I never know what to expect from chef Kris Jakob and his merry band, and that’s what keeps me so interested in his Friendswood restaurant. It’s popular with the surrounding neighborhoods, but it’s a destination for diners drawn by the work of this Belgian-trained chef with a Central Texas-German heart and a Houstonian’s zest for multicultural fun... read more
ABC NEWS SPECIAL
The Texas Bucket List
Featuring Brasserie 1895 ~ Friendswood, Texas
October 1, 2018
Good Taste Featured Dish of Week for Oct. 1: Brasserie 1895
Chef Kris Jakob is an expert when it comes to showcasing seasonal ingredients, just look at this beautiful salad made with tiger fig, balsamic, chèvre, plums, arugula, pumpkin seeds, lemon oil and cracker croutons. Is your mouth watering yet?
Top 100 Houston restaurant (No. 19): Brasserie 1895
Want chicken fried steak? It’s in rib-eye form, with foie-gras-spiked gravy. Smoked brisket? It’s treated in resonant sauerbraten style, with spaetzle. Everything from salads to apps to desserts is carefully sourced and boldly executed. Wines, beer and cocktails are smartly done, too. Lately there’s an exciting new menu-wrinkle in the form of old-school tableside cooking that runs the gamut from perfect steak au poivre in a flamed cognac sauce to real-deal Cherries Jubilee.
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With a menu inspired by Chef Kris Jakob’s European training, there’s a strong French and Belgian influence uniquely mixed with a Southern bent and hints of Asian inspiration. The core of the kitchen relies on a wood-burning oven for everything from pastries and breads, to pizzas and casseroles, and slow-roasted meat.
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The first chef-driven restaurant to open in the southeast Houston suburb of Friendswood, Brasserie 1895 was immediately embraced by the community as a scratch kitchen serving innovative global cuisine, with monthly rotating dishes ranging from nachos topped with cochinita pibil to curried wagyu beef tartare, and chicken-fried steak with foie gras cream gravy.
A destination restaurant in Friendswood? Believe it. At his quirky, casual brasserie, chef Kris Jakob applies classic French technique to playful cross-cultural ideas that are very much in tune with 21st-century Houston.
"The custard of foie gras, Madeira and truffle finished with a crisp, torched sprinkling of sugar served with house-made ginger snap cookies was simply plated, cute to look at and difficult to share politely." No wonder chef Kris Jakob garnered top honors at the 2015 Woodlands Wine & Food Week for this exact dish.
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The words “chocolate smoked stout trifle,” barely left the lips of our server’s mouth before we uttered an emphatic “YES, yes please.” Chef Jakob definitely flexed his gastronomical muscles when he composed this dessert. The Imperial Balinese Stout made by local Galveston Island Brewing is used throughout to create a beer-foam and chocolate and smoked stout syrup that cradled the layers of cake and custard in the glass.
At Brasserie 1895 in Friendswood, chef Kris Jakob goes his own way
The menu changes with the season and the market, which keeps things even more interesting. One night, I encountered a grilled elk chop in one of the deep, dizzying, red-winy demi-glaces that Jakob does so well, escorted by a Hill Country fleet of spatzle and red cabbage. That same evening saw a special of profound lobster bisque, ringing with cognac and long-simmered shells, and sent out under a pastry crust. It has since found a place on the menu.
Brasserie 1895 named among Houston's 14 best new restaurants of 2016
Brasserie 1895’s menu features freshly baked breads, pizzas, and meat dishes like cassoulet and lamb Rogan Josh. Recently, Jakob has dabbled in luxurious specials like lobster Thermidor and foie gras torchon that make Brasserie 1895 not only the best restaurant in its suburb — but also a place inner loopers should be driving to.
Brasserie 1895 named Alison Cook's Best New Restaurant of 2016
Nightly specials might include a meticulously seared elk chop with one of the profound, winey sauces in which Jakob excels. This is exciting food that's worth a journey, right down to the Belgian chocolate desserts and the very personal wine list overseen by Jakob himself.
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There’s some good food emanating from the kitchen of a new restaurant in Friendswood, a community a short drive south of Houston that’s a locale in need of just that. Kris Jakob (formerly of Kris Bistro) has assembled a well-oiled machine — including Jason Seo in the front of the house and fellow chef Christian Echterbille — at Brasserie 1895, and the several evenings I’ve spent there thus far leave me confident I’ll return to the comfortable spot.
Brasserie 1895: Where sophisticated cuisine is served in a relaxed environment
Wood-fired oven pizzas, plates of handmade pastas, chef-driven twists on classic dishes, including daily specials featuring fresh Gulf seafood and selections from local ranchers, comprise the dinner menu. The veal short rib cannelloni is stuffed with house-made sausage and served in a slow cooked ragu of peppers, heirloom tomatoes and orange peel.
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Calling Kris Jakob’s recently opened, European-inspired establishment the best restaurant in Friendswood is probably damning it with faint praise given the limited competition for the title, but Jakob is doing something pretty special at Brasserie 1895.
Alison Cook Names Brasserie 1895 in 2016 Top 100 Restaurants List
Jakob's German-Texas background manifests in skillful game cookery and house-cured meats — not to mention a mind-blowing chicken-fried flat iron steak, marinated in buttermilk and baptized in foie-gras-infused cream gravy.
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That experience is in many areas, not just French food, so the menu is delightfully eclectic, sporting Indian and Italian dishes right alongside Texas-by-way-of-France fare like delicate cutlets of chicken fried steak. The wine by the bottle is so affordable, it seems silly to not buy one for the table.
Brasserie 1895, with its plush burgundy and gray booths and flickering gas lamps, reflects Jakob's experience as a chef and has a distinct multicultural, Houstonian air about it. That means rogan josh is on the menu right next to gumbo, wood-oven fired pizza and chicken-friend steak. The style of plating, though, is definitely French-influenced.
Underrated Houston chef plans to transform Woodlands of the South into new dining mecca
One of Houston's most underrated chefs will be bringing something new to Friendswood in 2016. Kristofer Jakob has announced that he's left his position as the executive chef at Kris Bistro in the Culinary Institute LeNotre to launch a new restaurant called Brasserie 1895.