A highly regarded Japanese restaurant kata robata He’s always had plenty of sake and cocktails to pair with his kitchen, but Upper Kirby Restaurant has recently ramped up their wine program, too.
Inspired by his time as an Executive Assistant Chef at Tokyo’s Sushiko Honten, Chef Manabu “Hori” Horiuchi wanted to upgrade the restaurant’s wine offerings. The new Reserves Menu, developed by wine director Stephanie Vu in consultation with sommelier and Houston winegrocer’s manager (and regular Cata Robata) Antonio Gianola, offers an attractive selection of selections from France, California, Italy, and more.
On the high end, wine lovers can flaunt a $1,300 1999 Chateau Margeaux bottle or a $900 bottle of a 2002 Dom Perignon P2. Those looking to spend a bit less will find options like the 2016 Adleshiem Pinot Noir ($105) or 2015 Zeni Muller Thurgau ($55). While wines are not designed to go with any specific dishes, Vu is always happy to suggest options that suit one’s taste.
“When Chef Mamoru Sugiyama and his team started mixing sushi with wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy, everyone thought he was crazy,” Chef Hori said in a statement. “But it worked! I love sake, but the wine paired expertly and the sushi is really delicious.”
“We’ve carefully selected these standby wines from all regions to tell a story with every bite,” Fu added. “Even though countries come from different ends of the world, they are really meant for each other. Sometimes, when different components are combined, they can create something unique.”
To celebrate the new show, Chef Hori and Gianola teamed up for a special wine lunch on Saturday, July 30. At $300 per person plus taxes and gratuities, the menu features dishes such as: Snacks like Chawanmushi lobster with NV Champagne Waris -Larmandier Grand Cru Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Particules Crayeuses; sashimi paired with Daniel Etienne Defix Chapels 1er Cru “Vaillons”; kinmedai with ankaki shizu sauce matching 2010 Domaine Potintet-Ampeau Meursault 1er Cru “Les Charmes;” Texas Wagyu Beef with Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac 5ème Grand Cru Classé 2008. Reservations are available via the Resy app.
“As with most meals in kata rupata, there is a subtle, subtle intensity to this meal,” Gianola said. “I have chosen all kinds of French wines since Chef Horie’s first experience with wine was French (as is his favorite wine).”
After lunch, Gianola wine will be added to the list of Pho Reserve. Pricing has not yet been announced.