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French >Chez Roux At La Torretta Resort
“Chez Roux tends their own herb garden, has beautiful dining views, showcases a lovely display of wines, and keeps a sparkling clean kitchen (I'm happy to report).”
“loin of venison, bitter chocolate, and raspberry sauce followed that was simply indescribably delicious, served with Chateau Montelena Savignon 2005 Napa Valley that was a perfect accompaniment.”
“Our wine medley was similarly downsized to two sips a glass but the pairing was excellent.”
“Portions were perfect and the presentation of the food was excellent.”
“Simply stated, the desserts from the fixed menu were very nice.”
“With great anticipation, I scheduled a valentine dinner at the celebrated Chez Roux restaurant.”
“will be back again soon to enjoy this rare gem.”
“As for the service, I expected a bit more knowledgeable staff.”
“Good food, but small portions and high prices”
“Our meal was VERY slow in coming, even our cocktails before the meal took a loooong time, and we had to ask for them a second time.”
Divine French Cuisine.
I am a Francophile at heart, so it was with barely contained excitement that I attended the cooking class offered at Chez Roux, the only namesake of Michelin Chef Albert Roux, owner of the famed Le Gavroche in London. Unbeknownst to me, and a special treat indeed, Chef Albert Roux himself was in attendance during one of his 4 yearly visits to the restaurant. OMG. Yay!
A Frenchman speaking English with a Scottish accent, the very charismatic Chef Roux explained that the menu was designed so that ladies who like to entertain could prepare in advance so that they wouldn’t spend the bulk of their parties slaving in the kitchen. With that in mind, the 7 students drew straws so we could choose our partners and which of the 4 courses we would prepare. I opted for the fish, a brandade with lobster sauce, and I’m so glad I did. For the first time in my life, I learned the painstaking labor-intensive technique of how to make lobster sauce. The recipe is similar to a lobster bisque. The sous chef assigned to us, a master of Fish from Tokyo, Ryuta, made the laborious process seem very simple. What we made in 1.5 hours would have taken me 3 from prep to finish had I done it by myself. Several lobster carcasses were sautéed, then simmered in fish stock, mashed, drained, drained again, reduced, then finally prepared with a touch of cream and brandy to make the lobster sauce. The brandade, a potato cake made with salted cod, was also made from scratch. The final product was gorgeous and tasted delicious, but thank you Ryuta for your help, and thank you Chef Matthew Gray, Executive Chef of Chez Roux, for tasting everything and making sure it was perfected before we served it!!
After preparing the courses, we all sat down for some champagne to kick off the meal at the Chef’s Table with Chef Roux. Cleverley Stone was there with Fox 26 to film a segment for the morning news as well. All the dishes (mussel soup, brandade with lobster sauce, cassoulet, and nougat with fresh berries – see pictures on my twitter @happymmm) were absolutely lovely and each paired with wonderful, carefully selected French wines to complement the meal. I couldn’t believe I ate all that gorgeous food, got to learn to cook, AND had 4 amazing wines!
I had such a great time, I came back that very night with my husband in tow for ANOTHER French feast. The second time around was nothing short of scrumptious as well. I ordered one of the signature items for a starter, the cheese soufflé with creamed corn sauce. The dish was simply divine. The soufflé was perfection: light and airy, like a super light soft sponge cake with a bit of spring in it, the soufflé was not overpowering on the cheese front, just a hint of cheese combined with the smoothest, most delectable creamy corn sauce. **My eyes rolled into my head at the first bite in pure ecstatic food joy.** I ordered a breast of duck medium rare, skin was slightly crisp just like I like it, meat was properly pink but still tender. But the stuffed chicken leg dish my husband had from the very affordable $65 3 course prix-fixe menu, is one of those dishes you wish you could replicate but will never come close to achieving the same gorgeousness of the stuffed chicken leg with a bit of foamy sauce on top. My dessert, a chocolate mousse with cherry sauce was also wonderful, as was the fresh coffee press service, served with a plate of pretty-as-a-picture petit fours.
