Ruggles Black Food Bar Paleo Tandoori Zataar Chicken
It’s the brand he made famous in more than one incarnation. Now Bruce Molzan, the chef who created Ruggles Grill and Ruggles Green, is branding yet another Ruggles concept: Ruggles Black. He and co-owner Neera Patidar have reinvented Patidar’s former eatery Nosh in the Upper Kirby District, melding both owners’ culinary influences in one appetizing menu. Molzan is a classically French trained chef who has made his own brand of American cuisine his culinary trademark. Here, he spices things up (a lot!) with Patidar’s Asian mélange of flavors (spices and ingredients hailing from India, China, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Thailand) at their exciting new food bar.
Amongst punches of graphic black throughout and a sort of louche, dimly lit exotic vibe after dark, you can dine on fun street eats such as Thai-spiced curry mussels ($13), sticky tandoori-spiced chicken wings ($9) and flatbreads ranging from the open wrap-style lamb dressed with red onion, tomato and scallions ($18), to samosas, the South Asian fried pastry bursting with masala spiced vegetables cooled with yogurt-based raita ($13). Molzan is also an early adopter of the paleo diet trend, where proponents revert to the idea of grazing, hunter-gatherer … i.e., non-processed. Here he takes the often blah and boring tenets of the movement and elevates them, spinning out dishes such as paleo angry shrimp ($16), paleo seared tuna taco ($10) and paleo beef short ribs ($9) that will make you consider diving fork first into the paleo ethos. Of course, Molzan is also known for putting together inspired salads, represented here by a kale Caesar ($11) and a roasted beet and pork-belly salad ($14), both chock-full of veggies and their accouterments — the latter tosses apples, pears, pistachios, goat cheese, sweet potato, quail and carrots in a mango-curry yogurt dressing. Open blessedly late hours — or, should we say, wee morning hours, until 2 am Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Ruggles Black 3963 Kirby Drive; 832-530-4493.