Since becoming the area executive chef for Howard Hughes Hospitality in 2017, David Morris has taken Robard’s Steakhouse in a new direction with new menu items and a full renovation of the restaurant.
Morris said Robard’s, which can be found at The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center, has been rebranding its menu and went through a renovation process from March to May. The eatery now features a new bar area and redesigned private dining areas.
“The current state of the menu has been an ongoing seven-month process to develop this culture, coming from a culinary mind, that was going to be considered as appropriate as other great restaurants in the country.” Morris said. “We cook classically and properly. There are certain steps to how you properly braise and saute things, so we really drive that. That has to be a fundamental piece [and]is incredibly important.”
Morris said the changes to the menu, which includes cuts of dry-aged beef, artisanal breads, fresh-caught seafoods and creative desserts, has seen positive reactions from the local community and new visitors to the steakhouse.
“We wanted to be the very best we could possibly be and buy the very best products we could afford,” Morris said. “We spent six months looking for the right beef and mastering proper techniques for dry aging. We were good before, but there was an area of opportunity and we weren’t great. I didn’t want to be just good, I wanted to be a top restaurant.”
Morris said the housemade dry-aged steaks are a top choice among customers as well as items from the bar menu, which features artisanal cheeses, crab cakes and a variety of burgers.
“Every three months, we start the process of scouring the country and the world for the best beef [for dry-aging]that is on the way,” he said. “We also take into consideration what season is coming, so we pair those cooking techniques with what is going to be in season to see what that is going to look like for our side dishes. Right now we garnish every steak with a microgrown root vegetable.”
Along with steaks, Morris said one of his favorite parts of the new menu at the steakhouse includes the Ad Hoc section, where the kitchen prepares special dishes highlighting the best seasonal ingredients throughout the year.
In addition to changes to the menu, Morris said brunch is now offered at Robard’s on Sundays, along with a Yappy Hour, where customers are invited to bring their pets to the restaurant.
“So far we’ve kept adding to the brunch menu,” Morris said. “We really love doing the live-action cooking station with fun things. My challenge to the chef is to create something memorable.”
Brunch at Robard’s features a raw bar with oysters and clams, a fresh gulf ceviche station, an egg and omelet station and prepared dishes, such as the classic eggs Benedict and lemon ricotta pancakes.
Morris said the different menus that can be found at the steakhouse and the thought that goes into each dish is what makes Robard’s different from other steakhouses in The Woodlands area.
“[Knowing] of the journey of the food, it is such a better dining experience,” he said. “I also want to create the ability to have no rules. Typically, you think steakhouses have rules, but I don’t want to be a guy surrounded by rules. We want it to be an exciting dining experience. That’s our laser focus on what we’re building.”
2301 N. Millbend Drive, The Woodlands
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 4-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 4-11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.