The chef at White Oak Kitchen + Drinks—which opened in the Galleria Mall in April 2011—plucks fresh rosemary, oregano, mint, and basil from an herb garden he's cultivated on the roof, mixing them into a spread of contemporary dishes with international influences. He lightly breads calamari in panko breadcrumbs, adding a spicy sriracha aioli for some kick, and pan-sears mahi-mahi with grilled shrimp and a sweet red-bell-pepper coulis. Classic, southern-style crispy chicken gets extra flavor from Hungarian paprika and a creamy side of macaroni and cheese. For dessert, the s'mores bread pudding inspires stories of hard-won paranormal-investigation merit badges with toasted marshmallows and a graham-cracker crust drizzled with chocolate sauce. Staffers also serve up freshly baked pastries or farm-fresh eggs for breakfast.
The private dining area hosts up to 30 party guests in front of a 50-inch flat-screen HD television, and business-meeting presenters can place their laptops in a docking station to project a slideshow or a deadlocked game of solitaire. The restaurant's wood walls add texture and warmth to the ambience, as do the framed cross-sections of tree-trunk rings.