Blog of an aspiring foodie

A short little Voice review (crosspost with HouCH Yahoo! Group)

Posted by beer_chris on 18-April-2009

My wife and I in for an early reservation at Voice last night before heading over to opening night for ‘Rigoletto’ at Wortham. A couple of notes – we only did one course since we were running late (arrived at 6:15, curtain at 7:30), so I don’t have much to report on.

This is my second visit – previous was with a larger group (~8 ppl). I’ll wrap that previous experience in here a bit to flesh out the report 🙂 Since we were in a bit of a rush and I’m limiting my C2H6O consumption, we were pleased to see Honig Cab by the glass – we met the vintner at a Honig wine pairing/lunch during our trip to Napa last month.

It was a nice start. We actually both drank it throughout our meals.

The menu was noted as ‘Spring’, and there were a few noticeable changes since I was there in early March. My memory is failing me, but there previously was a risotto appetizer that is no longer there. Adds include a lobster item and a charcuterie plate. Our server mentioned that the tuna app had been changed slightly – in his opinion, for the better. He didn’t elaborate – but I ordered this back in March and was overwhelmed by the amount of yuzu.

The app special was a bouillabaisse – I *almost* asked if I could get an entree portion.

The menu (I don’t think) had any mention of sous vide preparations. I asked our server about this, and he said that many of the mains and the veggies are still sous vide, but they just were not mentioning it anymore on the menu. Something about being more casual. I guess removing French words = casual in Texas.

Wife is a steak eater, so ordered the filet (rare). On my last trip to Voice I ordered the same dish off of the late winter menu, and one of the issues with it was that the plate had not been warmed, so the celeriac puree and house sauce was cold when it reached me. Because I was with a larger group (and because my filet was absolutely perfect) I had not mentioned it that time, so I took the opportunity to ask our server this time, just to make sure it didn’t happen again. He gave a strange answer – that because I was at a larger table that’s probably why it happened (shrug) – BUT he was adamant that it was unacceptable and that he would mention it and make sure it didn’t happen again.

Low points: Steak was medium rare, not rare as ordered. Since we were in a rush and the wife likes medium rare better than rare anyway (it was me who convinced her to order it rare), we kept it to ourselves.

High points: Microgreens (arugula?) on steak and seasoning was absolutely perfect. Sauce was the same – as I remembered it, just anough of a counterpoint to be pleasant without overwhelming the nice beefy flavors of the filet. Also, the plate had been pre warmed 🙂

I ordered the special – a duo of lamb. Braised lamb shank (1) and roasted rack (2), served on a smoked mash and sauced with the braising liquid.

Low points: Rack was downright fatty. I had some really ‘chewy’ parts, and had to trim off a lot of gristly pieces.

High points: The good parts of the rack were really good. Like the filet, it was seasoned perfectly with hints of everything in the tableau. Not too much rosemary, not too much sage – but I could tell it was all there. The braising liquid had been reduced down and is something I could eat as a soup. It was GREAT, just salty enough, with those subtle sweet flavors that make lamb so darn tasty concentrated down.

The braised lamb shank is probably the single greatest lamb dish I have ever eaten. It was served in a very carefully trimmed thick slice, and looked almost like a terrine. I was able to cut it with my fork, and it was at that perfect place where the meat still could be cut into pieces but was so tender that it melted in my mouth. Swirling the last bits of this in the remaining braising liquid/sauce and chasing it with my Napa Cab made for a really nice endpoint to the meal.

The dessert menu has changed significantly. Server mentioned that there was a new person ‘doing’ the pastry. Are these being brought in? We skipped it because by that time it was 7:10 and we were getting to be desperately late for the performance.

Like my last trip, there were some low points – and they were surprisingly basic ones (cold plate, meat not cooked quite to order) – but the high points were clearly ‘higher’. Bottom line for me after two visits: I can echo what most others seem to say. Voice isn’t perfect, but when it’s good, it’s *really* good.

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