A fun time was had by all at the Jonathan Eismann restaurant tour last week. The event was held in cahoots with Friends of the James Beard Foundation as a means of raising funds for the organization as well as to showcase new developments on the west side of the Design District. Two of these new developments are Eismann's Q and Fin restaurants. Q, an American barbecue smokehouse, "will combine dry rubs, light sauces, classic brines, and cures to deliver authentic Southern flavors in a 'down-home' and fun atmosphere." Fin, a local and sustainable seafood eatery, "will feature simple yet vibrant preparations in a setting evoking the casual elegance of Nantucket."
The two venues are located side by side in the former Sheba space. Doors between the two were opened for this event, but that won't regularly be the case. Fin, seen in the shoddy photo above, is the smaller of the two. Q holds at least twice as many guests, partly because it will also be a live music venue on weekend nights. The impressive cover band the Cat Daddies rocked during the Beard gathering.
From Fin's menu we sampled a Florida stone crab cake, a smoky, spicy Sebastian Inlet
Manhattan-style clam chowder, Palm Beach Spanish Mackerel with broccoli
rabe, all paired with Sterling Sauvignon Blanc 2008 from Napa (there
will be 39 wines for $39 or less). Q's taste samplers were pit-roasted
pulled pork with cole slaw, a sandwich of shaved Texas ham with brown
mustard, and a pair of pies: apple with crumb topping, and blueberry
meringue. Mattebella Vineyard "Famiglia" was the red wine poured; RC Cola was on hand too.
Chefs running the kitchens will be Brian Bell and Tim Byres,
both from Texas.
These restaurants are due to open later this month. If the food is as
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good then as it was on this particular evening, Jonathan will have a
couple of more hits on his hands.