PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston October 2021

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SHARE THE LOVE T his fall is the perfect t i m e t o e x p l o re Levy Park — Upper Kirby District's lush, manicured green space that's nearly hidden from view behind the commercial and residential buildings lining Richmond Avenue. The six-acre pocket park, surrounded by live oaks and groves, hosts a dog park, community garden, children's water feature, concert stage, and programmed activities ranging from wellness classes (Tai Chi, Zumba) to table tennis tournaments. But it's also the Houston home of three casual restaurant concepts from celebrity chef Tim Love: Woodshed Smokehouse, Love Shack, and Side Dough. A native of Denton, this totally Texan restaurateur is the creator of the famed Lonesome Dove Western Bistro and oversees an empire of 15 eateries By Laurann Claridge. Photography Shawn Chippendale. that span from his hometown to Fort Worth, Austin, Dallas, and Knoxville, Tennessee. The concepts were unveiled just five days before the pandemic shuttered restaurants citywide, but Love made great use of the downtime by digging deeper into his Woodshed Smokehouse concept — the largest of Houston's three — to conjure a dry-aged meat program. Working with steak purveyors Halperns', he begins with choice cuts and dry-ages them for a minimum of 28 days to coax out the moisture and build a complexity of flavor before each is gently smoked in Woodshed's imposing custom-made vertical smokers that surround each cut with the aroma of slow-burning hickory, oak, pecan, or mesquite woods. An homage to all things wood-fired, roasted, grilled, braised, slow-cooked, and simmered, the large, compelling menu pulls from culinary influences across Texas. The day I stopped by, I ordered the sausage of the day — an excellent rattlesnake- and-rabbit concoction (market price) served with whole-grained mustard, camp bread (a grilled flatbread), and homemade pickles, as well as the brisket bahn mi sandwich, a Vietnamese classic that I ordered with lamb brisket in lieu of pork ($15). Of course, the signature dry-aged barbecue includes sliced brisket (lean or fatty cut, $9 for three ounces) and a mighty whole beef rib rubbed with ancho chile seasoning and accompanied by a demi- glaze spiked barbecue sauce enriched with house-made bone broth. And, speaking of bones, your four-legged friends can join you on the patio and order from the puppy menu. Woodshed Smokehouse, 3728 346.718.6110,; located in Levy Park. Tim Love EMILY BROCKMANN 78

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