The 14-story Hyatt Regency Houston Galleria hotel, which opened in October 2015, offers an exemplary, locally sourced culinary experience with its Urban Star restaurant, bar, and market. The restaurant and bar boast a seasonally changing menu, created using local ingredients that embody the flavors of Texas, while the market is open all day for the traveler who prefers to grab and go.
The market carries family-owned and locally sourced Texas favorites like handmade bath products from Fredericksburg Farms, award-winning Sola Stella extra virgin olive oil from the Texas Hill Country Olive Company, Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, housemade ice-cream sandwiches, Austin-based all-natural GoodPop frozen pops in watermelon, strawberry, and hibiscus mint flavors, and small batches of award-winning artisan jams, marmalades, and salsas from Garden Dreams Houston, among other delicacies.
We had the privilege to experience an intimate Southern-inspired, five-course dinner, prepared by the award-winning Chef Deborah Landfear, highlighting a few of the best dishes at Urban Star Restaurant, located in the Hyatt Regency Houston Galleria’s first floor. Landfear learned her skills at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and has worked at various restaurants in Chicago, prior to landing in Houston.
First course: locally sourced Gulf shrimp with stone-ground grits, Texas Redneck cheddar cheese (from Houston Dairy Maids), crispy pork bely, and Old Bay and scallion butter sauce. Paired with a St. Arnold’s Lawnmower beer.
Second course: Texas beets with butter lettuce, warm goat cheese from the Texas Hill Country, toasted hazelnuts, and fig balsamic. Paired with Houston-based Nice Winery’s Sauvignon Blanc (white wine).
Third course: Pappardelle (wide egg pasta) with double braised short rib ragout, and Burrata (fresh Italian cheese, made from mixing mozzarella and cream). Paired with Duchman Winery’s Montepulciano (red wine), featuring leather and tobacco notes.
Fourth course: Cast iron scallops with an orange-ginger glaze, sweet potato hash, and candied bacon. Paired with a French 75 cocktail.
This was by far our favorite course, as the scallops were so tender and easy to cut into. Plus, this was the loveliest pairing! The scallop was topped with edible flowers. The honey used in the dish is locally sourced as well.
Fifth course: beef skewers (seared tenderloins marinated in rosemary and thyme) with blue cheese fondue, tempura asparagus, and a crispy potato cake. Paired with a really heady Sazerac.
For those who don’t eat meat, we substituted the beef for salmon. As delicious as the meal was, the presentation was what really added the oomph factor! The dish was served on a straight, thick slice of tree branch.
Chef Deborah Landfear’s flight of seasonal desserts finished the five-course dinner and was paired with a glass of Ambrosia Mead dessert wine from Griffin Meadery.
The desserts included:
– a chocolate mousse with sea salt, pecan, gold leaf, and Dulce de Leche (caramelized milk). This was by far our favorite dessert!
– a panna cotta with peaches, orchid, fresh basil, and honey. Our second favorite dessert choice; we loved the delicious flavors as much as the soft, smooth texture!
– a raspberry-topped cheesecake with a hint of citrus and swirls of raspberry sauce on the plate. It was an excellent light and fresh dessert!
Whether you’re looking for an intimate dinner with loved ones, a quick bite before a business meeting, or locally sourced gifts for the holidays, Hyatt Regency Houston Galleria and its Urban Star restaurant, bar, and market will meet all your needs!