I am still amazed at the affordable Michelin dining experience offered at Chez Roux. A $65, 3-course prix-fixe is a steal for cuisine of this quality, and a la carte menu items in the $30 range are also surprisingly affordable. Having tasted food from such acclaimed French Michelin Chefs like Alain Ducasse, Daniel Boulud, Jean-Geoges, and Joel Robuchon for much higher prices, I’m already planning my trip back just for food’s sake. Run, don’t walk. It’s that good.
Fantastic menu, ambiance lacking....
To be fair, the menu at Chez Roux is quite tasty. Many of the preparations are seasonal and inventive, with several tried and true taste combinations that Chef Roux has maintained on his menus for years. Based on the food alone, I do think the restaurant could be quite successful as a foodie "destination" restaurant.
But to be honest, if they intend to have people travel far and wide - well, even from Houston - they really must put a fine polish on the restaurant. The service was, well, adequate. I will second an earlier review that the wait staff seemed "timid." Our meal was VERY slow in coming, even our cocktails before the meal took a loooong time, and we had to ask for them a second time. Seriously, I understand that things like that happen at restaurants all the time, but when you are paying a premium for an uber-fine dining experience, those little things really shouldn't happen.
Really, the most unappealing aspect of the restaurant to me was the decor. It was barely better than a hotel restaurant. The decor was uninspired and unwelcoming.
While the food was exceptional, I think for the price, I would prefer a restaurant that really pulls out all the stops to create a truly fine dining experience.
Chefs from Around the World Teach a 4-Course Meal.
What a treat!
A group of us (some foodies, some first-time cooks)learned side-by-side of the award winning kitchen staff of Chez Roux, at La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa, off Lake Conroe. Michelin Chef Matthew Gray of the the famed Inverlochy Castle in Scotland and famous Chef Albert Roux who has many restaurants in England and even taught Gordon Ramsey educated us on preparing exquisite dishes fit for royalty.
We prepared 4 courses which were paired with a glass of wine, sherry, and/or champagne selected by Restaurant Director Garrett Donovan. I suggest you ask to work with Damien, a Michelin-trained chef from London, he answered all of our questions and was a great conversationalist.
Below was our menu (which was printed on plush paper...which they recycle btw):
REGION OF FRANCE: LANGUEDOC and ROUSSILLON
1) Soupe de Moules au Safran
Mussel Soup with Saffron
2) Gâteau de Brandade, Sauce Homard
Salt Cod Cake with Lobster Sauce
3) Cassoulet de Castelnaundry
Lamb, Duck Confit, Toulouse Sausage & Haricot Beans
4) Iced Nougat with Melons and Blueberry Sauce garnished with Sesame and Poppy Seed Tuiles
Chez Roux tends their own herb garden, has beautiful dining views, showcases a lovely display of wines, and keeps a sparkling clean kitchen (I'm happy to report).
We received a menu and the recipes to take home with us. The recipes are printed on gorgeous paper and worthy of keeping in a memory book.
I think the class would be great for any quaint gathering. I can see men, women, couples, foodies, bachelors, bachelorettes, large family, and older teens making this a special event.
My personal tips: Bring a camera, don't wear fingernail polish, wear cotton, wear a pony tail, wash your hands often, don't eat prior to your class, and wear flat shoes. They will offer you a black apron. It's also a nice temperature in the kitchen.
Here are the details regarding the French cooking classes--
Classes are offered on a weekly basis, every Wednesday beginning May 12. Two classes are offered each Wednesday.
Morning Session: 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
After the conclusion of the morning session, guests dine at the chef's table to enjoy your masterpieces.
Afternoon Session: 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Following the afternoon session, guests have the option to invite friends and family to dine with you in the dining room with your prepared menu or dine at the chef's table.
