Bistro Menil is one classy-ass establishment (it’s connected to an art museum for peats sake!) and they know how to serve up a quality brunch. Located across the street from the Menil Collection in Montrose, the Bistro Menil rocks that minimalist, modernist, I-heart-art vibe with a European inspired American fare menu.
People on Yelp complain that the actual menu at Bistro Menil is all over the place. Fair. It kinda is. It covers a lot of ground from an elaborate selection of seafood dishes to pasta to crepes to pizza to cheese plates. It’s a lot to take in with seemingly little order. If you’re at brunch in recovery from a night out, I highly recommend that you save yourself the pain of reading through that clusterfuq and stick to the brunch menu. There’s six simple options for food and six simple options for drinks. All you really want is some decadent egg dish and a mimosa anyways…
I am a firm believer in this formula for the makings of a good brunch: creative egg dish + bomb mimosa + chic atmosphere* and Bistro Menil fulfilled each of those criteria with flying colors.
*subbed in for outdoor patio, given that it is January
When we first got seated, the server took our drink order (lots of coffee, water, and cocktails #recovery) asked us if we wanted bread service. Uh duh. Rhetorical question. We received homemade bread with fresh whipped herbed butter that I could probably happily eat for the rest of my life with a spoon.
Next we ordered our main courses. I went with five friends and we all ordered off the brunch menu (I’m telling you the main menu is a bit much to handle…), but also the brunch menu is bomb. Super creative. At least four of us whipped out our phones to google what “shirred eggs” were. We tried most of the brunch options, and I was pleasantly pleased with the Menil salad that accompanied each dish (even the French toast!). I enjoyed the Over-Easy Eggs which had an Italian-esque twist. The eggs were laid upon polenta and topped with a savory eggplant relish. The salad had a light vinaigrette and was a welcome healthy accompaniment to the meal–as opposed to the usual greasy breakfast potatoes or six pieces of toast found on most brunch plates.
The people of Yelp were highly critical of Bistro Menil and rated it (as of 1/19/15) an average rating of three stars. I think the average person who frequents Bistro Menil must be a pretentious prick because I’ve been to far worse places with far higher rankings. Sure the hostesses seemed sort of put out when we showed up with a party of 6 and the server annoyingly couldn’t split the bill (this is the 21st century! Come on man! #petpeeve). But once you get past these small inconveniences, I thought the atmosphere was great and the food was phenomenal. I would definitely take my parents here, refer it to an out of town guest, and make a reservation here for a night out with the girls. Bistro Menil is debuting a new menu in February which I’m excited to see and their Eggplant Fries are still on my bucket list–they’re apparently heaven. I give Bistro Menil 5/5 mimosas for taste, atmosphere and creativity. And maybe 3/5 breadsticks for service.
1513 West Alabama
Houston, TX 77006