[hrw] Ava Kitchen and Whiskey Bar (Houston, TX)
It’s August in Houston and that means Restaurant Week! Last year a majority of the restaurants pushed their Restaurant Week menus a few weeks which I suppose spawned the new iteration with Houston Restaurant Weeks (now with more s!). As I’ve stated in the post below I’ve made a few reservations at a couple new spots as well as some of my favorites. The first restaurant week menu my friends and I decided to explore was Ava Kitchen and Whiskey Bar in the newly developed West Ave section of Kirby.
We arrived a bit late due to stupid traffic and were starving by the time we got there, a quick visit to the hostess and the 5 of us were seated at a semi awkward red velvet couch in front of the restroom. My tablemates commented about the uncomfortable chairs they sat in. I wasn’t terribly comfortable in the red velvet booth either. We had to ask for the Houston Restaurant Week menus since they decided to distribute their normal menus first. I’m kinda happy they dropped off their normal menu first. The one menu item that piqued my interest was the Roasted Stuffed Squid w/ Shrimp Sausage & Mediterranean Salsa Verde ($12). The Salsa Verde had some nice flavors and the squid was cooked pretty damn well, crisp and not spongy or rubbery. For my Houston Restaurant Week selections, I chose Crisp Ice Berg w/ Gorgonzola Dressing & Coppa Bacon ($9), Bistro Steak & Fries w/ Roasted Cippolinis & Herb Steak Butter ($18), and Dried Cherry Baklava w/ Pistachio & Vanilla Gelato ($8.5). Total had I ordered everything separately? $35.50.
Like all HRW menus and selections I always wonder how much they water down the portions. After watching the waiters bring out my Bistro Steak dish to non HRW members I can genuinely say, there is no dilution of portion size. I looked up pricing after getting home and sitting down to write this post, there’s a definite value for your money. After all was said and done with their included 20% gratuity, it was $115 for the both of us. The price included the two HRW menus, the squid appetizer and a rye julep ($9) from the bar.
At some point during my meal, I grew tired of the Rye Julep, it was simply too sweet and as Amir commented it tasted like a hybrid Margarita/Mojito. I attempted to order a sazerac from my waiter who 1. had no idea what the hell that was and 2. came back telling me they knew what it was, but couldn’t make it. Was I missing the point of the “Whiskey Bar”? Was I wrong to expect some number of whiskey cocktails on their ‘Creative Drinks’ menu? Here’s their specialty drink menu just for fun..
Ava Signature Margarita $13
Herradura Reposado, House Made Red Fresno Chile Nectar & Fresh Citrus Agua
West Ave Red Sangria $8
Seasonal Fruit, Fresh Juices & Orange Liqueur
Susan’s Sangria $9
White Wine, Fresh Grapefruit Juice, Lillett Blanc & Mathilde Pèche Liqueur
RoxoR- politan $12.00
ROXOR Gin & Hibiscus Syrup
Alto’s Island $12
Grey Goose La Poire, Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka & Ginger Ale
Rye Julip $9
Bulleit Rye & Citrus Soda
Paris Texas $12.00
ROXOR gin & lillet blanc / served chilled or martini
Red Lavender $9
Tito’s Vodka, Pama Liqueur, Lavender & Maple
Key Lime Martini $10
Stoli Vanilla, Key Lime Liqueur & Pineapple Juice
Paloma Refinada $10
Cazadores Reposado, Fresh Grapefruit Juice & Grapefruit Soda
Classic Mojito $9
Bacardi Limón, Mint & Soda
ROXOR Gin, Fresh Squeezed TX Grapefruit & Orange Juice
3/5: Maybe they should rename to Ava Bar and Kitchen?