When one of my tablemates attempted to order the Alsatian Sardine Salad entree at Kris Bistro, the waiter asked if she really liked sardines. That was enough to scare her off; she went with the butternut squash agnolotti instead. When my turn came, I ordered the sardine salad, and I assured the waiter that I loved sardines.

Kris Bistro
7070 Allensby
713-358-5079
krisbistro.com

To make the Alsatian Sardine Salad, the kitchen starts by curing fresh West Coast sardines. The snow-white yams are also pickled in-house. The sardines are lined up with hard-boiled farm egg slices, and served with Siberian kale, Bibb lettuce, and arugula, tossed with dill viniagrette. The garnish is mustard remoulade.

My lunchmate wasn't all that thrilled with the starch-stuffed pasta, so I let her have a few bites of the salad. Next time she'll know that she does indeed really like sardines.

Kris Bistro is one of those incongruous restaurant locations that Houston has become so famous for. The charming little French bistro is inside the LeNotre Cooking School, a huge building which you can see from the highway as you drive north through the industrial corridor on I-45 just north of 610. 

To get to the entrance of the restaurant, you walk by some of the enormous teaching kitchens when culinary students learn the craft. Cooking school founder Alain LeNotre comes from a famous family of French chefs—he is the grandson of Gascon LeNotre, once considered France's top pastry chef.

The charcuterie is stunning, and some dishes that we sampled, such as the Kimchi Cod, were incredibly imaginative. Every dish at Kris Bistro may not be a home run, but eating at a restaurant in a French cooking school is a better bet than getting your hair cut at the barber college. 

 

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