The place I'm going on about is Etoile Cuisine et Bar, located in Uptown Park, billing themselves as purveyors of fresh, authentic French Cuisine. However, I did not partake of any Coq au Vin. Escargot, or Ratatouille, nor did I enjoy any Nouveau Cuisine for a repast. Nope. I came here for the burger that several of my fellow burger buffs said like Barney Stinson is Legen-Wait for it-Dary!!!
First a little info about Etoile per their website:
The owners of Etoile, Chef Philippe Verpiand and Monica Bui, have created an inviting, warm European environment where fine French food is front and center. ”We want to dispel the notion that French food is heavy and pretentious,” says the team, recently transplanted to Houston from San Diego, where they owned the famed Cavaillon restaurant. Everything about Etoile, from the inviting outside facade to the intriguing interior design to the high quality service, is meant to convey a feeling of truly being in France. With Chef Philippe’s take on a seasonal menu using a French technique, it’s a place where fine food lovers come together, not on a special occasion, but to enjoy every day.
This burger is fairly simple--house ground beef using two different cuts of meat (I know this because Chef Philippe came by the bar and told me so), served on a house baked Brioche bun, with a generous amount of melted Gruyère cheese above the patty, and tomato confit/mixed greens below it. The frites were served in what resembled a small kettle on the side with a mild horseradish mayonnaise--NO CATSUP!!! After sizing up this 8 oz burger, snapping a few photos and tweeting a pic to an impatient person who didn't see the burger when I first said "Burger Friday" (just kidding, Chuck!), I took a first bite and chewed, slowly. The meat was buttery, a bit salty, a true medium (hot pink centre), had a decent amount of ooze, but was well contained within the Brioche bun. The cheese was salty, creamy, had a slight bitter aftertaste (as I usually get with a Gruyère) and worked in contrast with the meat. The tomato confit was fresh, a little sour and the greens were crisp. The whole thing worked together like a well rehearsed symphony. A true French take on the American Classic and definitely worth the traffic fight to Uptown Park from Westchase. The frites were good, but really, this burger would have been just fine without them. I did like the horseradish mayonnaise, and I loved the fact that the meat was ground in-house, and the bun was baked in house. Some places claim to have a Brioche bun but it comes out more like Challah bread, which is still good, but is less dense and has a very different texture. This was the genuine article and held the burger together well from start to finish.
Report Card for Etoile Cuisine et Bar:
|BEEERRR!!! ERRR... I mean BIÈRE!!!|
8 oz House Burger: A+
Crispy Frites: A-
Atmosphere (See Above): A
Dining Area: A+
Kitchen: Incomplete (Did not see)
Men's Restroom: Incomplete
Overall Grade: A+
Etoile Cusine et Bar is located at:
1101 Uptown Park Blvd
Houston, TX 77056
Open 7 Days a week
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, 5:00–10:00 PM
Eat Happy, Y'all!!!
Manger Heureux Vous