Chef Ryan Lachaine plates at an Aces of Taste Gulf Coast-inspired wine dinner. Lachaine will make his executive chef debut at Riel this fall. (Photo by Jay Tovar)
A trio of cuisines take center stage at Riel, Ryan Lachaine‘s soon-to-open restaurant in Montrose. Lachaine is best known in Houston for his supporting roles at Bryan Caswell’s Reef and the now-closed Stella Sola, as well as his stint as Underbelly’s chef de cuisine (he’s also graced the kitchens of Animal in Los Angeles, Herbsaint Restaurant in New Orleans, Husk in Charleston, and COI in San Francisco).
Riel catapults Lachaine into the spotlight, serving as his executive chef and proprietary debut. He co-owns the restaurant with partners Jason Poon and Mechelle Tran.
At the center of the menu is a culinary triad inspired by Lachaine’s heritage — French Canadian fare meets Ukrainian cuisine and the Texas Gulf Coast. The menu pays homage to Lachaine’s birthplace of Canada, as well as his mother and grandmother’s Ukrainian roots and the restaurant’s regional setting.
The chef’s Canadian heritage is also celebrated in the restaurant’s name, which honors revolutionary Louis Riel. The founder of Canadian province Manitoba and the leader of the Métis community (indigenous people of North America), Riel was executed for treason after participating in the Métis resistance movement, which fought for the preservation of the group’s native land, language, and culture.
Fifteen items — shareable tapas, one family-style entrée, and three desserts — comprise Riel’s current menu, including dishes such as meat-filled Tourtière (an ode to Canada), pierogies and borscht (just like grandma made), and an assortment of Gulf Coast seafood.
Lachaine plans to open Riel in late November at 1927 Fairview Street.