The Grove is located in Discovery Green, a 12-acre urban park that has become a popular destination with Houstonians and visitors since opening in April, 2008.
Located downtown, across from the George R. Brown Convention Center, the $93 million park features a one-acre lake, interactive fountains, multiple gardens, children’s playground area, picnic areas, amphitheater and even several dog runs. The park also offers visitors a variety of concerts, art installations and special events.
During our Christmastime visit, there were skaters gliding on the ice rink, excited folks going up in the holiday hot-air balloon, and an outstanding art installation, called, “Through the Eyes of a Child.”
The exhibit featured glowing holiday ornaments hanging from live oak trees on the Brown Promenade. There were also 28 five-foot-diameter, internally-lit globes, bringing to life beautiful color photographs that were visible from the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows. An interesting feature of the restaurant is the rooftop balcony "Tree House," with more views of downtown Houston. With such picturesque scenery any time of day, The Grove is an exceptionally delightful place to spend time.
Unfortunately, by the time we arrived at The Grove, the kitchen was about to close, so our menu choices were limited. What a relief! We were almost too full from our earlier excursion at RDG + Bar Annie. Nonetheless, we simply “had” to try their food.
Once again, the call of the quail attracted Marilyn. She had quail at 3 other restaurants on our trip to Houston, and this was a chance to rate The Grove on her Quail Scale! Though cooked, the quail just about flew off the plate, up to first place. The $14 appetizer is served smoked with a pineapple bourbon dipping sauce. The skewered morsels were tender and succulent. Marilyn also ordered one of her favorite vegetables as a side: Brussels sprouts roasted in a garlic bacon-y sauce. The $7 portion was quite large and very tasty.
Chef Robert Del Grande and his Executive Chef, Ryan Pera, put together an extensive and innovative menu using to the fullest extent possible, all fresh, local, organic ingredients. There are so many mouth-watering selections that we were unable to try this time, but we’re saving room to have some on our next visit to Houston. Here’s a few we intend to try:
Duck Confit Pizzette - Butternut Squash + House Made Bacon + Grilled Red Onion 14
Pulled Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich - Crimini Mushrooms + White Cheddar + Grilled Onion + Aioli 13
Warm Wild Mushroom Salad - Pumpkin Seeds + Pumpkin Vinaigrette + Speck 12
Brick Pressed Cornish Hen - Lemon + Roof Top Rosemary Fries 12
Wood Grilled Octopus - Gigante Bean Salad + Roast Peppers + Olives 15
Glazed Berkshire Pork Belly - Parsnip Puree + Vanilla + Pink Peppercorns 12
Hill Country Venison - Butternut Squash + Brussels Sprouts + Bacon + Red Wine 32
Along with its clean, modern décor, outside-is-inside feeling, and delicious food, The Grove prides itself on being one of the most eco-friendly places in Houston. They even grow their own herbs and tomatoes in the second floor garden.
In The Grove, Robert Del Grande has crafted another winning combination of comfy ambience and culinary ambition at affordable prices. Don’t be fooled by its casualness and informality; it’s a serious restaurant. We loved the “vibe” but came too late for the fare. Next time you are downtown, take your time and fully enjoy the experience.
The Grove Restaurant + Bar + View
At Discovery Green Park
1611 Lamar | Houston, TX 77010