December 1, 2018
Charivari Restaurant - A Houston Treasure
Chef/owner Johann Schuster brought his restaurant concept to Houston several decades ago and it speaks to the quality of his menu that it has had such a dedicated following for such a long. It is one of the restaurants that I will always take visitors to Houston to, in order to give them a taste of the width and breadth of dining in Houston. What I love about Chef Schuster is that he feels that the most important thing to a chef is to make his customers happy. And he is always available to talk, answer questions, and get feedback.
Now, I must come clean and share an anecdote and that is that on one of my first visits back in the 90's I think, my entree came out incredibly salty. And I made a comment about this online. Within a day Chef Schuster was on the phone with me to discuss what had happened with an offer to make it right on my next visit. Which he did. And in so doing turned me into a dedicated customer.
For me, although I am always tempted to try something else, I end up with the spectacular wienerschnitzel here. So, for me, I am happiest when I can put together a group of six so that we can sample several dishes.
Chef tells a story in his cookbook about how he came to Texas, after a career in Roumania and then Germany.
"Right at about that time, the the late nineties, I overheard one of my customers who had recently travelled to the United States. He was full of praise for my food and encouraged me to think of moving my business to America. I remember that he loved my risotto and told me, "If you bring this risotto to America, you will be a millionaire." Of course, I was highly amused by this. The man had just returned from Houston and he felt that the city had a large number of international business customers. He was correct in assessing this type of clientele as the prime customer base for my type of cooking."
And so, Chef Schuster came to Houston for the first of seven or so times, in order to work out details and establish his restaurant.
In his cookbook he lists several recipes that he developed right here in Houston such as:
Wild Mushroom Cappuccino
Lobster Butternut Squash Bisque
"Dracula's" Garlic Cream Soup
Paiche Filet with Purple Potatoes and Lucuma Sauce