PaperCity Magazine

December 2018- Houston

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96 THE NEXT BIG THING BY LAURANN CLARIDGE INDIANOLA I ndianola was named for the town on Matagorda Bay that welcomed German immigrants into Texas. The moniker represents the varied cultural backgrounds of the owners and their chef, whose families emigrated to America from lands scattered across the globe. This influence translates to the plate, where ingredients and dishes are woven from cultures that make up the culinary fabric of this country. In the 3,000-square-foot space, roomy petal-pink banquettes contrast with navy-blue walls and rose- gold modern lighting (created in concert with PDR Group). Nearly every table grants a bird's-eye view into the open kitchen where Paul Lewis and his chefs take on breakfast, lunch, and dinner continuously all day, seven days a week. Reserving a seat for dinner service, I meandered through a menu that started with small plates of charred carrots with crispy quinoa dressed with green goddess dressing, and a garden salad with watercress and gem lettuce toasted with queso fresco, hazelnuts, and a lemon olive oil vinaigrette ($8 each). Larger plates include the wood-grilled half chicken with Spanish rice studded with S ometimes restaurant-and-bar concepts evolve when the right space, the right operators, and the right investors converge at exactly the right time. This might explain how Agricole Hospitality partners Ryan Pera, Morgan Weber, and Vincent Huynh conjured their latest trio of concepts in an old 14,000-square-foot former electrical warehouse East of Downtown. The operators of popular Heights concepts Revival Market and Coltivare (among others) realized the burgeoning EaDo neighborhood was attracting new restaurants, clubs, and urban dwellers. Something about this dilapidated space spoke to them, but they weren't quite sure what to make of it initially. Then it hit them. Thinking like the hotel chef he once was, Ryan Pera enlisted his former colleague and friend, chef Paul Lewis, whom he'd met at Four Seasons Houston, to join the team and run what would evolve into three concepts with shared kitchen spaces, managed with the efficiency and cost effectiveness of a well-run hotel. Inspired to bring their interpretation of the evolution of American food and drink downtown, they opened Indianola, a 100-seat breakfast, lunch, and dinner restaurant; Vinny's, a small pizza joint next door; and Miss Carousel, a cocktail lounge offering small bites — all under the same roof. olives, chiles, and peas ($22). What arrives is essentially a bird that's been spatchcocked, fully deboned, and grilled, making each cut from white to dark as easy to consume as a chicken breast, but with a flavor punch no ordinary cutlet could ever yield. Big spenders might want to treat their table to the 60-ounce Wagyu rib eye, a coal-roasted cut served with sauce au poivre and a vivid green, robust chimichurri emulsion ($155). Other choices include pan-roasted lamb loin ($27), ricotta gnudi ($18), and a vegetarian wood-grilled cauliflower option ($18). Desserts, created by pastry chef Natasha Douglas, are the composed variety you might find in a hotel setting, while the homemade bread service ($6) and pizza dough next door is crafted by baker John Weatherly. Passion fruit pot de crème JULIE SOEFER PHOTOGRAPHY FOR VINNY'S, MISS CAROUSEL, AND INDIANOLA. Dark chocolate semifreddo Grilled broccolini

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