Houston >Food & Dining > Grove
Neighborhoods: Central, Downtown
2 strikes – I can't go to The Grove anymore. Twice now. TWICE - I've witnessed rudeness to the point of hostility from the bar staff.
If you enjoy having to watch your polite happy group of ADULT friends being subjected to a two minute long red-faced, slobbering tirade from a complete stranger, come here. This is how I've seen the staff here behave on two separate occasions.
We arrived here yesterday to quickly toast a friend’s birthday before she was off to her next celebration. Someone in our little group gave her a small box of chocolates. She opened the box and shared. The bartender rushes over screaming unintelligibly about not eating outside food. So were all standing there chewing like a bunch of fools while this belligerent fellow reads us the riot act. Someone in our group apologizes, it sounds sincere enough, but he continues. We finish our bit of candy, hide the empty box and he is still going strong - the guy is working himself into a frenzy. We were here for a total of 25 minutes. It was unreal...
We finally had to shuffle over to a corner to get away from him. Nearly ruined the toast...For all I know he's still raising hell about it.
The time before that it was something similarly as invasive (different bartender didn't like the subject of a conversation he was NOT a party to) and his response equally as asymmetrical and belligerent.
I think the management must be beating these poor employees, they are NOT happy and they seem to want everyone to know it.
If you like being monitored like children and occasionally embarassed beyond words by hostile service workers, come here, bring a date!
Horrible Food! You cannot call this a restaurant – This place would get a 0 star. I dont know how this place even got higher than this. Party of 25 people and 20 people hated the food.
The Grove Burger - Tasteless and no flavor $15, had a better burger at Mcdonalds for $1
NY Strip - Flavorless, rubbery, hard, disgusting steak. Worst steak I have ever had. Had better food in an airplane and these guys have a full kitchen
Filet Mignon - Tasteless, but tender, you cannot call it a steak though.
French Fries is the best thing they got, not bad for $600 bill.
How this place can call them a restaurant is beyond my understanding. STAY AWAY!
Elegant, beautiful views, well prepared food – Located in a 12- acre park and near the Convention Center, Minute Maid Park, and the Toyota Center the elegantly designed dining room has beautiful views of the park.
Service was brisk and efficient. Food was interesting and well prepared; served hot. Roast chicken was a little dry; pork loin and roast pumpkin was delicious. (should count as dessert!) Raspberry cobbler was wonderful.
Parking in and around the park is difficult but I'll definitely be back.
I could not tell – WOW! the only thing they have going for them is the view. The food was horrible. the service was even worse. Our server was "DENNYS" quality.....and stupid me I picked it to have a nice brunch for our 25th Anniversary. The appetizer of meat balls soaked in BBQ sauce and put on a bed of ranch dressing was enought to gag a maget. The entrees were about the same. My glass of "house quality" champagne that cost $16.00 was about the same quality. I can usually find SOMETHING good about any restaruant....but sorry NOT HERE!
Offering Casual Elegance in a Natural Setting – Discovery Green is a 12- acre park that opened in the spring of 2008. It is conveniently placed in close proximity to the George R. Brown Convention Center, Minute Maid Park, and the Toyota Center. The park has quickly become a natural green space in the Houston Downtown arena and offers natural, recreational, art, and dining eco-friendly features.
Passing by the area on any given weekend, one can observe children playing in the park’s water grounds, public art displays, miniature sail boat races on the one-acre lake, and even big screen features for lawn picnickers, perfect for viewing events like the World Cup.
Nestled in the center of all of this green urban space is The Grove, an urban-sheik dining experience that offers a first class seat to all of Discovery Green’s festivities. The restaurant is constructed from glass, wood, and steel and spans a space of 10,000 square feet. The restaurant is one of the most green-friendly restaurants in Houston.
Designed by Larry Speck, the former Dean of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin, The Grove essentially brings the green urban space of Discovery Green inside, embodying an earthy natural ambiance while maintaining the essence of green living and commercialization. With the floor to ceiling glass windows that makes up the majority of the restaurant’s walls, patrons can watch all of Discovery Green’s festivities while enjoying their meal.
Executive Chef Ryan Pera is the inspiration behind the kitchen of The Grove, and his extraordinary culinary experience shines through in all of the dishes on The Grove’s menu. One of the best times to visit the restaurant is during its famed Sunday Brunch. It is when the natural lighting is at its best and is perfect for a front seat to the weekend festivities downtown.
The restaurant offers a variety of creative spirits that set the mood for an urban relaxed lunch. One of the only places in Houston to offer a Clear Spicy Bloody Mary, The Grove has recently added a Banana Margarita to its drink list, which includes herradura silver tequila and coconut crunch, accentuating a fruity kick to brunch.
Start the meal with a fresh basket of hot baked goods such as the Pecan Sticky Bun, Buttermilk Biscuits served with house made strawberry jam, Banana Bread, and Coffee Cake. Sophisticated dishes such as the Locally Salmon Plate combine fresh smoked salmon with capers, argula and crème fraiche and is a perfect beginning to a posh brunch.
For a more hearty breakfast, sample the Meyer Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes, served with maple syrup and sweet cream, and the restaurant’s delicious Brioche French Toast, made with fresh berry compote. Each bite is a reminder of breakfasts past and is infused in unexpected flavor. For a non-traditional dish, order the Shrimp and Grits with Poached egg, garnished with leeks, tomatoes, and bacon.
