I travel to the Houston area often and enjoy the company of my good friends Rhonda and Darrell of Smooth Power. This trip is no different. Darrell treats me often to good ole fashion Texas BBQ. Darrell himself has competed in many BBQ challenges.
But tonight we are going for something a little different. Tonight we are at Marais in Dickinson, TX, just outside of Texas City. Marais’ menu takes full advantage of the wide range of seafood that is available on the Gulf Coast, combining a wide range of seasonings and cultures. Chris is our server tonight, and he was all on board when I said Bring Me Dinner!
Warm rolls are served first with our drinks. It had been a long day for the three of us as the bread and butter clued us in for just how hungry we were.
Chris began the appetizer course with a Tuna and Avocado Poke. This is fresh Ahi Tuna served martini style with lime, cilantro, and fresh Wonton chips. A very fresh way to start dinner.
Chris continued on the appetizer course with the Marais Crab Cake served on fried green tomatoes with a Cajun hollandaise sauce and remoulade. A southern, Cajun twist on a classic New England dish – especially the fried green tomatoes. Yum!
And then I fell in love. Our man Chris delivered us the Marais Bacon Candy. Yes, I did say Bacon Candy. Smoked, candied, cubed pork belly served with a jalapeno pepper jelly. Go ahead… re-read that… Yes, it was that good. Rhonda and Darrell let me have seconds and I leaned back in my chair, closed my eyes, and enjoyed the taste bonanza that was happening in my mouth. If I had nothing else this evening, I would have been satisfied.
As my appetizer euphoria was slipping away, Chris began to prepare us for our main courses by presenting us with a set of knives to choose from. It was like selecting our weapon of choice before heading into battle. I thought of the Gladiators of a past time when I selected my German made, serrated steel. I was prepared now for anything.
Chris brought us three main courses which included the Chicken and Andouille Pastalaya, Cajun Grits Mes Amis (which are Cajun Grits served, in this case, with blackened shrimp and scallops), and their award-winning Delmonico Ribeye (which, as many of you know, is my favorite).
I can see why their Ribeye is award-winning… It is absolutely cooked to a perfect med-rare and with just enough seasoning to enhance, but not overpower, the meat.
The Chicken and Andouille dish is also excellent. The blackened chicken is served over a mixture of peppers, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, Cajun cream sauce and accented by Andouille sausage. There are many layers to this dish which makes it exciting to eat.
Finally, the Cajun Grits Mes Amis is simply excellent. The blackened shrimp served over smoked gouda grits and their Cajun cream sauce is just scrumptious. The scallops add a divine taste from the sea. As with everything, the scallops are cooked perfectly, with a nice sear on both sides. This must be Cajun comfort food.
My compliments to the chef for finishing all of these complicated components perfectly and bringing together exquisite combinations that had my taste buds dancing. Our meal was a wonderful backdrop for sharing my last night together with some very close friends. I can see Marais’ becoming a regular place to visit on my future trips to Texas City.