The Lexington Grill
2005 Lexington Street
Houston, TX 77098
Houston Restaurant Weeks 2015 is here! What a wonderful time of year. Getting to visit amazing restaurants for a fraction of normal cost, all while helping the Houston Food Bank? As HRW calls it: it’s a win-win-win. I’m glad it only lasts five weeks, or else I’d be broke and fat all year. Seriously though, last year HRW donated $1.6 million to the Houston Food Bank which equates to 4,800,486 meals! And this year there are over 200 restaurants participating, spread out all the way from League City to The Woodlands. You can view restaurants on the Houston Restaurant Weeks website based on location, cuisine, or meal type (brunch, lunch, dinner). I did some searching last week and made a “potentials” list based on their location and menu choices. I’ll be visiting one per week and reporting back here, so make sure to check back on Thursdays before your weekend outings.
First on my list is The Lexington Grill, a little unknown gem just 0.3 miles from my house. It’s is on a neighborhood street that I often pass by but never drive down. It’s a modest little place that used to be a family home, and it has apparently been open for 38 years! There website describes them as “the best restaurant that you have NEVER heard about… and that’s just how we like it!” I’m sure they won’t mind if my little blog sings their praises in this tiny little corner of the internet…
Pulling up to a restaurant with complementary valet is always a nice first impression. I walked past a cute little patio with a beautiful pergola with tons of greenery on my way in. The place is dimly lit, except for the lights over the tables, and it’s dark wooden walls, squeaky wooden floors and low ceilings make it feel sort of cozy. The restaurant is quite small and seemed to have about 15 tables set up on this Tuesday night. The gentleman that greeted me gave me a few options for where to sit as there were only four occupied tables when I arrived. I chose a table in the back, deciding it would quieter than sitting close to the lively bunch at the front.
Each white clothed table holds a single rose, meticulously folded napkins and place settings. I was offered a black napkin because of my black dress, which I always appreciate. I shared the back room with another couple at one of the four tables. It was awkwardly quiet. Luckily, they were getting their check.
The wine list is very reasonably priced, but only listed bottles and half bottles. I inquired as to wines by the glass, and they did have an option for a couple reds and whites. I took a peek at their regular menu, and while there were certainly things on it I’d like to try, the Houston Restaurant Weeks menu offered some my personal picks. My server was knowledgeable about the dishes and helped me make up my mind between two. I turned down the bread and oil… y’all know I can’t resist it when it’s sitting right in front of me. After ordering, I enjoyed my wine, hearing laughter and conversations from the lively table in the front. Sound travels in this place.
First course was the Lexington House Salad with baby greens, cherry tomatoes, honey roasted walnuts, glazed pears, and [hold the] goat cheese. (I grew up with that dietary restriction and can’t get past it. Don’t judge me.) The salad may have been a little overdressed with the house-made honey mustard, but I didn’t mind because the dressing was that good. The three chunks of pear were firm but ripe enough. And, of course, the honey roasted walnuts were my favorite. I’m certain that the HRW portion is smaller than that of the salad on the regular menu, which is fine because I really could have had a lot more of it and been full before my entree.
I chose the Snapper Evangeline for my entree. My server was very proud of how fresh their fish was and seemed happy about my choice (though come to think of it, she seemed happy about all of my choices). It was served topped with two artichoke hearts and a lemon white wine sauce with capers, sweet carrots and a rounded scoop of mashed potatoes. I was worried the sauce might make the dish too “heavy” but I was wrong, as it just enhanced the fresh snapper with it’s light lemony, buttery flavor. The carrots were slightly sweet (from brown sugar) and flavored with secret herbs. And I don’t normally eat mashed potatoes, but these were perfect enough to finish my plate off with potatoes as my last bite.
As you must know, I prefer desserts of the gluten-free and naturally sweetened variety, but seeing as those aren’t very common at restaurants (YET), I opted for the Key Lime Pie. The crust was a little more buttery than crusty, but the pie was smooth and creamy and not overly sweet or limey. The fresh berries on the side were a nice touch. The few extra sips of wine that my server offered me to go with my dessert were an EXTRA nice touch, which I enjoyed overhearing a conversation about how one woman does NOT want kids.
Apparently there are some renovations being done, therefore the speakers in the back of the restaurant which would normally be playing music were not. If you visit them soon, be sure to ask for a table under a working speaker for a little more mood.
I thoroughly enjoyed every bite of food from this experience. My server was attentive, friendly, and knowledgeable about not only the food but the restaurant itself. This secret neighborhood treasure seems to be spot for regulars, lovers, and dinner with friends. I will be going back.