolate cake were all superb. If I was forced to pick one, I might say that the panna cotta was the standout; the flavors and consistency were spot on and finding panna cotta that good is a feat in Houston, Texas.
Heading up the kitchen at Revival market is Chef de Cuisine Vincent Huynh, whose attention to detail and execution of the dishes was wonderful. The restaurant has a casual atmosphere with diners of all ages. The décor is simple and rustic, with themed chalk art by talented local artist, Matthew Tabor.
Although Revival Market did away with most of their market items, you can still get staples such as locally sourced vegetables and bread, house made pastries, canned items and of course, meat. The butcher and charcuterie counters are intact – which make its neighbors in the Heights very happy. Don’t wait too long on a Saturday to go and fill your grocery cart though, the shelves are almost bare by evening. Same goes for many of the popular menu items. Get there when the gettin’s good or you just might be out of luck.
NOTE: Revival Market currently has a BYOB program; a private club license is anticipated for early fall, and a full bar with a curated selection of spirits will be available. Morgan Weber’s cocktail program will feature house made fermented mixers like naturally fermented sweet corn juice and house made sodas.
By Gabi De La Rosa