Radishes and soft butter at Coltivare.

Image: Robb Walsh

The radish appetizer at Coltivare, the new Italian restaurant from Morgan Weber and Ryan Pera of Revival Market, is remarkable for several reasons. I love the fact that the kitchen leaves the stem intact. You can't beat the locavore provenance—in fact, you can walk out to the garden beside the restaurant and see the raised bed from which the crunchy orbs were plucked. And while the delicious combination of radishes, butter, and sea salt is familiar to many Houston gardeners, I can't say I have ever seen a restaurant serve it before. 

Coltivare
3320 White Oak
713-637-4095
coltivarehouston.com

While Pera and Morgan are optimistically estimating that their urban garden on White Oak could supply a large percentage of their salad greens and other vegetables, the size of the crowds flocking to the new restaurant suggest that they might have to make a few trips to farmers market to supplement the supply.

Greg Morago's blog post regarding the long waits (up to two and half hours on Friday and Saturday night) at Coltivare offered some tips from owner Morgan Weber on getting a table. Weber recommended eating early on Sunday, Monday, or Wednesday, or coming in an hour before the eleven o'clock closing time on Friday or Saturday. These suggestions set off a flurry of speculation on Twitter about whether the wait was worth it. 

Chef Ryan Pera shows off Coltivare's gardens.

Image: Robb Walsh

Properly warned, Katharine Shilcutt and I walked over to the restaurant from the Houstonia offices a few blocks away arriving before the restaurant opened for dinner at five on Monday. There was no line when we arrived, and there was no line an hour later when we departed.

On our way out the door, Morgan Weber said goodbye. He smiled and shrugged his shoulders when we joked about the long wait.

"Look around," he said, "It's after six and we have several empty tables." 

 

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