Restaurant Review: Riel (Houston, Tx)

Is there a 4 1/2 rating?  There ought to be.  I really struggled with this review because this is the kind of dining that I love and I want the Chef and owners to succeed. We’ll stick with them as they adapt because we loved the place. Everything is done so well that it really hurts me not to give the full 5 star rating. But I have to be honest with my reviews and Riel was a fabulous experience, falling just short of my highest ratings – and I HATE to do it.  I give RIEL 4 stars. Regardless, I loved the place!

Please stick with me – I’ll explain what makes Riel so wonderful in a minute but what held me back from the full rating was the mainly the Hanger Steak.  It was cooked perfectly and came with delicious potato and cheese pirogues,  a swipe of horseradish cream sauce, grilled onions and green beans.  It was slightly over salted and it was a bit tough. For the price, it should have been perfect. It almost was but fell slightly short of a fabulous dish.

Now for the good news! This restaurant is EVERYTHING that I want a new restaurant to be. Upscale casual, roomy, chic, excellent service, exciting culinary creations and savory discoveries. Riel was all of that. Matt, our server was extremely knowledgeable of the menu and how each item was prepared.  You have to be a true foodie to describe each dish as well as he did.  Kudo’s to training the staff!!  It is appreciated!  Service: 5 Stars!

I stared with one of their crafted cocktails – the  Yoda-Lei made up of Rum, Manzanilla Sherry, Pistachio, Lemon, Tiki Bitters $11. Uh-maz-ing!  We shared additional dishes. each time getting new plates and tableware: Burrata (blended cheeses) with heirloom and specialty Tomato, Pea Shoots, Grilled Peach, Lemon Olive Oil – to die for ! ; White Fish Crudo ( not the right name but sushi style white fish, creams, sweet vinegar, radish, razor thin pickle, blood orange, etc) – beautifully presented but this dish fell short of wowing us, too. We shared all three plates and overall were quite satisfied.  We were handed a gourmet popsicle on our way out which was the perfect dessert – light and equally full flavored.

I’d like to see that main entré improved and I’ll be happy to update this review.  We sincerely loved Riel. We were most impressed with our waiter and his superb knowledge and attention to service. The presentation and creativity of each dish was over the top wonderful. The atmosphere and ambient music/noise level was perfect.  The drinks, plates and menu choices were superb. We will definitely return and look forward to a changing seasonal food choices and exciting new discoveries. Keep it up. We love what you’re doing!

About Wayne to the Max

Active writer, dancer, traveler, Christian and father, aviation enthusiast, photographer, music lover and a DJ, hiker, Harley driver and fine wine drinker. My digital photo artist page:
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