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Thursday, June 13, 2024 — Houston, TX

Pigging out at Feast


The interior of Feast is warm and welcoming, perfect for devouring treats like the rich and juicy Chicken Onion.

By Anthony Lauriello     2/24/11 6:00pm

We all remember falling in love for the first time: the rush of blood to the heart, the feeling of excitement, the sense that the world is right. This past weekend I fell in love at first sight and my life will never be the same. I have eaten a Chicken Onion and there is no turning back.My romantic tale happened at Feast, a truly unique restaurant at 219 Westheimer. You can tell that Feast is different the moment you walk in the door. The wood paneling and intimate positioning of the tables give the sense of a home more then a restaurant. However, the vast watercolor still-lifes of food and dining remind you of the business that is at hand.

After we took our seats, our friendly server Mary handed us a menu and asked us if we needed any help. While I often look at such requests as condescending, many of Feast's selections were so bizarre that the request was appreciated. The menu is divided into two sections, one offering the choices of the day and the other offering "Feast Favorites." Both included interesting things such as Bone Marrow Salad and Fish and Scallop Pie. We decided to order two appetizers, the Duck Liver and Heart ($13.95) and the Chicken Onion ($8.75). The Duck Liver and Heart, served on toast, was delicious and reminded me of the chicken liver and heart from my mother's kitchen. Yet, it was the other appetizer that I really fell for. As Mary explained to us, the chefs at Feast make a Chicken Onion by wrapping a red onion in chicken skin and roasting it. This allows for the chicken juices to flavor the onion and the result is truly a masterpiece. The skin was fatty and delicious, and the taste of the chicken truly complimented the onion. Furthermore, in one of the greatest decisions of my young life, I asked for complimentary bread along with appetizer so that I could soak up the juices of our two appetizers.

Despite feeling full from the two appetizers and three plates of bread, I still eagerly anticipated the entrees. My dining partner enjoyed her Cock-A-Leekie ($23.95), a droll way to refer to chicken and leeks. While the dish was fine, I did not think it lived up to the other offerings of the evening. Mary informed us that the skin of the dish's chicken was used on our Chicken Onion, which deprived the entrée of the highlight of any poultry dish. An ardent lover of all things porcine, I ordered the Pork Belly ($23.95). Tasting like bacon on steroids, the piping hot and fatty belly should appeal to all those who enjoy devouring pig flesh. The mashed potatoes under the meat made the meal, and the flavor combination lent to one of the best meals I have ever had ?in Houston.

It was here that a curious thing happened. For the first time in several years, I asked for a to-go box. While obviously ashamed, I did have somewhat of an excuse: The Feast's food is incredibly rich. This is not a restaurant for those on a diet or those who do not appreciate the wonderful and amazing taste of fat. It is also not a restaurant for those who are looking to save; the bill was around $100, including a big tip for excellent service. The high price also reflects the quality of the organic and locally grown ingredients.

In hindsight, ordering two appetizers was probably unnecessary, but the two dishes were so good I can't say that I regretted it. I know that I will be back, especially for my new love: the Chicken Onion. I would highly recommend Feast to those of you interested in splurging in a huge treat.

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