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From veteran Houston restauranteurs Monique and Georges Guy, creators of Bistro Provence, Bistro Don Camillo, Café la Brocante, and Bistro des Arts, comes Montrose’s newest date night establishment, Georges Bistro. Serving traditional cuisine from the French countryside in a space that formerly housed the much acclaimed nose-to-tail restaurant Feast, Georges Bistro certainly had big shoes to fill. Within just a few weeks of opening, however, it was doing so very admirably with rave reviews and accolades, most recently from Zagat which listed the Bistro as one of the 10 Hottest New Restaurants in Houston.

The building’s elegant dark wood paneling remains, but the interior now boasts sunny yellow accents that evoke spring no matter what the temperature is outside. Festive tablescapes make every dinner seem like a special celebration as well as assure you that although you’re having haute cuisine, it’s okay to laugh loudly and mispronounce the name of your food.

Classic (if not somewhat pedestrian) starter options such as soupe à l’oignons gratinée (French onion soup if you ne parles pas francais) and escargots à la bourguignonne pâté….but ordering those dishes at Georges is like spending all your time at an art museum looking at pencil sketches by Monet rather than his watercolors. Instead spend your time one bolder, more the skill-intensive appetizers such as the medaillon de foie gras maison, a staggering and sumptuous terrine of red onion confit and foie gras laced with balsamic vinegar.

The same rule applies to the entrée selection. Not that the cassoulet or chicken breast dressed in raspberry sauce won’t leave you scraping your plate and requesting more house-made bread to sop up the scant remaining juices, but it’s the magret de canard aux confit orange, a tender roast duck breast whose fatty, game flavor is wonderfully balanced with citrus brown sauce. Better yet: just listen to the Georges himself and ask for the “Chef’s Favorite,” a “quenelle” of red snapper stewed in a cream lobster sauce.

Tackling three courses of rich food at Georges Bistro, where portions are less persnickety than at other restaurants of equal price points, is difficult, so sweets are best shared. The Bistro offers a refreshing spin on crème brulée the traditional buttery vanilla taste of which is transformed via the addition of honey and lavender. Headier (and potentially intoxicating) is the baba au rhum, a moist sponge cake smothered in rum syrup with cream and seasonal berries. For the indecisive (or those above-average sized gullets), the café gourmand (3 mini desserts and espresso) is provides variety and sufficient sugar and caffeine to hoist yourself up from the table.

Georges Bistro
219 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77025

Joanna O'Leary

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