Class Size: 8 guests
Class Cost: $79.00 per guest, excluding tax
Valentine Day Dinner. With great anticipation, I scheduled a valentine dinner at the celebrated Chez Roux restaurant. We had previously dined there and were pleased with our meal which achieved the class of the gourmet eating establishments in New Orleans, New York, and even Paris. We were seated promptly as the half-occupied tables allowed efficiency. The feast began with an appetizer consisting of two baby oysters that could easily have sit in a tablespoon with room to spare, a tittle of caviar, two strands of cucumber spaghetti, and a calamari the size of a small house spider. The sauce was excellent. They must be getting our appetite primed for the feast to come, I thought. The next course was two three inch pieces of asparagus that looked lonely but dabbed with béarnaise sauce tasted great. Our wine medley was similarly downsized to two sips a glass but the pairing was excellent. We began to believe that we were characters in a Monty Python skit and increased our enjoyment by bursting into laughter when each new course was served and with the pouring of each fourth of a glass of wine. As the second glass was poured, I remarked that I need not be concerned about driving home which brought a scowl from our waiter. The remainder of the evening, he slighted me even more as compared to my wife’s portions. The entrée (French usage) was a lone scallop from which I extracted more savors by cutting it into six pieces and chewing glacially. The main course was a medallion of veal several times the scallop but unfortunately one third was gristle. Our waiter scowled again, sans comment, when my wife complained. Desert was the best course, a large tasty soufflé which we scoffed down because we were hungry. In addition, to be fair, we did get one piece of bread at the beginning of the meal. Also, our water glasses were kept to the brim. Since my wife was an apprentice chef in New Orleans and we traveled extensively, I realize that the more exclusive restraints serve smaller portions. However, our meal was analogous to the childhood story “The king’s new clothes”; nothing was what was mostly served. And, for this area and even south of Lake Conroe the price was astronomical, in a recession. I looked up the price of the wines served in the pairing on the internet assured that they must have been exceptionally expensive. The ranged from $24 to $12. It was tasty but the least value ever. I did not waste the nothing we were served; although, it was bland. Cheers
Citysearch Editorial Review. The principal restaurant at Montgomery's La Torretta Resort is powered by celebrity. Chef Albert Roux was voted one of the most influential chefs in the U.K. in 2003, while Executive Chef Matthew Gray earned a Michelin star while in Scotland. All that talent has not gone to waste: The modern, upscale cuisine focuses on the flavor of the ingredients and, even an hour outside of Houston, the food is worth the trip. Try the rich and sharp Texas Cheddar soufflé or the Peeky Toe crab if they're available. Keep in mind that La Torretta is where privileged Houstonians with second homes go to play, so the prices are not for the faint of heart--although the staff is decidedly not snooty.
A hidden gem on the shores of Lake Conroe. What a great find. My wife and I had dinner here recently and from start to finish it was an excellent experience. Service was prompt and efficient, the staff were courteous and knowledgeable, and the food was absolutely wonderful -- best I've had in the area, downtown included, and my wife and I are shameless foodies who indulge often and have sampled broadly. A new favorite -- we'll be back soon.
Great food, what a great dining experience.
Chez Roux Restaurant was an outstanding choice as the setting, overlooking Lake Conroe, combined with the outstanding food make it truly a memorable experience. I recommend it for both special occasions and for the times when you want to just unwind and enjoy a relaxing meal.
The Pre Fix menu, complete with a starter, the main course, dessert and 1/2 bottle of wine was priced at a very reasonable $65. Portions were perfect and the presentation of the food was excellent.
For the starter, I had the "Rare Peppered Tenderloin of Venison" which was perfectly prepared. The fine bean and caper relish that accompanied it balanced out the dish. The Parmesan Wafer was an unexpected treat that just rounded out a fantastic starter. Starting out like this, I knew that this experience was one I would remember for a very long time.
As an added note, the 1/2 bottle of wine selection was either "Murphy Goode, 2006 Fume Blanc Sonoma California or the Jean Luc Colombo, 2005 Rouge Rhone Valley (France). I selected the 2006 Fume Blanc which paired very well with my dinner.
For the main course I selected the "Butter Poached Breast of Chicken" which was exceptional. The hints of the aged parmesan along with the shitake mushrooms that enhanced the asparagus risotto convinced me that Chef Albert Roux's reputation is fully represented in this new venture.
Chef Roux has an impressive reputation as does the executive chef, Matthew Gray and the food we enjoyed reaffirmed that to us.
For dessert, I went with Ice Cream: a scoop of white chocolate and a scoop of marzipan infused ice cream. Everyone else had the selection from french and domestic cheeses that were offered. Honestly, we were surprised at the large variety of cheeses offered and I was happy to have been able to choose from 4 different ice creams and 4 different sorbets. Simply stated, the desserts from the fixed menu were very nice.
