Friday, May 22, 2009

I have a Crush on Crush

MrRuckus and I believe very much in couple time.  We go on trips without our kids and aim for "date night" at least once a week.  Almost always, this involves a delicious meal out with some wine.  The other day, we had that PLUS a movie!  Not only that, we got to try out a really fun place during its "soft opening".  

Crush is a new wine bar that opened in The Woodlands along the Waterway, behind Hubbell and Hudson, my favorite grocery store/restaurant.  Walking in, you are transported from Suburbia to a cool, chic spot (c'mon, The Woodlands is getting better all the time, but it is most definitely Suburbia).  The bar on the main floor (the second floor of the building) is enormous, snakes the whole length of the room and glows.   On this floor, there are tables inside and outside. The outside tables overlook the fountains.  Upstairs is an even more lounge-like rooftop space.  There are cabanas with long settees, a sleek and modern fire pit, and plenty of comfy chairs and couches, as well as a few tables.  The look is very modern but the feel is inviting.  Staff members are friendly and, so far, really seem to want to please. 

This has been their "soft opening" so they still are working on some kinks.  However, things seem to be going in the right direction.  Wine list is extensive and varied, and there are many items available by the glass.  One strange thing is that the list was "backwards" with Cabs on the first page and sparkling wines on the last.  I have never seen this before. Also, there was little information given about the wines, so you have to put a lot of faith in the servers.  I would like to see flights offered as a way to taste many of the carefully chosen selections.  I had a very dry sparkler from New Mexico to start while MrRuckus started with a juicy Alsace Reisling (of course).  We then each had a light and fruity pinot from Monterey that our server recommended.  Perfect for that evening, a rare Texas night in May that required a "light sweater or jacket".

The food was quite good. We had a cheese plate with five different cheeses.  All of them were yummy (though I love cheese, all cheese, except Swiss), but no one except the chef knew what they were.  In fact, one server said that the chef sources all of them from a dairy "in The Woodlands".  When I called BS on that (dairy in The Woodlands???), I was told that their source is in The Woodlands and all of the cheese are from Texas.  Maybe . . .  The cheese comes with light and tasty homemade flatbread, some nuts and some fresh berries.  We also had beef carpaccio whose flavor was marred by the overuse of dijon mustard.  Then, we had their Kobe sliders with a gooey cheese sauce on top.  Great burgers, but no fries!  How can you serve sliders without fries?  I was told that they never intend to have a fryer.  At least some fancy chips?

All in all, a great place that I intend to frequent.  We then went down the street and saw "Angels and Demons".  Ugh.  As usual, "the book was so much better."

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