By Jim Ayres
I promised you Edison bulbs in a recent column, and now I bring you a skyfull of them. Edison is the new, brightly playful gastropub on Edison Street (at Patton) in North Houston.
It’s a quiet neighborhood—take the Cavalcade exit off I-45—but you can’t miss the murals. One is dedicated to Thomas Edison. The other extolls the health virtues of drink. I’ll drink to that!
Edison’s patio is warmed by fireplaces and lit by a galaxy of the namesake bulbs. It’s a dreamy experience to be out there. Inside is rustic, giving you the feeling of “ we did just enough to make an old space inhabitable” by way of a professional design firm. The lights aren’t bright but they are flattering. You’ll look fantastic.
And still, Edison is as much of a drinkery as it is a restaurant. We often forget how highly a splash of bitters can elevate a classic cocktail. Here, a pale orange, not-too-sweet (like it should be) Mai Tai gets a tiny zing of bitters that sets off the sweeter elements to great effect.
The Mexican Firing Squad was similarly well crafted, with a mystery spice note making tequila, lime, agave and grenadine that much more interesting.
If you love French Fries, I think Edison is the best place you can get them right now. The $6 platter is piled high with enough to feed six. The fries themselves are perfectly thin and crispy, seasoned with wisps of sugar along with salt and a blend much like Old Bay. They’re topped with feta cheese and an herby aioli.
Fried cauliflower is an epic must-order. It arrives hot and strewn with bacon, but there’s a dressing underneath that’s a little miso, a little cilantro, a little something spicy, and insanely good.
Those two items are listed under “ Bar Stuff” on the menu. These dishes are made to share; you likely won’t finish one yourself. Up from that is “ Standards”—think smaller entrees without any side dishes. There are a couple of larger entrees listed under “ Substantial.”
But “ Standards” is where I found my earthshaking Gnocchi. Spinach and freshly made ricotta add a lift to the purple potato pillows, which also feature a tomato confit and a creamy arugula-basil pesto. It’s all very rich and comforting.
I got a to-go order of Edison Pie with freshly whipped cream. After my first bite, I thought, “ This is good. Sweet. It’s OK.” But the more I had, the more I appreciated the rolled oat and pecan crust. The filling had the texture of an old-fashioned vinegar pie, and maybe that’s what it was. But yes, I finished the slice. And loved it.
And I love Edison. I caught myself wishing for a split second that it were in Montrose, but I thought better of it. The location is perfect, right where it is. NoHo may not get as much love as Montrose or The Heights, but it’s got heart. And with joints like Edison starting to pop up, NoHo’s heart is going to be beating faster and faster.
4203 Edison Street
Houston, Texas 77009