Brandani’s Restaurant & Wine Bar

Ron Brandani, Alisa Murray and Claire Brandani

Ron Brandani, Alisa Murray and Claire Brandani

THE ARTIST’S PALATE | By Alisa Murray –

Well folks, I am a southern gal from North Carolina, and one thing I know is my fried chicken. Brandani’s not only has the best in Texas, but in North Carolina as well. There’s a special sauce that owner and Executive Chef Ron Brandani makes called jalapeño gravy, and I lovingly refer to it as “crack,” because it’s past good – it’s amazing! Initially, that is what drew me in to visit this power couple’s new restaurant, and the rest has been every bit as delish.

Ron and Claire Brandani remind me a lot of Brian and me in that their business is a family affair. They each play a pivotal role in creating both an experience of fine dining and amazing dishes that are beautifully plated and seasoned to perfection. Ron, a Galveston native, cooked with Danish Chef Tommy Broberg, who is in part credited with inspiring Ron to become the amazing chef he is today. Claire is a third generation Houstonian. Their menu is filled with seasonal fresh vegetables, and the couple uses local farmers and supports our community by giving back.

300-foodRon likes cooking things he knows and that has proven to please his friends and family. I asked him about his style. “I like big flavors. I don’t think you should have to season your food when you go out to eat. My dad taught me how to make homemade red sauce when I was five, so I feel most of my food has an Italian heart.”

I had the Breakfast for Dinner, which is smoked deviled eggs, potato latke and Ron’s famous candied bacon. By the way, that bacon is Mrs. Patti’s favorite! The Crab Cake is second runner-up for me as the best of his menu. I have had many off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia, and none can compare to his! Ron makes it with panko breadcrumbs, jumbo lump crabmeat,
lemon beurre blanc and crispy leeks.

There are several salads on the menu. Brandani’s Salad consists of mixed greens, apples, dried cranberries, pine nuts, tear drop tomatoes, chicken, croutons and avocado ranch dressing. As for main entrées, I have had many of his pasta dishes, and they are all amazing. The Salmon and Risotto is delicious with infused saffron and leek risotto, asparagus and tear drop tomatoes, drizzled with a roasted tomato vinaigrette. The Snapper is equally delightful. Wild caught Gulf Snapper finished with an orange chili sauce with kumquats is served with sautéed baby kale and gingered sweet potatoes. Then there’s the chicken served with mashed potatoes and that jalapeño gravy!

Ron’s favorite is his 16 ounce Porterhouse Pork Chop. He cold smokes and then pan sears a porcini crusted pork chop, finishes it with a gorgonzola dolce and porcini cream sauce and serves it  with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. The S’mores Silk Pie – James Edward’s favorite – is made with a graham cracker crust, chocolate ganache, chocolate mousse and toasted marshmallows. The Pumpkin Spice Cake is a family recipe of Claire’s. The couple offers a full wine bar and has regular tastings and pairings, so check out their events schedule.

The atmosphere at Brandani’s is both family-friendly and well appointed for fine dining. The walls are graced with oil paintings by Ron’s mother. One painting she did long before Ron and Claire made the decision to become restaurateurs is a scene of Brandani’s Restaurant. Sometimes, parents catch the vision for their children long before it becomes a reality. That’s something else I have in common with this lovely couple.

Dine at Brandani’s, and ask for some jalapeño gravy to go! Bon appétit! 

Brandani’s Restaurant & Wine Bar

3340 FM 1092, Suite 160 • Missouri City, TX 77459 • 832-987-1313