The mix of soul food with unique twists is amazingly sheik. For those looking for south of the border flavors, try the Skirt Steak & Eggs, served with tomatillo sauce and queso fresco. Combined with the Clear Spicy Bloody Mary or the traditional Mary Mary, the skirt steak truly brings home a taste of the state’s southern neighbor.
Be sure to save room for the restaurant’s wonderful deserts, pictured below. A word of advice –be sure to use the restaurant’s convenient and fast valet parking services when downtown is busy. Parking in and around the park can often be hard, if not impossible, to find, depending on the festivities going on at the time.
Disappointing – Having had an excellent dining experience in this establishment some years back, it was with great excitement that I was able to return yesterday for a business dinner, for which I was hosting.
Sadly however, it is no longer the top rate restaurant it once was. The barman had no knowledge of even the most basic of cocktails, and the waitress, later in our evening, had even less knowledge about anything related to wine. Twice I was corrected on my pronunciation of Rioja, and more than once I was told a particular wine was not available by the glass, when (according to the wine list) it clearly was.
Sadly as the evening came to an end, I overheard two waiters mimicking my guests accents and laughter, which was thoroughly embarrassing.
The food was nothing special, the steak was cold, and the portions pretentiously small, with big prices.
It was a combination of the lack of wine savvy from the staff and the tepid food that has resulted in my decision not to return to this restaurant again.
I would suggest that if the owners of the Grove are going to offer an expensive range of wines, at least take the time to educate staff into which wine best suits which dish.
In its favour, The Grove is clean, spacious, relaxing and welcoming.
The Grove's view and location are its only redeeming qualities; as for the food and service, it was mediocre at best. I ordered the Sunday roast ($19), which consisted of bland, overcooked beef, tasteless mashed potatoes, and eggplant that was mushy and left me wishing it was tasteless, too, because it did not taste good. My wife had the spaghetti and meatballs ($14), and while hers was not objectionable, it was by no means tasty. Our server was surly and unwelcoming to boot. I was tempted to leave no tip but thought that he would think we merely forgot; instead, I left a measly 8%. We will not go back.
Not good at all – Overpriced place to eat with bad service. There are much better options in town. For $48 a head with a glass of wine and a main course I expect a lot better.
It starts with the drinks. "What sparkling wines do you have?". "Mumm California NV Champagne" comes the answer. Not sure about that, so we'll have prosecco instead. We then check the wine list to find out they have Piper Heidseck Champagne...... real Champagne! Why didn't she offer us that? Maybe they're trying to get rid of California sparkling wines tonight?
Next I asked the waitress for bread. She was baffled with that. "Just bread with some olive oil" I say. Confused at this, she bought burnt buttered toast.....with olive oil. When asked again if she could bring ordinary bread she wondered if this was possible without apparently knowing that toast is....well.... toasted bread! And the concept of dipping it in olive oil..... "really, you're going to put it in olive oil..... really?".... apparently not knowing that the whole of southern Europe does it this way. Why on earth is a supposedly top restaurant serving buttered toast anyway? I expect that for breakfast with jelly! And if it were my kitchen I would throw away the burnt bits too!
Anyway then I ordered halibut and this comes with "BABY LEEKS + ASPARAGUS + FAVA BEANS + SAFFRON" to quote the menu. So, I ordered mashed potatoes to go with it. The dish arrives and the halibut is sitting atop a huge pile of roasted potatoes. In fact, 50% of the meal is potatoes. Of course, she also delivered an equally robust pile of mashed potatoes, so now my $35 meal consists 80% of potatoes! Why didn't she tell me when I ordered the mashed potatoes that I wouldn't need them? My guess is that maybe it's because she's not a very good waitress and doesn't have much in the way of thinking ability???
For dessert, I can't comment, it might have been wonderful, but I'll never know as I was brim full with potatoes by that stage!
Concluding, the view from the restaurant is, in fact, crappy, the food is mediocre, and the service is inept. Thus, I don't recommend it.
By the way, the HickChick reviewer below had skewered vegetables which she notes were pretty disappointing. However, she doesn't mention that these are $19. Who on earth charges $19 for vegetables and couscous? What a rip-off!
Overrated – I went in to see what they offered, I asked for a to go menu the "boss" did not want to give me one I asked again & they said I would have to go up to her when I did she said I should go ask the hostess never being there I did not know where to go.When I finally received a to go menu it was printed on a Simple piece of paper the menu is not impressive at all. I wanted to see if they had healthy options it was plain & overpriced. I guess you get treated right if your white.
All we needed was a hammock – We went on a Sunday after church. I love Oak Trees, and have been wanting to check this place out.
The open concept and huge windows make you feel like you are sitting outside. The server (Roark) understood that we may want to actually enjoy our drinks (bottomless mimosas) and take our time before placing our order. He didn't hover, but was always there when we needed something.
I had the burger and my boyfriend had the tacos. Both were equally great, but we were partial to each other's dishes. I really loved the tacos, they were so fresh and light. I like the fact that they support local farmers and organic, fresh foods.
I want to go back when the upstairs deck is open and check out the "tree house" and view.
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