Remember when the term "pop-up" conjured an air of mystery? Yeah, it's been a while. According to chef Peter Jahnke, currently of Oxheart, it's time to rethink the model. He and Camerata's newly minted master sommelier David Keck, along with former Common Bond pastry chef Jillian Bartolome, are putting their money where their mouths are with their own brand of pop-up starting this Friday.
"When David and I originally talked about this project, we were fairly tired of the standard for these types of events where you pay a set ticket price and do a sit-down tasting," explains Jahnke. "It’s a format we’ve seen done over and over again for 15 years." Their solution is Lünch, a 10-day-long residence at Oxheart while the fine-dining restaurant is on summer break.
The goal, says Jahnke, is to keep the midday meal light and fun. Though the rotating menu isn't yet set, the chef says dishes will include sandwiches, savory tarts and soups. As at Oxheart, the offerings will be vegetable-driven, but don't look to Lünch to be Oxheart, Jr. "The technique you see at Oxheart is much more specific and quite a bit higher end because we want to keep it casual," Jahnke clarifies.
To wit, the Lünch hour will be long—from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.—and will include a take-out option. Still, reservations are highly encouraged. For those who do choose to sit down for a meal, there is an express "Downtown Lunch" option which will include two "light and savory" courses as well as a sweet to go. Diners with more time can choose from four courses or a leisurely five, complete with cheese tasting courtesy of Houston Dairymaids. Keck will provide pairings or whole bottles with any size meal. But even the five-course "Grand Parkway" tasting is unlikely to overwhelm. As Jahnke puts it, "We’re not trying to send people back to work half asleep. But we are going to feed people."
Hungry? Call 832-408-0681 to reserve a table.