Earlier this week I dined on a delicious five course meal with wine pairings at the brand new Third Coast, formerly Trevisio! Nestled right in the thick of the Texas Medical Center, this restaurant offers doctors, business folks and patients alike a fine dining experience right in the area that they work. Our event started with an introduction from the President of the Texas Medical Center Dr. Robert C. Robbins introduced us to the brand new restaurant Third Coast!
Once we realized we were no longer going to be feasting on the typical Italian meal that was standard at Trevisio, we were eager to hear what was in store for us. They ditched the Italian menu and went for what is described as a “Modern Houstonian Menu” drawing on flavors as diverse as Houston. The Executive Chef Jon Buchanan noted they will be using local resources as much as possible. I for one am a HUGE fan of utilizing local resources, so thumbs up for that!
I was a bit reluctant to attend because of the location. Our Medical Center is beautiful, but with heavy construction in a densely populated area, it is not always the easiest to maneuver. Luckily, Third Coast is in the John P. McGovern building and has it’s own parking garage at the bottom. You just park or valet and take the elevator straight to the top. Once inside I fell in love with decor. Gone are the blue and cream elements from Trevisio. They have replaced it with a beautiful gray decor which seems to be the biggest thing going in interior design. I for one love it. Then there are these large gray and patterned wingback chairs at most of the tables. I LOVED these chairs. I wanted to roll one out and put it in my living room.
I sat down and my eyes went like this O_O when I saw this tasting included five courses! We started out with a Jumbo Lump Crab with avocado, tomato, fuji apple and orange ginger vinaigrette. This was a great light and fresh dish. Next up was the Poke served in a coconut shell, the bowl included ahi tuna, avocado, mango, red onion, green onion, sesame seeds and taro chips. The presentation was amazing to start with and the sweet flavors from the mango blended well with the onion flavors. This was one of the highlights of the night for me.
We then moved to the heavier dishes, starting with the red snapper. The snapper sat on green curry sauce with a side of lemongrass ginger scented rice in a separate container. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish! Much to my delighter, our hosts even included the recipe in our press kit. The chef even told us how he randomly came up with this dish at home and decided to include it on the new menu. Look for this to be one of their signature dishes. Next we had the braised boneless short ribs. This dish unfortunately failed for me. The saffron risotto was great, but the spinach was salty and the short rib a bit too tough for my liking. These are simple fixes though so I would not steer clear of this dish based on this one outing.
If four courses wasn’t enough for you they brought out a dessert trio featuring smaller versions of the apple tart with brown butter ice cream, sticky toffee budding with brandy snap and a strawberry short cake. None of these items are things I would generally pick off a dessert menu, but let me tell you I thoroughly enjoyed all three! Unfortunately, I think the trio was made just for us and these dishes are typically sold separately *sighs*. I will just have to order all three next time and save some for later!
Third Coast has an on staff Sommelier, named David Cook. That told me that they are serious about their wine. Each course was paired with a fabulous wine. I actually enjoyed all of them and had I been at my humble abode, I probably would have finished every glass, but alas I had to drive home! My favorite wine though was the dessert wine a 2014 Jackson-Triggs Reserve Vidal Icewine Niagara Peninsula/Canada. The first course was paired with a Sauvignon Blanc. I am a sucker for a white wine so I definitley enjoyed this one. The second course with the poke included a 2014 Stolpman Carbonic Sangiovese. Our red snapper paired with a pinot noir and then for the short ribs we enjoyed a Cabernet Sauvignon. All great wines quite honestly.
As a parting gift, our hosts gave us each a canned version of their signature cocktail to take home! I love a great parting gift and I am actually drinking it as I write this. The Third Coast cocktail is pretty good and I cannot wait to go back and try it in house.
One of the things the Chef noted while at our table is that, Third Coast IS in the medical center so they often cater to sick patients. For a terminally ill patient, Third Coast may be their last opportunity for a fabulous dining experience. From my conversation with the Chef, I can tell he takes this responsibility very seriously. Although I recognize the role of the Medical Center, I never thought about it in this way. This restaurant has a larger mission than comparator restaurants and I have to say I think they are up to the challenge!