Bart and Rachele Black plan to introduce a new dining concept to the community this summer with the opening of Black's Market Table, a restaurant focused on rustic new American cuisine.
"We wanted to do something local in our community," Rachele said. "We have a lot of friends who love good food and who like unique things."
Rachele has a background in hotel and restaurant management and sales, while Bart has more than 20 years of culinary experience. While working at Houston Oaks Country Club, he began meeting more local farmers and the wheels began turning to create the concept of Black's Market Table.
"Over the years we've built up more motivation towards creating something a little more unique with good food done right," Rachele said.
The restaurant, expected to open in late June, is located on Louetta Road at Lakewood Forest Drive in a space that previously sat vacant for several years. The Blacks have transformed the inside of the 3,500-square-foot space to feature brick walls and wood handcrafted from a 100-year-old barn.
Menu items at Black's Market Table will be locally sourced to ensure the dishes are made with the freshest ingredients possible, Rachele said.
"That's a big focus we have—locally sourced, simply prepared and just exceptionally good food," she said. "We want people to leave here feeling like they had a dining experience, not just grabbing something along the way."
The Blacks plan to offer distinctive menu items such as a grilled cheese and short rib sandwich, sweet corn tamales, shrimp and grits and a watermelon salad made with fresh mozzarella, cucumber, Mexican mint, lime juice and sea salt.
"The flavors just pop in your mouth, it's delicious and fresh and vibrant," Rachele said.
In addition to the core menu, there will be a chalkboard menu that will change weekly based on what is available at the farmers market.
"If we've got exceptional tomatoes for example, we might do a shrimp BLT with fried green tomatoes in it," Rachele said.
The Blacks hope to make the restaurant an interactive experience—there will be a finishing table in the dining area where Bart will stand to finish the plates as they come out of the kitchen.
"We want it to be an interactive experience," he said. "Even though the food is simple, it will be the best quality products available. Good food is what we want to present."
The full-service restaurant will be open for lunch during the week and will also offer craft beer, wine and cocktails.
"We want to pay homage to the event of eating and not have it be so quick," Rachele said. "We want people to come and enjoy time with people in their communities and their families."