Houston >Food & Dining > Grove
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Central
Very so so food – First visit to this place for lunch. Loved the setting and can see how attractive it will be in the spring and summer. Food was very mediocre, however. Had the soup (tomato parmesean) which was not very hot and not good enough to have more than a few bites.
Main course was the "roasted vegetable skewers", which were a huge disappointment. First, they came slather in a sauce that made for a generally unappealing presentation. You also could taste nothing but the sauce. I sent it back. The next round had the sauce on the side, which made for a more attracive plate overall, but the "vegetables" consisted of potaoes, lots of onions, and a lone slice of yellow squash on each of the two skewers....hardly the grilled vegetables I was envisioning.
Will probably go back there for drinks on a pretty day but doubt I will eat there again.
Better than expected – From the reviews I have read here and other online websites, I have been reluctant to try this unique spot. I don't know of another restaurant in town where reviews vary so greatly. Finally bit the bullet and gave it a try. First off, what a great atmosphere. I was surprised at how small the actual dining room is. It's small, but very comfortable. Nice sized tables, with plenty of room. We started with the picnic platter, which had some great house cured meats, and the pate was excellent. We also tried the deviled eggs, and while the chorizo they garnished with was great, the eggs themselves were so so. They were good enough, but something was missing. Next was the tuna and oxtail small plate. This was truly a great dish. The tuna was done perfectly, and the beefy tender oxtail really went well. I would go back just for that dish. Before dinner, we had drinks at the bar, and here is where the service was curious. It wasn't bad. Drink orders were taken quickly and made well, but there was ZERO personality from either of the men tending bar. That's when I noticed something. Almost everyone there was an obvious conventioneer/conference attender. I may be wrong, but I think that's why locals feel the service is off at this place. The vast majority of the customers are one-timers on an expense account that the staff will most likely never see again. The same could be said with table service. It was adequate; punctual, attentive enough, orders were correct. There was just no personality. Don't get me wrong. I don't want my server hanging around, boring me with small talk. I don't really want any talk at all. Just be personable and don't act like you hate life quite so much. We also had two bottles of wine with dinner. Both a 2007 Amancaya blend that retails for around 16 that they mark up to 40. Not a horrible wine list, but it ain't great. Really heavy on 60 dollar retail bottles they are selling for 150. No restaurant in town beats Ibiza for wine lists and prices. Over all, we liked it. We'll try it again. You can't find a place in town that has a better view, with Discovery Green just outside the window. When the weather is right, it'll make you feel like Houston as a city finally is getting some things right.
Really good – I got the Grove Cheese Burger cooked medium rare. It was juicy as can be and came with big thick cut bacon, chiles, and avocado on it. It turned a little messy but there was a good flavor to it. The menu changes possibly seasonally and I've found some better things on it, but the cheeseburger's not bad.
Events Coordinator is Aweful - Food Mediocre – I am an event planner who formerly worked as the catering and events manager at a fine dining restaurant in the Galleria.
On the request of my client I booked a private event in the primavera room.
I have hear from others that they were not very impressed with the food so I was hesitant to have such an important dinner with them.
From the moment I called to plan the event the Events Manager Ivonne was always rushed and did not try work with me on the menu but I accepted that and moved on because my client wanted to do the event with them. We arrived and the room looked lovely and the service staff was excellent. However, that is where anything I have good to say stops.
The salad soup combo was mediocre and served on a small plate and the presentation was nothing to write home about. We served the choice of a fish or filet to our guests. Another events coordinator ordered the fish and I ordered the steak. She said her fish was aweful and my steak as well as everyones at our table was severly undercooked. I personally did not want to complain because I did not want to cause a scene at such an intimate dinner but I was higly embarassed. I just had a few bites and left it.
The only good thing about the dinner was the chocolate cake for dessert.
The next morning my other event coordinator was so sick she was in the bathroom half the day. The other meting planner was so sick she threw up.
We had a 12 hour conference that day so I was too busy to even call and talk to anyone.
