Native Houstonians Addie and Dustin Teague wanted to change up the restaurant scene by creating a warm, inviting neighborhood eatery. Their goal was to serve simple and delicious food in a comfortable atmosphere, and they have done just that with Relish Restaurant & Bar.
The restaurant, located in Houston’s busy Upper Kirby district, is large and filled with warm colors and hints of gold. There is ample seating and a substantial bar – perfect for checking out the new craft cocktails and appetizers menu. In addition to happy hour, guests can also enjoy a breakfast, lunch or dinner outside in the boxwood-enclosed patio.
“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” said Executive Chef Dustin Teague. “Our philosophy is still to let the integrity of the ingredients combine with our technique and process to speak to the simplistic and consistently good food we put out there.”
Dinner at Relish kicks off with fresh-from-the-oven rosemary biscuits and honey butter rolls. Warm and flaky, the biscuits are made fresh daily and are the epitome of what every biscuit aspires to be. If you are looking for a hearty appetizer, the Eggplant Caponata Bruschetta perfectly fits the bill. Toasted slices of bread topped with eggplant, tomatoes, squash, ricotta, raisins and pine nuts make for a nice combination of flavors. Many people shy away from eggplant because of the consistency, but this is an example of eggplant cooked and flavored the right way.
The entrée menu at Relish is varied—guests can enjoy everything from a Classic Burger and New Orleans -style BBQ Shrimp or Grilled Pork Chops. All of those entrees have one thing in common and that is the commitment to quality ingredients and flavor. Relish sources many of its ingredients locally and many of the menu items are made from scratch.
I was told that the Cioppino was a menu favorite, so I ordered it and could immediately see why it has gotten rave reviews. The bowl came filled with snapper, salmon, scallops, mussels, shrimp and grilled bread – perfect for soaking up the tasty tomato and fennel-infused white wine broth. The classic fisherman’s stew is hearty, but not overbearing and an example of the restaurant’s classic cuisine with Mediterranean influences.
Dinner at Relish would not be complete without one of their specialty craft cocktails. The Frozen Salty Dog is as unique as its name. Grapefruit vodka, Aperol, rosemary and a chili salt rim make the drink a spicy alternative to a frozen margarita, and one of the restaurant’s best sellers. The Boulevard Bourbon Punch is also a menu favorite with Bulleit Bourbon, guavaberry liqueur, pineapple, lemon and chamomile honey syrup. The sweet and acidic flavors cut down the kick of the bourbon, making it an easy drink to get down.
A meal at Relish is one to be enjoyed with friends or family. Great food in an upscale but relaxed atmosphere is exactly how meals are meant to be appreciated.
Cover photo Julie Soefer Photography
Gabi De la Rosa lives in Houston with her husband and three children. You can usually find her at a great local restaurant or out exploring HTX with her family. Visit her on Instagram @gabioftheroses_htx