The building at 807 Taft doesn’t just have good bones. Its walls have borne witness to happy memories of serving good food to Houston.
“The entire building’s history revolves around food,” said chef Terrence Gallivan.
And now that building, most recently the former Gravitas, is being readied to once again usher in a new era of food service. Although this time in a bold new dining concept called The Pass and Provisions.
Co-owners Gallivan and Seth Siegel-Gardner have spent many months sweating the details of the operation which will feature two distinct dining concepts under one roof – the casual, everyday Provisions and the fine-dining The Pass featuring a prix fixe menu.
For the chefs helming what is surely this year’s most anticipated restaurant opening in Houston, it has been a long road to get to the opening stage which should come soon (Provisions is expected to open in September, with The Pass a month after).
“There’s nothing we look forward to more than standing in our own kitchen,” said Siegel-Gardner.
Ditto for local foodies who have followed the chefs through special dinners, chef competitions and pop-up concepts as they have patiently and methodically inched closer to realizing their dream restaurant.
“We spent a majority of our lives coming up with these restaurants in our heads,” Siegel-Gardner said. “We are living these dreams and we want people to know there’s an attention to detail in what we’re doing.”
So many details, such as the old Gravitas tables that were used to panel the staircase and walls of the entryway. Chairs, lighting fixtures, tabletops, bar furnishings, patio furniture – the partners and their designers are leaving nothing to chance. They’re letting more light into the spaces, stripping the windows of reflective coating and even enlarging windows. Designers are also planning a lot of interesting touches that the partners want to keep secret until opening.
The bar area will feature a large 16-seat communal table and a bar with 10 stools where customers can order all manner of drinks with bubbles: cider, beer and champagne and cava. Food from the Provisions menu will be available in the bar area.
Provisions, the 54-seat casual dining restaurant, will feature a menu of oysters, fresh pasta, pizza (cooked in a huge gas-fired, wood-burning oven), steaks, a bread program and even a soft-serve ice cream with changing flavors. It will be open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner and Sunday for brunch. “We want it to be a place you’ll come and try a lot of things without investing too much,” Gallivan said. The average per person ticket at Provisions will be about $18 for lunch, $35 for dinner.
The Pass, which will seat 36, is envisioned as an intimate dining room with sweeping views into a working kitchen. There will be only one seating per night for the tasting menus (about $65 for five courses; $95 for eight) at The Pass. “We’re not turning tables. It’s yours for the night,” Siegel-Gardner said.
The dual dining concept splits the Gravitas dining space in two almost equal rooms. But each will be distinct with its own personality, aesthetic and menu. The casual neighborhood joint and the luxe, super-sophisticated restaurant.
“It’s the best of both worlds in our minds,” Gallivan said.
Houston can’t wait.