Houston, TX 77008
My friend Kim and I have a lot of fun planning our dates together when I make it down to Houston. For my last visit to Houston, we wanted to indulge our cravings and try the bone marrow at Stella Sola. We made reservations and tweeted our enthusiasm to them and their response blew us away.
Kim and I couldn’t believe our good fortune! The Universe was surely smiling down at us. When we arrived, Chef Adam Dorris greeted us and called us the “bone marrow people” and gave us high fives. A titillating five course menu waited for us at our cozy corner table. What an auspicious start to our evening!
Dry aged beef tartar with pickled egg, jalapeno crema, and bone marrow powder
Our first course was steak tartar served in marrow bone. I love the colors of this course. The pickled egg brightens the course not only visually but also gustatorily. The steak tartar was tender and had a light kick to it from the jalapeno crema. The bone marrow powder tickles your taste buds with promises of more marrow in the immediate future.
Beet cavatelli, bone marrow and duck blood sausage, ragu, carrots, beets
Our second course was a pasta dish. I loved how the bone marrow came together with the duck blood sausage, giving the cavatelli a hearty and rich coating.
Sea scallops with salty Italian chard, black lentils, and sweet potato bone marrow puree
This was my favorite course after the dessert. There’s something inherently pleasurable about the act of smoothly slicing into a perfectly cooked scallop. When you slowly and gently cut into a plump scallop, neurons fire messages to your brain, warning that you are about to bite into a piece of heaven! It’s seriously an act that’s meant to be savored and exactly my experience with the third course of our wondrous meal. Kim and I sliced into our respective sea scallop and murmured incomprehensible half thoughts and words.
I looked over at Kim and her response nearly distracted me from the perfect bite that was dancing on my tongue.
“Don’t look at me! I’m having a moment.”
The sweet potato and bone marrow puree was perfect even on its own. I seriously could have a bowl of it as a soup. Chef Dorris informed us that he pureed about four bones worth of marrow into it. Before this night, my bone marrow experience has been straightforward. Roasted and spread on toast or served as a Vietnamese side after using bone marrow to make pho stock. Never have I dreamt of combining bone marrow with a sweet starch!
Dry aged strip steak, creamer potatoes, spring onions, roasted bone marrow butter
Our fourth and main course was steak and potatoes. The medium rare steak was served with a dollop of roasted bone marrow butter. Bone marrow is already rich and fatty on its own and then to whip it with butter? Oh so decadent.
Roasted bone marrow, lardo wrapped strawberries, fig balsamic
The only thing that makes me sad about the grand finale was that I was so full. If I could repeat just one course, I’d do the dessert course one more time. It was the most marrow in one glorious bone I’ve ever seen. Roasted with fig balsamic, the perfect savory complement to the ripe, rotund strawberries. As if it couldn’t get any more decadent, the strawberries were wrapped in lardo!
Leaving that meal, I was completely satiated when it came to my persistent bone marrow craving but now just a couple of weeks later, I’m down to have this exact meal again.
Special thanks to Chef Adam Dorris who accommodated our adventurous palate by offering an off menu tasting at a very reasonable price. Photo credits go to my eating buddy and dear friend, Kim.
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