First Look at Dish Society: Casual Farm-to-Table Dining
Texas (especially the Houston region) is blessed with a multitude of produce farms, breweries, meat producers and dairy farms. While it is common for Houston restaurants to showcase a few local producers' products in menu items, there aren't many restaurants that are solely farm-to-table. And that's why restaurateur Aaron Lyons decided to create Dish Society.
Photos by Molly Dunn Every meal served at Dish Society features ingredients from local producers.
Dish Society was a concept Lyons developed while attending graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin. He originally planned to open Dish Society in Austin, but decided to bring his concept to Houston after finding "greater demand and opportunity" here for his farm-to-table restaurant, according to Dish Society's website.
Each item on the menu features ingredients sourced from local producers throughout the state, including Atkinson Farms in Spring, Houston Dairymaids, Slow Dough Bread Co., and Texas Hill Country Olive Company in Dripping Springs. Most of the menu items list the source of the ingredients in the dish's description, and at the bottom of each menu you will find a complete list of sources.
After driving by this casual Galleria-area restaurant multiple times, I finally decided to see what it was all about (especially because there seemed to be a lot of people inside the restaurant and outside on the patio at all hours of the day).
Yes, that is exactly like Sonic ice.
Dish Society is located underneath Gables Tanglewood, a new apartment complex on San Felipe. It's a contemporary-style restaurant with tall windows, modern tables, bright lights, vibrant-yellow seat cushions and wood-paneled walls. If you don't want to sit at a dining table (inside or outside), you can order your food to go, sit at the bar and enjoy a beer from Karbach, Saint Arnold or Buffalo Bayou, or a coffee from Greenway Coffee & Tea.
The drink menu includes a variety of juices, house elixirs, coffees and craft beer sourced from Texas, but the wine menu features red, white and sparkling wines by the glass or bottle from around the world, rather than solely Texas wineries. I have enjoyed craft beers from Karbach and Saint Arnold, and lattes from Greenway Coffee, so in search of something different, I decided to try an organic cane soda from Austin's Maine Root, which, by the way, is served with Sonic ice -- yes, the tiny ice cube balls we all adore. The soda is sweet, smooth and refreshing, and it comes in a variety of flavors, including lemon-lime, root beer, orange and diet Mexican cola.
Each week executive chef Johnny Romo prepares a signature dish and a surprise farm-to-salad, in addition to the seasonally changing menus. During my visit, the surprise salad included a mixture of red and green butter lettuce, walnuts, beets and red onions, and the signature dish was Gulf redfish topped with ancho butter sauce, served with butternut squash risotto and fried Brussels chips.
This story continues on the next page.
2201 Airline Drive, Houston, TX
2032 Karbach St., Houston, TX
2000 Lyons Ave., Houston, TX
5301 Nolda St., Houston, TX
5216 Morningside Drive, Houston, TX