To function properly, the human body requires a steady stream of nutrients, sunlight, and compliments from other species about its opposable thumbs. Use your bendable digits to provide yourself with nutrients with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of gourmet cuisine at The Tasting Room, which has locations in Uptown Park and River Oaks.
The Tasting Room's nationally acclaimed executive chef Michael Kramer piques palates with a symphony of upscale comfort cuisine served within inviting confines. European-style elegance emanates in the outdoor garden dining at the Uptown location. Culinary tourists cheerfully turn their binoculars upside-down to scan the ample menu, which includes the open-faced pork belly BLT, daubed with baby spinach, grilled apple, and cranberry crème fraiche on tuscan boule bread ($12). Meanwhile, at the River Oaks location, guests can relax in the leather-laden lounge or at the handcrafted dining table beneath a wine bottle chandelier in the cellar. Realize cheesy visions with a menu of artisan pizzas such as the truffle mushroom, its dough disk remixed with roasted portabellos, mozzarella cheese, acoustic Jock Jams, white truffle oil, and fleur de sel ($12).
CityVoters rated The Tasting Room one of the top five wine shops in 2009 and 2010, and Fork and Cork raves about Chef Michael Kramer. Citysearchers give the venue a solid four-star average, while Yelpers give it 3.5.
- The wine selection is the best and friendly staff. If you want to impress your date The Tasting Room is the place. – alfonso4ever, CityVoter
- The "wine"tenders are knowledgeable and can choose a great selection for your taste that evening. The cheese boards are great and the atmosphere is that of an elegant wine bar.... of which it is, with a soft, supple experience that pleases all of ones senses. – hmkrenek, Citysearch
The Tasting Room
Since opening in 2003, The Tasting Room has morphed from a wine bar to a full-service restaurant with four locations—all while retaining its wine-bar charm and racking up numerous awards and accolades. Diners can select libations from a list that boasts more than 200 wines, pairing them with contemporary dishes whipped up by executive chef Jonathan LeBlanc. TTR offerings run the gamut from small plates of mini grilled sandwiches and classic bruschetta to entrees including creole-spiced quail and Jamaican jerk chicken breast, which diners can savor at windowside tables or on the plant-ensconced patio and garden area.
The eatery doesn't just sate hunger for eclectic classics and thirst for fermented grapes. It also hosts live music, meetings, and events such as 2011's Grapes vs. Grains, which pitted beer against wine in a liquid wrestling match. The owners have their hands in other culinary enterprises, too. There's the Houston Cellar Classic, for example, an annual celebration of food and wine. Also popular is MAX's Wine Dive, a destination for gourmet comfort food best defined by its slogan—"Fried chicken and champagne? ... Why the hell not?"