Alex Brennan-Martin, trained at the prestigious La Varrene culinary arts school in Paris, always wanted to open an elegant bistro where simplicity and serenity ruled.
He realized that dream in 2009 when he opened Bistro Alex in upscale Hotel Sorella on Houston's west side.
The restaurant follows in the footsteps of Brennan's of Houston, where the cuisine is impressive and the service impeccable. It is a nice addition to the Brennan's restaurant dynasty, which started in 1987 in New Orleans with the opening of Commander's Palace. Like others in the "family," Bistro Alex delivers a memorable dining experience.
My son and I were reminded of this earlier today when we stopped in at Bistro Alex for brunch. Our plan was to enjoy a long and leisurely meal, ordering several courses and specialty items, including a couple of the bottomless Mimosas (featured each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
Julia, our server, greeted us with a basket of breakfast breads and a pot of hot coffee; she encouraged us to look at the menus and ask questions if we had any.
Without hesitation, Matt ordered Brennan's Turtle Soup, while I quickly decided on the Gumbo Ya Ya. Both proved to be great starters - palate-pleasing good!
Next, we shared the Five-Tomato Salad and loved the mix of roma, grape, teardrop, cherry and beefsteak tomatoes, animal farm arugula and shaved sweet onion. The dressing - made with 25-year-old balsamic - was simple and terrific.
We probably should have stopped right there and called it a "very good meal," but we didn't. Instead, Matt ordered Bistro Alex's Shrimp and Grits and I ordered the Creole Omelette.
The Shrimp and Grits featured roasted jalapeno andouille grits, blue heron goat cheese and spicy shrimp veloute. Between bites he kept reminding me how good it was! Finally, I took a couple of bites and agreed wholeheartedly!
The Creole Omelette was composed of some of my favorite ingredients, including andouille sausage, tasso ham, grilled onions and manchago. There was just the right amount of each and topped with a three-mustard glaze. Yummy and nutritious!
Afterwards, we really had no room left for dessert, but Julia, our ever-so-helpful server, insisted we indulge ourselves further. She brought out a large portion of the White Chocolate Bread Pudding to tempt us. And, of course, it did!
Matt and I are looking forward to going back to Bistro Alex for brunch soon. We;re getting a multi-generational group of friends together and returning in July - when Sunday Brunch at Bistro Alex will add live jazz to its memorable offerings!
Note: Bistro Alex is located at 800 W. Sam Houston Parkway in CityCentre. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 713-827-3545.