Flora and Muse is located in the CityCentre of Houston, convenient to shopping, entertainment and even hotel accommodations. The official address is 12860 Queensbury Lane. However, it is easily located along Town and Country Boulevard.
Décor, Interior and Exterior: I began my visits in the patisserie, where there are lovely floral arrangements for sale, comfortable, casual farmhouse style seating, front patio seating, and intimate arrangements of chairs, sofa’s and tables for more comfortable dining. A floral cart offered a variety of blooms for purchase to take home, and I was pleased to pick up some fresh eucalyptus for the house. Walking past the delicious looking pastries, I decided to sit on the other side of the almost 6000 square foot restaurant, close to the bar and near the French doors so I could enjoy the great outdoors without actually being outside. The more “formal” dining offers four tops, group seating, as well as more luxurious banquet style seating that allows makes for a more romantic dining experience. I loved the simple, understated elegance of the small floral arrangement on the table, no two looked exactly alike. There is even a private dining room with a flat screen TV that could be used for business luncheons or dinners, meetings, or birthdays.
But that’s not all, the interior offers a large dramatic bar, with levered “blinds” that when opened gives the patrons sitting inside a beautiful view of the patio seating and providing bar service both inside and outdoors. There is also Wi-Fi and on some nights live music from the patio.
The food at Flora and Muse: I guess the question is, “What don’t they have?” I found anything that my heart could desire and a few things I didn’t even dream of. The menu is several pages long and offers everything from a small pastry and drink service for a light breakfast or mid morning snack to sandwiches, and full dinner meals. The first thing I noticed however was that Flora and Muse uses organics and locally grown produce. That was most impressive. Secondly, the also offer a wide range of drinks from teas and coffees, smoothies, juices, to a simple yet well designed selection of beers, a large selection of mixed drinks, cocktails and even quite an extensive wine list.
Since I have had both breakfast and lunch at Flora and Muse, I’ll be covering a few of the items for those times. I can’t wait to return for dinner.
I started with a Chai Tea, since that is an indulgence I rarely have time to make for myself. Steamed milk, tea and just the right amount of spices, not to hot and not too cold, made it the perfect start to my morning. I had to stop talking for a few minutes; to enjoy it in peace and quiet, something a writer and mom with 4 children rarely gets to do.
For our brunch/breakfast, there was the “tea service” tray, since no one could make up their mind which pastries they wanted to try. I stopped at one, the freshly baked pastry filled with made on site blueberry fruit preserves. I have to say, I wanted more than one! The layers of pastry were light and flaky, while I actually tasted real fruit and whole berries in my pastry.
The Classic Eggs Benedict offers twin poached organic eggs, black forest ham, toasted English Muffin, Classic Hollandaise and roasted asparagus and tomato salad. The serving was definitely just right for two people.
I admit to taking home a box of pastries with muffins, pastries, cakes, and rolls. After all, the family will need breakfast tomorrow right? Too bad most of it didn’t make it to the next morning after I allowed the family an after school snack.
It was relaxing to sit there for a few minutes after breakfast and not feel the rush to get up from my comfortable seat and table. I took out my notebook to take a few notes and other than to offer me more Chai, I was left in peace, making me want to return there the next morning to work and just about every day after that. I was close to the kitchen window and oven so I could watch the masters at work.
Returning for lunch we decided to try a little more “exotic” fare. Starting off with the Mediterranean Platter, we were serviced freshly prepared Hummus, Baba Ghanoush, Sun Dried Tomato Olive Tapenade and Tabouli. This is served with large leaves of Romaine lettuce for wrapping as well as freshly baked pita bread (it was still a little warm). I was pleasantly surprised to find each dish to be completely authentic, from the freshly chopped garlic and olive oil in the hummus to the finely chopped onions, mint, and tomatoes of the Tabouli.
We shared a Pear and Gorgonzola Flatbread made right there in their stone oven (you can even watch from the café side). Think roasted pears, gorgonzola, hazelnuts and onion jam. I am afraid this didn’t make it to anyone’s take home box.
Opting for the Ageless “Dorian Grey” Steak Sandwich, since it is open faced that helps with the carbs, our table found the Aged Natural Grass Fed NY Strip Steak to be not only a generous portion served on Grilled Cibatta Bread with Arugula, Heirloom Tomatoes and ChimiChurri, but the meat was so tender and juicy that adding anything else to it would have been a crime. The sandwiches are served with Orzo Salad or a Petit Green Salad.
No, we didn’t really need dessert, but if we all just take a little bite it will be ok right? Until everyone starts acting like kids in a candy store trying to make sure they get all the bites they want of the Sweet Crepe with Nutella, Stone Oven Roasted Bananas, Almonds and Chocolate. It really was a “light” dessert with just the perfect amount of sweetness to round out what was an incredibly indulgent lunch.
Each dish was perfectly presented making you almost not want to mess it up by biting into it, but the aromas were so tempting you just had to. I know I tried far more food than I ever thought possible.
Some items of interest on the menu include the fusion of European, Asian, Mediterranean, and American. Look for dishes that include Dolma, Curry, Tuscan, Tikki but there is also Mac and Cheese, Club Sandwiches, and Braised Beef Shortribs.
Have I made you hungry yet? I know I am ready to return. Finding all of these components from décor to menu fascinating I learned more about Flora and Muse.
Prices range across the board from $7.00-$22.00 depending on the meal chosen.
Flora and Muse is the brain child of Turkish-born and Houston-based entrepreneur, Hayri Gurbuz, a veteran hotelier, and his American and European based partners, including Turkish film star Basak Koklukaya.
The executive chef is David Luna, formerly of Houston’s acclaimed and nationally recognized Shade and Canopy restaurants.
Flora and Muse is one restaurant that offers “it all,” from a relaxed country style setting to private dining and every venue in between. Instead of the restaurant making the decisions for you, you decide what sort of event you are hosting; from breakfast with the family, lunch with friends or business associates or a romantic, sophisticated, elegant date, you decide what you want and when you want it and then it is served up perfectly to you.