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Small restaurant, giant reviews

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Located in an eclectic neighborhood northeast of downtown Houston, Oxheart is a tiny space making big waves on the Houston culinary scene.

The 31-seat restaurant is being called one of the best new restaurants in the country by everyone from Bon Appetit to Esquire.

Chef-Owner Justin Yu is at the helm of a place that focuses in on fresh, local ingredients, and is not afraid to make vegetables the star of many of the dishes.  Food blogger Maya Fasthoff recently visited Oxheart and asked Yu how he came up with the name.

"We have a dual focus between meat proteins and fish, and vegetables," Yu said. "Oxheart is obviously the heart of an ox, but it's also a varietal of carrot, a varietal of tomato, and a varietal of cabbage, so the dual focus between meats and vegetables is how I came up with the name.  I want there to be a thought process where diners find new things that you may not have known grew near your house or where you live.  It's a creative take on new modern American cuisine."

One of the dishes exemplifying the philosophy of Oxheart is a slow-roasted okra dish. Pieces of the roasted okra stand at attention, secured by dollops of sweet corn pudding in a display that is as much art as it is food.

"It really showcases what's great about the restaurant," Yu said. "Okra has a really long growing season.  It uses every part of the vegetable and it's a great way to showcase a vegetable like that".

Oxheart is open for dinner only Thursdays through Mondays.  The menu features two four-course tasting menus and one 7-course tasting menu.  Reservations are definitely required.

Oxheart is located at 1302 Nance St.

For more information on the restaurant, go to:  

oxhearthouston.com

To read Maya Fasthoff's blog, check out:  

restauranttraveler.com

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