Lucille’s, a locally-owned restaurant specializing in well-refined Southern cuisine with infusions of international techniques and flavors, recently launched a brand new menu in honor of its fourth birthday. Last night, Lucille’s launched a preview of the new menu to 30 hangry Houston Food Blogger Collective (HFBC) members. I’m here to tell you that Executive Chef/Owner, Chris Williams, and Chef de Cuisine, Khang Hoang’s hearty and heavenly menu is pure perfection.
Before I get into Lucille’s new menu, let me start by sharing a few reasons why I have, and always will love this place.
- It’s centrally located. Which translates to “It’s close to my job.”
- Their extensive wine list, and bomb ass boozy bourbon cocktails (need I say more?)
- GRITS. GRITS. – did I say grits? Ya’ll these grits are like none other. They’re sent from the “Grits Gods,” If I’m not mistaken.
- FREE PARKING. When free parking is as rare as a sighting of a “chupacabra,” one must make note.
- Chef/Owner, Chris Williams is mad dope, and über personable. He makes the place. If you see him in the kitchen, be sure to slow down service by interrupting him and requesting a photo. (don’t!)
If my “I love Lucille’s” list doesn’t get you in the door, maybe these food porn pics from our private dinner will. We started the evening with a champagne toast to Lucille’s, friendship and peace on earth. Actually, we just chugged it, slammed our glasses down on the table and beckoned to the waitstaff to start service.
HFBC members were served as groups of four, though for some reason I didn’t get to try the Saigon Shrimp. Probably because my group of four consisted of greedy bloggers who can’t count. I was left to sit idly by while they sucked “skrimp” heads and licked their fingers. Jerks.
The Southern Hummus & Roots were served alongside the Saigon Shrimp. My picture wasn’t that great nor did I taste any (same reason as above), so let’s skip that and get to my favorite dish of the evening. Not sure If I mentioned the grits previously, but they are “slap yo’ mama good”.. and by “yo’ mama ” I mean your mom…
“Not that I’ve ever thought of being a shrimp, but if I had to be a shrimp, I would want to be a Lucille’s Shrimp & Grits, shrimp.” – Gristle&Gossip
Lucille’s Stone Mill grits are hearty, but melt away in your mouth like butta. In my opinion the sherry tomato broth should be served by the glass during Sunday brunch. The gulf shrimp were massive and succulent.
Though, being a shrimp rarley crosses my mind, if I had to be a shrimp, I would want to be a Lucille’s Shrimp & Grits, shrimp. Then I ate some from the adjoining tables bowl while they weren’t looking. They owed me!
Following the parade of Shrimp & Grits, I really didn’t care what else came out of the kitchen. Then the pièce de résistance showed up, and I was back in the game. A couple years ago while vacationing in Temecula, California, I visited this contemporary gastropub named Public House. I thought they had the best bone marrow until I sunk my teeth into the fatty, gelatinous bone marrow at Lucille’s. The Bone Marrow is topped with oxtail marmalade and candied orange peel gremolata. It was killer. There’s nothing like a huge bone… am I right ladies??
Our evening ended with a couple more plates and signature cocktails. The Hanger Steak topped with lightly fried gulf oysters, broccolini, smashed fingerlings and an oyster aioli was a perfectly cooked crowd pleaser. Followed by the Miso Quail, which was also a table favorite. Seems like I never realized how small quails were. Their tiny wing made our hands look huge.
The larger than life Rabbit Confit restored our hands back to their normal size. Who knew rabbits were so large? I remember eating rabbit as a child growing up in Arkansas, but maybe my uncle was feeding us squirrels. The whole table was shocked by Mr. Bunny’s meaty thighs. My partner in crime Erika (Black Girls Who Brunch) killed the poor animal all over again while attempting to cut and serve it. Tiny slivers of juicy, well seasoned bunny meat dipped in duck fat gravy was all we got. Thanks Erika!
Lastly, as a self proclaimed cocktail connoisseur I must tell you about the new cocktails that are the perfect accompaniment to any meal. The El Tigré was my favorite. It reminded me of a spicy Bloody Mary, but with tequila as the base instead of Vodka. Guests couldn’t get enough of that peppery speckled rim.
The Aftershift is for all my brown liquor buffs, yea I’m looking at you Erin (MsIndependent)! A smooth, boozy concoction of Bulleit bourbon, cinzano, turbinado, aztec choco and orange bitters. We also sipped and savored (via skinny stir straws) Lucille’s Garden Cocktail. A light and floral mix of Bombay Sapphire, basil-cucumber syrup, dry vermouth, lime, lavender bitter and herbsaint rinse. Here, at Gristle & Gossip we do not drink gin, and had no idea until I was slightly inebriated that I had in fact drank all the gin, from our tables community cup. The gin is what led me to stay and finish the remaining cocktails. That’s me below.. doing it.
Tuesday – Friday
11 am – 10
Brunch 10am – 3 pm Dinner 4pm – 10pm
10 am – 3 pm
5512 La Branch St
Houston, Texas 77004
Though, it seems like I’ve told you everything you need to know, stop in to try all of these delicious bites and beverages that I have so vividly described. Chef Williams will be so happy to see you, he may even *smile or *wave if you’re lucky.