Opening a restaurant in Friendswood was a chance for him to work very close to home while providing a nice dining alternative – a chef-driven restaurant – for the burgeoning area that is both interesting and accessible. In doing this, he wanted to take advantage of his wide-ranging culinary background and time spent cooking in Belgian. Assisted by his mentor, who happens to be a Belgian master chef, true to its name, Brasserie 1895 is actually a brasserie in a broad sense. Serving the hearty, well-crafted food and having an emphasis on quality beer in the Parisian brasserie tradition, the kitchen offers echoes enjoyable Belgium – which has a magical beer tradition well-suited for the restaurant’s ethos – while also providing tastes around the world.
Serving a globally menu influenced can be difficult in many restaurants, but Jakob’s and the kitchen’s skills seems make this a natural. The first visit the other day, just three weeks after it opened, showed the kitchen’s adeptness with a diverse array of offerings. The three lunch entrées were a quiche Lorraine, diver scallops with crab and wrapped bacon served atop a polenta cake, and their burger. Everything was excellent. The quiche with a light crust and custard-like interior was a little different, but excellent; the top-notch quality scallops were perfectly rendered and accompanied, and the sturdy polenta enlivened with the juice of the seafood was very good, far better than most local restaurant versions; and the burger, with its moist beefy centerpiece, excellent house-made bun and caramelized onion, raisin and brandy compote to be ladled on was fantastic, and much better than another recent burger from Ritual in the Heights, also newcomer; its fries even more so.
Set in an older strip center, the décor is actually pretty cool and comfortable: featuring lots of purple-upholstered furniture that might have be purchased from auction it gives off a DIY vibe in the best and most appropriate sense. It’s got a good, interesting and idiosyncratic beer list – possibly enough for beer lovers to make the trek to Friendswood – and a wine list that is good and Old World-enough, especially for the area.
Brasserie 1895 gave a great first impression, and it very well might be the new restaurant to open in the Houston area in 2016, at least that my thought after a fair amount of research thus far.
607 S. Friendswood Drive