Overall, a fantastic experience and a place I highly recommend! You will leave with fond memories.
Good food, but small portions and high prices.
Chez Roux Restaurant at La Torretta Del Lago Resort is perfect for fine food, if you don't mind spending a lot of coin while you're there. For my money, I would prefer Mark's, Da Marco, Mockingbird Bistro, or a fine Houston steakhouse instead.
Chez Roux serves top-quality food in a neat lakeside setting, and the chef does a great job of mixing various flavors and paring foods; however, the price of a meal there is hard to justify. For appetizers, I had a crab and lobster dish, which was priced about $24. While it was delicious, the portion size of the appetizer warranted a price more along the lines of $12-15, given that it hardly served as an appetizer for one person, much less two. The entree selections are few, and most run from $35 and up, again with portions more along the lines of $20-35 entrees. The wine list is extensive, with lots of older vintages from top-notch vineyards, but the selections of red wine under $100 are few and far between, and the markup in some instances is outrageous. The most notable "values" were the 1997 and 1999 Mondavi Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (around $140-170). On top of the already astronomical prices, note that there is a forced 18% gratuity included, NO MATTER THE SIZE OF YOUR PARTY. As a custom, I usually tip around 10% for wine, and 20% for food service (and I know that everyone has their quirks in this realm of tipping on wine). I was quite astonished that they would force-tip a party of two, including the marked-up wine that we had, but I'm not sure on whom the blame rests for that. As for the service, I expected a bit more knowledgeable staff. While the waitstaff was friendly and attentive, they seemed inexperienced and timid.
In sum, when I decide to have another $100-125/plate dinner, I would rather go to a steakhouse like Pappas Bros., or go to one of the above 3 restaurants instead, so that the hole in my wallet is at least somewhat alleviated by a full stomach.
Incredible New Restaurant on Lake Conroe - Chez Roux. My wife and I had the dining experience of a lifetime at the new Chez Roux Restaurant at the La Torretta Del Lago Resort and Spa on Lake Conroe We highly recommend this world class restaurant to anyone who is looking for an extraordinary dining experience that is sure to impress you and your guests. Our Chez Roux experience began with a glass of champagne on the deck while watching one of the most beautiful sunsets we have ever seen. The fine dining began with lime and orange cured salmon imported from New Zealand that was truely exquisite. Schrambsberg Blanc de Blanc 2005 Napa Valley was the perfect choice to enhance the flavor. This was followed by a winter terrine of squab, parma hame, foie gras, shiitake mushrooms, and truffle vinaigrette that made the mouth water with each bite Next came a cssoulet of scallops and gulf shrimp that was expertly prepared and cooked to perfection. Silverado Vinyards Chardonnay 2006 Napa Valley accompanied these delightful entrees. A loin of venison, bitter chocolate, and raspberry sauce followed that was simply indescribably delicious, served with Chateau Montelena Savignon 2005 Napa Valley that was a perfect accompaniment. The blanco bianco, with cumin marinated baby carrots was the perfect compliment to the aforementioned delicaces. Dessert consisted of incomparable raspberry napoleon with chocolate sorbet with cafe petit fours. The evening was capped with Les Clos de Peulles Banyuls from Rousillon France. The trip to Lake Conroe's Chez Roux is an experience that is simply as unforgettable as beautiful Lake Conroe. We can't imagine a better restaurant anywhere in the United States. Don't take our word for it Make your plans and reservations now!
Wonderful Dining Experience.
Incredibly delicious food in a beautiful atmosphere with a spectacular view of Lake Conroe at sunset. La Torrretta Del Lago has created what will soon be known as one of the best restaurants in the Houston area if not all of the US.
We had dinner there last night and the food was superb and the presentations of the food is fun and exciting. We started with the Scallops and Pork Belly as well as a thinly sliced raw Tuna for appetizers both with light flavorful sauces. Then we had a wonderful Veal as well as Grouper for our entree. The desserts were out of this world trying the Raspberry Souffle, Fresh Raspberry Sauce with White Chocolate Sorbet as well as the Chocolate Mousse cylinder with Pralines.
I will be back again soon to enjoy this rare gem.
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