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HRW: Haven (Houston, TX)

502 Algerian Way
Houston, Texas 77098
(713) 581-6101
www.HavenHouston.com

082010 — Haven is one of those restaurants that hasn’t disappointed me in the few times I’ve ventured through their doors. Although it’s never on the top of my list as places to go, it is a place that I need to frequent a bit more often. The menu for Houston Restaurant week definitely confirmed that notion. My reservation was for 8 people at 845pm on a busy Friday night, while we did arrive at 845pm, we weren’t seated due to squatters at the tables, but that didn’t keep us all from being social with each other. What bugs me about haven is the lack of self parking since I don’t want a damn person driving my car after getting my fresh wheels on. I opted to park over by Cafe Japon and hope that no one shady decides to target my car. In any case, as we were shown to our table I was reminded of how loud the place can get, but I was also reminded how gorgeous it was inside, nice and simple decor.

We sat down and were quickly greeted with a warm smile and the magic question, “Can I get anyone some cocktails?”. I quickly snapped off a reply of “Campari and Soda please!”. We looked over the menu and most of us at the table decided on similar items. I ordered Jumbo Lump Crab Cake (w/ Squash Blossom Sauce, Charred Corn Relish), Akaushi Steak (w/ New Potatoes, 1015 Onion, Leeks, Mushrooms, Red Wine Demi), and Coconut Tres Leches Bread Pudding (w/Dulce de Leche Sauce, Meringue, Toasted Coconut). Other dishes that came to the table included Shrimp Corn Dogs (w/ Lemonade, Tabasco Mash Rémoulade), Free Range Chicken (w/ Bacon Spaetzle, Crispy 1015 Tabasco Crispy Onions), Wild Head-On Shrimp (w/ Shrimp Demi, Bacon, Creminis, Onions, Crescenza Grits), Ambrosia (w/ Blackberries, Peaches, Blueberries, Lemon Curd, Pecans, Coconut, Peach Sorbet, Fresh Mint), and Chocolate Tart (w/ Chocolate Flourless Cake, Short Dough, Chocolate Mousse, White Chocolate). I’ve previously had the shrimp corndogs and loved them, but wanted to try out a different option and I’m happy I did, the crab cake was easily one of the best I’ve had since Vic and Anthony’s iteration a few weeks ago. This year I also went with the Akaushi prepared rareplus. Another stand out favorite was the shrimp and grits. The big fumble came at the end when dessert arrived, I remembered the tres leches bread pudding having a much better texture and consistency last year, the other desserts weren’t anything great either, they looked rather dull and sad.

Even with the fumble in the dessert, the appetizer and main course coupled with the handful of campari and soda’s and great friends made Haven a great meal, everyone shared the same idea as well. Definitely a place I need to frequent more often.

4/5: Another great meal for a great cause.

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