Spotlight on Chef Austin Simmons's Cuisine at Hubbell & Hudson Bistro
Photo by Mai Pham A5 Wagyu from Kyushu, Japan, seared and topped with Perigord truffle. An example of the fine cuisine being offered by chef Austin Simmons at Hubbell & Hudson Bistro in The Woodlands.
I've been a fan of Hubbell & Hudson Bistro since I first dined there three years ago. Admittedly, I have not had the chance to return since then (it takes me about an hour to get to The Woodlands), but so memorable was the food that I can recall, with vivid clarity, one of the dishes I tasted during that lunch visit -- a pan-roasted, glazed Chilean sea bass served in light soy broth and topped with tuft of bright pink onion confit -- still one of the best renditions of sea bass I've had to date.
So it was with anticipation that I attended a recent pop-up dinner, held to introduce Hubbell & Hudson executive chef Austin Simmons's cuisine. It was staged in a beautifully furnished home at 1740 South Boulevard in Southampton (which had been generously donated for use by John Daugherty Realtors), and Simmons brought his entire kitchen team down to Houston for one night to prepare an eight-course meal.
Photo by Mai Pham "I think we brought the entire restaurant to you tonight," said chef Austin Simmons as he kicked off the dinner, which was prepared in this private kitchen.
I was impressed with the finesse displayed by Simmons and his team that night. They were working in a non-professional setting in an unfamiliar space, yet still managed to execute the dinner with great aplomb, beginning with canapés of foie gras croquettes, which were served on white porcelain spoons during the cocktail hour. Shaped in such a size that you could easily plop one in your mouth, the round croquette burst with a gush of warm, silky-smooth foie gras that had me reaching for not just one, but two more (yes, I was greedy, and I would lament this later).
Photo by Mai Pham Foie gras croquettes were served as canapes. So delicious I had three!
For cocktails, I chose a green-colored, salt-rimmed spicy cilantro margarita. It was like a green goddess elixir of sweet green tequila, smooth and herbaceous, and as easy to drink as punch; I finished it quickly. I might even have indulged in another had it not been for the fact that we had wine pairings with our dinner, and I was tempted to try the blood-orange-beet infused Old Fashioned cocktail as well, but I needed to keep my wits about me.
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