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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Morrison

Dining out or dining in with Southern Coastal Cuisine

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

Pecan Crusted Tilapia recipe with Apricot Ginger Puree, Roasted Asparagus recipe, Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes recipe

This restaurant is currently closed. The article is for inspiration and recipes.

I love meeting chefs around town. Recently, I was treated to a sampling at a Houston restaurant. Chef Kevin Bryant of Eleven XI in midtown is a Southern Coastal cuisine expert. Bryant is spot on in taking regional favorites to an elegant presentation to behold and be tasted.

The dishes served here incorporate flavor brilliantly executed with whimsical imagination. There are over thirty varieties of fresh oysters to choose from in creating your own fresh raw oyster sampler. The grilled vegetables are served with a delectable sweet cream sauce. And the shellfish towers are a stunning way to celebrate any occasion. Elk, lamb, scallops, and redfish round out the menu with additional toppers like foie gras and duck eggs to make each delectable dish your own.

Owners Joe Isaac and Anna Sites have transformed this gem into a cozy and inviting restaurant and bar. The artwork, lighting, and warm colors appeal to both the adventurer and the romantic. The equally impressive upstairs is devoted to private parties and special events. The wine cellar has a table for two set up and waiting for that exclusive night out, rose petals and all. This place is comfortable enough for friends yet romantically designed to cater to couples.

The stand out dish for me was the Grilled Oysters. It is like eating a pot full of Texas. One dozen oysters on the half shell were topped with heirloom tomato pico, pecan pesto, and bacon before they were grilled to perfection. The menu also boasts seared scallops with a basil mascarpone risotto and Apricot Flounder with an apricot glaze.

The creativity devoted to the development of this menu has inspired me to try my hand at my own version of an apricot glazed fish dish. However, I serve mine with a side of roasted asparagus and fluffy whipped potatoes. Savory and sweet come together to make an otherwise ordinary fish dinner extraordinary. Try your hand at this recipe and be known by your family and friends as a coastal cuisine expert in your own kitchen.

Pecan Crusted Tilapia ¼ cup Dijon mustard 2 lb. tilapia fillets 1 cup pecan pieces, chopped Salt and pepper Minced parsley

Preheat oven to 400. Season fillets with salt and pepper. Line a large sheet pan or baking dish with parchment paper. Place fillets on parchment paper. Brush the top of the fillets with Dijon mustard. Press chopped pecans onto the mustard coating. Bake for 20 minutes. Garnish with minced parsley.

Apricot Ginger Puree 1 cup dried apricots 1 tbsp. minced ginger 2 cups water Salt and pepper

Place apricots, ginger and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the water has reduced by half. Approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and blend with the remaining cup of water until smooth using an emersion or upright blender. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Serve with pecan-crusted tilapia.

Roasted Asparagus 2 lb. asparagus 2 tbsp. olive oil 1 tsp. kosher salt 1 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Break the stems of asparagus to trim. Toss asparagus in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until the asparagus tips are crisp.

Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes 1 head of garlic 1 tbsp. olive oil 3 pounds golden potatoes ½ cup heavy cream ½ cup milk ½ cup butter Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Wrap garlic, a pinch of salt, and olive oil in aluminum foil. Place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven to cool. Peel and dice potatoes in 1-inch cubes. Place on the stove in cold water. Bring to a boil and add 1 tbsp. of salt. Allow potatoes to boil for 20 minutes or until tender. Bring milk, cream, and butter to a simmer in a small saucepan and remove from heat. Drain potatoes. Cut garlic head in half through the cloves. Squeeze roasted garlic into potatoes. Using a hand mixer, whip together garlic and potatoes. Drizzle in heated cream and butter mixture while blending til smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.


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