It was pouring down rain earlier, something that we rejoice in these days in Houston, the rain. I headed down Montrose towards the Heights, there was a new restaurant I wanted to try, but at a big dip in the road, water was about three feet deep and with my windshield wipers on max, I decided not to push it, even though I have a small SUV, there was nothing urgent about the lunch other than it was noon and I was hungry, so why risk getting flooded. There are plenty of new places in Houston to try. I remebered that Ouisie's had opened a new place on Westheimer, so I made a U-y right before the deep water and headed in that direction. The Bird and the Bear, Ouisie's American Bistro is the place. I was able to get a parking spot near the door without the assistance of a Valet. That is unusual since there isn't much parking available. Chuy's is next door and The Bird and the Bear is in a small strip center with a CVS and another small shop. The heavy rain had discouraged some folks, I guess. All the better for me, great parking and no waiting for a table. Yippee!!!
I liked the inside. An eclectic mix of fancy and rustic. Chandiliers, a couple of well worn chairs and a painted topless table hang from the ceiling. The cafe curtains allow a lot of natural light into the bar and seating area. White table clothes and napkins cover the tables. The white wooden chairs are a shabby chic. The kitchen is open with a wrap around bar.
It took me a while to look over the menu. There was no rush and there was plenty to look at. Plenty that looked well worth another visit and taste.
On the table is crispy flat bread with a olive and olive oil dipping sauce. Really nice flavors.
I ordered the Lemon Garlic soup, the seafood paella, and a glass of Sanford Pinot Noir, the waiter had suggested a Chardonay, but I'm not much of a white wine fan, unless it has a fizz to it. The Pinot was a good alternative. The waiter came back out to tell me they were out of the Lemon Garlic Soup and suggested the New England Clam Chowder, the soup of the day. I didn't feel that it would go too great with the paella, so I asked for a house salad. That turned out to be a good choice. It was tossed in a lemon vinegarette dressing, which was light and flavorful.
The Seafood Paella was good. The snapper, shrimp and scallops were perfectly cooked, the clams and the mussels were a bit overcooked. The Saffron rice had great flavor, accompanied with red bell peppers, onions, English peas, although it was a bit heavy. Overall it was a very satisfying dish.
It was a lot of food, enough for dinner this evening. Of course, I couldn't leave without trying the dessert. I'm glad I did. I had it with a cup of tea.
The tea is a good tea, The Mighty Leaf (organic). I had the Lemon Meringue with lemon curd and raspberry sauce on the inside. I'm normally not a big meringue fan, but this meringue was creamy and delicious.
The Bird and The Bear on on Westheimer. Look for the black and white awning.
The Bird and The Bear, Ouisie's American Bistro
Houston, TX 77098
This restaurant is a bit pricey (for me), but as a once-in-a-while place it was well worth the dollars.