However, after working an event the last two days and barely getting any sleep I returned to the office to check my e-mails this morning and recieve a bill from the restaurant as we were having it direct billed to our account. I decided to call Ivonne, the events coordintor and she was very defensive and told me that she was in the kitchen watching them plate the food.
I have worked in this industry for 12 years and have experience as a Restaurant Events Manager and if I had been at the restarant i would have greeted my client and not just stayed in the kitchen
She did not seem to care that several people were ill and proceeded to tell me that the restaurant does not have a general manager and that they had 300 people in for lunch and everyone was too busy to talk to me.
I have never had to write a bad review before but I feel that this is an instance where it was very necessary.
If you like dealing with rude events coordintors who apparenlty don't care abour repeat business or your guests - take them here!
So-So – Certainly a place I will not patronize again. Shrimp Brochette was poorly presented and tasted very fishy. Very small portions (3 medium sized shrimp).
Took way too long for a business lunch – I was really disappointed in my experience at lunch today at the Grove. Our food order (table of 4) took an eternity to come out. We walked over our from office at One Houston Center and needed to get back to work. We spent a total of 2 hours in the restaurant. If you're serving a nice dinner, a 2 hour meal is fine, but if you're serving a business lunch, you've got to speed things up. I cannot afford to spend so much time at lunch, and neither can most people who stop by during their workday. I won't be going back for lunch.
Lovely Place, Great Food – Five discerning diners had a Sunday night dinner at The Grove and found it exceptional. The food was uniformly delicious, the service was flawless, our waiter (Wayne) was helpful and courteous, and the ambience was lovely in a minimalist, very inviting room with a smashing view of the park and Discovery Green.
The wine list was lengthy and reasonable, while the individual dishes were creative and well received, including starters of Gulf Shrimp, Arugula Salad, Tomato and Eggplant Soup, and main courses of Cornish Hen, Alaskan Halibut, and Grilled Skirt Steak.
The starters and soup arrived in very short order and were piping hot. The main courses were served in good time and were all superb. My halibut was cooked to perfection, meaning tender, moist, slightly flaky, and with a bit of crust, served on top of baby leeks, roasted potatoes, and garnished with clams. A tasty piperade sauce was on the bottom of the dish in just the right amount.
We five shared three desserts, including Goat's Milk Flan,a Peach Crostada dish with yogurt on the side, and a Chocolate Cake. The desserts matched the main courses in variety and irresistability.
We found nothing in this restaurant that wasn't beautifully cooked and served with care. The priciest entree was the Halibut at $28, but salads and soups were $9 and $7; the total bill for five of us, including a generous tip was $47 a person. Not bad for some really fine dining in lovely surroundings.
Very nice but still a chill place – I went to The Treehouse for a first date and the ambience was perfect. Whether you sit inside Grove or at the rooftop bar, you will have a good view of the park. The design of the place is perfect - trendy but not snobby and very comfortable for eating or socializing. The specialty drinks were delicious and they had my favorite whiskey, which most bars don't stock. I will definitely go back to try some of the food because it looked delicious! I am already planning to have my next Girls Day Out there! Oh, and an extra bonus, the bartenders were very nice and quite attractive too. ;)
nice view of downtown – Me and my g/f went there for a Valentine dinner. Despite other bad reviews, we got our table right away even though we arrived 30 min early than our reservation time ( however it was raining cats and dogs before we got there) . The staff were friendly and nice. The food were not exceptional but above average.We had fillet mignon and Colorado lamb sirloin. We enjoyed our dinner. The roof deck view was great and the restaurant is very closed to Minute Maid park and Toyota Center. This place is idea if you want to have couple drinks before or after going to ball game. I would go back again....
Everybody needs to relax a little bit and not take themselves so seriously! The Grove is a beautiful space and I know, for a fact, that their staff works very hard to please people they can not make happy! I went to lunch here with my girlfriends and I enjoyed our sandwich and salad choices. We had very decent cocktails. Now, I could FREAK OUT that we had to sit in the bar area b/c there was no table for us in the dining room, but what's the big deal?? SO, what? I still had a great time catching up with my friends. Take a chill pill Houston. This ain't NYC!
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