Those are the two words that I definitely did not expect to speak after dining at Rainbow Lodge. Of course I went in with such high hopes after reading review after review of how great Randy Rucker was with his experimental take on foods.
Perhaps we caught him on an off night...
We ordered the tasting menu which started off well enough with a canape service where out of the three i can only recall the venison tartar being ok, while cooked oyster was quite tasty. from there the quality of food seemed to go down.. we started with a yellowtail served room temperature sashimi style cut in an awkward pieces that included the skin and was extremely chewy, i opted not to eat the last piece.
the next course was 'fried chicken with three mustards'.. interesting to have chicken as a course. it was pretty a small piece of chicken breast that was coated in batter and fried, then cut in half and put with a purple mustard, mustard seed, and a mustard foam. not innovative and not very flavorful, unless you doused it in the mustard. the worst part was that the fried part was not at all combining with the chicken at all and fell off.. it got soggy because of the preparation and the mustard around it.
after about a 20 minute wait for the next course, yes you read that correctly. an exhorbant amount of time between courses was the least of our problems. if only the food had been executed well...
third course was a lamb sweatbreads with califlower puree.. good texture but extremely overly salty. it was licking a salt lick. the califlower puree could not tone down the saltiness of this dish. Also this dish was replacing a pork belly dish that was listed on the menu (but we were never informed of this change), we were a bit upset since this was really the main dish we had wanted to try from the tasting menu. The GM did come out to apologize and somehow found two pieces in the kitchen for them to whip up for us to try. This ended up being the best dish of the entire meal.
Our fourth course was a quail with roasted beats. simple, no fuss dish with nothing i haven't tried before. And lastly, the dessert, which came as a complete afterthought a bowl of corn flakes and bacon raisins over some whipped creme over syrup. it was a bizzare end to a very bizzare meal.
Rainbow Lodge seems to be a Houston staple, full of regulars, perhaps we should have stuck to the regular menu of game-y meat dishes. I've also heard great things about the brunch. So maybe we did order the wrong thing.. but when there's a notable chef, you'd think the tasting menu would be the best thing on the menu.
2011 Ella Blvd
Houston, TX 77008