Crimini mushrooms éscargot-style.

Image: Robb Walsh

Backstreet Cafe 
1103 S Shepherd Dr 
713-521-2239

There are nine dishes on Backstreet Cafe's recently added seasonal mushroom menu. The marrow and mushroom ragout sounds wonderful, but I couldn't talk my dining companion into it. For our happy hour nosh we started instead with crimini mushrooms éscargot-style, half a dozen mushroom caps broiled with garlic butter, basil, and parmesan and served with a stack of crusty toast for mopping.

Sherried wild mushroom soup.

Image: Robb Walsh

The caps were followed by an mesmerizing bowl of sherried wild mushroom soup with blue cheese toast, a rich puree of big-flavored mushrooms with more cream than I want to think about and a dash of good sherry. It was garnished with the cheese toast and a pile of gently sauteed mushrooms. We practically fought over the bowl. The snack was complemented by a little Viognier and some beautiful patio weather.

Recipes for both of these tasty winter mushroom dishes appear in Backstreet Cafe's new cookbook, Backstreet Kitchen, with gorgeous food photography by Kenn Stearns. It was released in celebration of the restaurant's 30th anniversary. The book is available for purchase at the restaurant. Ask for an autographed copy.

 

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