By Marilyn Kitzes
Editor’s Note: This is another installment of our “One Dish” series—a look at how restaurants are using sous vide around the world, from the perspective of a single menu item.
Field & Tides, a charming bistro located in the historic Heights neighborhood, is enjoying attention for its delicious Southern, Gulf Coast and American cuisine. We spoke to Chef Lenig about his restaurant and his menu’s pork chop, a customer favorite.
The Dish: Double-Cut Pork Chop with IPA Mustard, White Cheddar Grits and Braised Collards
The Restaurant: Field & Tides, Houston, TX
What was your inspiration for the creation of Field & Tides and its menu? I wanted to have a restaurant space that was not just one type of cuisine, but instead multiple. A neighborhood spot that you could visit several times a month get something different.
What’s the feel of The Heights and why did you choose that location? We occupy an old 1936 bungalow and gas station that were beautifully transformed into a restaurant. The neighborhood is filled with young professionals, artists, and families. It’s a small town in the big city! Beautiful Victorian homes are in the surrounding neighborhood and everything is walking distance. I chose this area because I lived here when I was first married and absolutely fell in love with it.
Can you tell us about your sous vide pork chop—and why do you choose to cook it sous vide? I use a 16 oz. double-cut bone-in pork chop from Buckhead Beef. We only season it with salt and pepper. The meat speaks for itself! We chose to sous vide this item because I wanted a perfect product every time and in a timely manner. I have a very small kitchen line. By using sous vide we can control ticket timing and have a stellar product. All we do is sear the meat and roast for a few minutes. If we were to go from raw to pan it would take almost 45 minutes, and I believe, the product would be dry.
One can’t exist on sous vide food alone. What are some of your other menu favorites? I really love our Asian Spiced Beef Rib. It was something that I worked on for a while—and perfected. We wanted something that was different and big and bold. We rub it down with red curry paste, slow roast, then take pan drippings to make a beautiful sauce, and serve with crab-fried rice. I also really love our Cracklin Crusted Redfish with Anson Mills herbed farro, green onion, tasso ham and okra. This was super fun to develop because all these flavors are so close to home.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.