We celebrated a many year wedding anniversary at Potente this week. You can find these pictures on their Yelp page also, the menu is not huge and there are certain very popular dishes that show up over and over. If only people took better pictures. I’ll be posting some tidbits I didn’t find there.
Anyway, upscale Italian restaurant Potente and its neighbor casual Italian Osso & Kristalla opened about a year ago backed by the Astros owner Jim Crane. They are across the street from Minute Maid Park where the baseball magic happens.
And I do mean upscale. The service is regal, as in we were treated like royalty. Just like at Buckingham, one waiter per person arrives with the food and it is placed all at once on the table. Servers and supervisors dressed in black suits stand butler like against the wall watching and waiting for a need to arise. Think Mr. Carson of Downton Abbey. The dining room is fairly small, maybe 12-15 tables, and it is surrounded by private party rooms and a separate bar area that offers bar food as well as the full menu. The menu is back-lit when you open it, a great touch. Our menu said Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Lambsy at the top, and they gave us a copy when we left:
We spent $400 all in, but we had it all, starters, a split pasta course, main course and dessert with wine and cocktails. A plate of creamy hummus topped with fried whole garlic and artichockes arrived with bread while we looked at the menu. A separate amuse bouche was sent out courtesy of Executive Chef Danny Trace. Here are some photos:
Starter-the tuna crudo was topped with caperberry slices and shaved frozen foie gras. A lemon sauce was dotted over the plate with flowers and herbs ($21)
Pasta: I really wanted to try the spaghetti al tartufo nero, with black truffle shaved tableside ($42). The waiter suggested that all the pasta dishes are rich and good to split so that’s what we did. This is a 1/2 portion. It was quite showy. I detected truffle oil in the pasta itself, which surprised me a bit, I was expecting only the shaved truffle. It made for a strong rather than delicate flavor of truffle.
We both ordered the lamb chops with sweet potato puree and spring vegetables. The waiter said they were thick cut and recommended no more than medium rare after I asked for “rare to medium rare.” They came out perfectly and two bones thick each. The vegetables were terrific, but unfortunately I had to ask for half of this dish to be packed up, and they discretely held my to-go portion at the front desk and handed it to me as we left.
I opted for 3 flavors of fruit sorbet while he had some sort of chocolate truffle:
A delightful, delicious and memorable celebration. Stellar in fact. 5