With simple meals and a cozy space, the new Elliot’s Table by Family Meal HTX is dedicated to bringing people together under the umbrella of well-made food.
Elliot Roddy, owner and chef of Elliot’s Table, saw the potential in the vacated deli at 465 T.C. Jester Blvd. Ste. B. The space, once lit by huge florescent lights that didn’t reflect well against white ceramic flooring, is now transformed into a small but comfortable space with an atmosphere that feels like home.
The interior may be slim, but soon its outdoor patio will be ready for customers to dine while sipping on a glass of wine.
The concept of Family Meal HTX came before the brick and mortar of Elliot’s Table. Roddy, who has been in the restaurant industry for years, worked previously as a general manager.
“On Mondays we were closed and I would just invite all of the staff to my house and we would have what we called a family meal,” Roddy said. “And then (Elliot’s Table) kind of spawned from that.”
The idea is being able to sit down and connect with those around you while having a great meal at a price that is accessible to everyone. This extends to the wine list as well, with full bottles ranging anywhere from $29 to $60, giving a group of friends the ability to share two bottles of wine without it being too pricey.
“We want to be able to serve everyone,” Roddy said. “I want everyone to be able to come here and eat and have a good quality farm-to-table-style meal without having to pay a super high premium.”
The other primary players in this venture are Max Hartman, wine director and front-of-house liaison, and Matt Crow, who helps with the cooking. Roddy previously worked with Hartman at Bramble, which used to be located off Voss Road, and has been cooking with Crow for years.
“I think (Bramble) was ahead of its time and in the wrong location, so we kind of wanted to give it another go on our own,” Roddy said. “See if we could kind of instill some of those farm-to-table, nothing wasted, all fresh product, nothing frozen, made-from-scratch kind of mentality.”
Roddy believes this fresh-first outlook will be welcomed by local diners. Even with processed food being a major contributor to the food source, there is a slow rise of awareness rippling through society. Farm-to-table is becoming a driving force in this generation and it’s seen in the popularity of farmers markets and restaurants such as Elliot’s Table.
“Now, we’re starting to see the effects of (processed food) and people want to make a change,” Roddy said. “They’d rather spend more money on a good product they can respect versus a cheap product you can get in and out and on your way and not really care where it came from.”
Where a product comes from and what’s in it is essential in Elliot’s Table’s menu. Just last week, Roddy traveled to Kemah to buy shrimp for the restaurant’s “Gulf Shrimp and Grits,” because they were fresh. By buying them himself he was able to bring them back to the restaurant, process them, vacuum seal them and freeze them without worrying about any other added solutions.
Because of the restaurant’s dedication to high-quality products, the menu will rotate depending on what is fresh and available.
The staff at Elliot’s Table is a community in and of itself, like with the creation of the menu.
“We take influence from everything. It’s not like the chef is in the back writing the menu,” Roddy said. “I want everyone’s opinion on it because (Max is) serving the customers, Matt’s back here cooking with me and we all have experience together. So we might as well pull everyone’s knowledge together and build it that way.”
After a slight hesitation, Roddy added, “But there are certain things that I love, the shrimp and grits, it’s mine because that’s one of my favorite dishes.”
One of the starters on the menu, Claudia’s Mole, is made in-house by the prep cook. She makes tortillas and salsa from scratch to go along with the braised chicken.
In addition to staff-inspired items, the menu tags vendors that the restaurant uses. Bread service is by Cake & Bacon, which delivers fresh bread every morning, and for dessert there is Fat Cat Ice Cream. For some of the other dishes they use products by 44 Farms, Old School Produce and Casa M Spice Co.
“We’re going to produce good quality food (and) we’re going to use great products,” Roddy said.
For now Elliot’s Table is open Wednesday – Saturday from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.