Review of Courses Restaurant at the Art Institute of Houston

Updated on February 16, 2020
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Photos of student chefs at Courses Restaurant at the Art Institute of Houston
Photos of student chefs at Courses Restaurant at the Art Institute of Houston | Source

The Art Institute of Houston

Courses Restaurant is part of the Art Institute of Houston, located at 4140 Southwest Freeway, Houston, Texas. I had noticed the Institute before—it is a tall building on the north side of the Southwest Freeway—but I had not realized that the school had a culinary program. I had assumed that the school taught art and fashion, but I discovered that they teach many more subjects than that.

Interior of Courses Restaurant, located at the Art Institute of Houston
Interior of Courses Restaurant, located at the Art Institute of Houston | Source

I Found It Through Groupon

I discovered this student-run restaurant when I noticed a discount coupon on Groupon. Courses Restaurant sparked my curiosity. My husband agreed to accompany me and check it out. We have now gone there twice, and we have enjoyed a three-course lunch for two for a very reasonable price. They offer those lunches on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Also offered are four-course dinners for two or four people on Thursdays and Fridays from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required. The menu frequently changes, which makes sense. It gives the aspiring chefs more opportunities to learn about different foods and how to perfect the cooking as well as the presentation of it.

Crawfish soup
Crawfish soup | Source

Meals Prepared by Aspiring Chefs

This culinary school offers two- and four-year degrees. Subjects include the following:

  • Pastry and Baking
  • Culinary Arts
  • Culinary Management
  • Hospitality Food and Beverage Management

The student chefs learn to work in the front as well as the back of the house, studying all aspects of not only food preparation but how to keep customers happy.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Breaded tilapia with roasted purple potatoes and watercress with a jalapeno vinaigrette sauceCoffee creme bruleeMixed berry parfaitTasty bread
Breaded tilapia with roasted purple potatoes and watercress with a jalapeno vinaigrette sauce
Breaded tilapia with roasted purple potatoes and watercress with a jalapeno vinaigrette sauce | Source
Coffee creme brulee
Coffee creme brulee | Source
Mixed berry parfait
Mixed berry parfait | Source
Tasty bread
Tasty bread | Source

Our First Dining Experience

My husband and I both selected the crawfish soup and the tilapia entree. Each of us chose different desserts on our first dining visit to the Courses Restaurant. Every bite of the food was delicious, and the student chefs in training were very friendly as servers. One young man was a retired serviceman, and he was now studying to become a chef.

In looking at the Art Institute website, it appears that there is a great deal of tuition assistance for honorably discharged men and women who have served our country in uniform. That is wonderful to know.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The restaurant was decorated with works created by the Art Institute's studentsStudent artworkStudent artwork
The restaurant was decorated with works created by the Art Institute's students
The restaurant was decorated with works created by the Art Institute's students | Source
Student artwork
Student artwork | Source
Student artwork
Student artwork | Source

Student Artworks

The decor is minimal in this student-operated restaurant. The tables are widely spaced and have white linens and black napkins. According to their website, this restaurant space accommodates up to 45 people for meetings or special events. There are multiple views of the kitchen from the restaurant as well as the entrance hall.

As an artist, I am always interested in viewing art. We noticed that there was different art displayed on the walls from our first visit to the next time we decided to enjoy lunch there. A culinary instructor who was checking on us both times to see if we were satisfied with our meals informed us that students who study art at the Art Institute of Houston are the ones who create the art. Those white walls offer a splendid palette for the display of colorful art. I particularly liked the rabbit and butterfly pieces.

Courses Restaurant in Houston
Courses Restaurant in Houston | Source

Our Second Dining Experience

The zuppa toscana may not have looked that pretty, but it was tasty, according to my husband. The soup had components of Italian sausage, potatoes, and kale plus other seasonings.

My first choice selection of the hummus platter was very visually appealing, as you can readily see. I ended up taking a sizable portion of it home with me. I could have easily made a meal of just that! It had not only hummus but also some tzatziki along with the pita bread and veggies.

My husband was happy with his chicken flautas served over a bed of rice. I thought that the shrimp and grits were so delicious flavored with diced red, yellow, and green peppers as well as roasted tomato and bits of bacon or pork belly.

All main selections were served in bowls on our second visit. The menu was designed by the students who were nearing the end of their term. The other entree choice from which we could have selected that day was a lamb kebob.

Usually, I do not order dessert. However, I took a few bites of the rice pudding as I had of the mixed berry parfait on our first visit. The show-stopper this time was the deconstructed tiramisu, which my husband ordered. He enjoyed it immensely for the visual effect as well as the flavor. Many people seemed to be ordering it that day.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hummus platterZuppa toscanaChicken flautasShrimp and gritsArroz con lecheDeconstructed tiramisu
Hummus platter
Hummus platter | Source
Zuppa toscana
Zuppa toscana | Source
Chicken flautas
Chicken flautas | Source
Shrimp and grits
Shrimp and grits | Source
Arroz con leche
Arroz con leche | Source
Deconstructed tiramisu
Deconstructed tiramisu | Source

Chefs Extraordinaire!

The walls outside of Courses Restaurant have the faces of some of the graduates of this cooking school. Those featured have successful careers in Houston as well as in other parts of the country.

You may recognize Chef Charles Clark and Chef Chris Shepherd if you dine out often in Houston since they are chef-owners of local dining establishments.

If you visit the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, you might have seen or eaten one of the exquisite pastries made by Chef John Adams.

You may recognize Chef Sarah Grueneberg from her participation in Food Network, and other televised competitions or have eaten in her Chicago restaurant. She has received multiple awards as have other chefs who trained here.

If you are the type of person who likes to take chances with an ever-changing menu and enjoy eating the food of chefs who are still in training, who knows, you may meet the next superstar chef before they attain those accolades and fame.

Free parking is available in a parking garage to the back of the Art Institute of Houston.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Chef Charles ClarkChef Chris ShepherdChef John AdamsChef Sarah Grueneberg
Chef Charles Clark
Chef Charles Clark | Source
Chef Chris Shepherd
Chef Chris Shepherd | Source
Chef John Adams
Chef John Adams | Source
Chef Sarah Grueneberg
Chef Sarah Grueneberg | Source

Have you ever dined at a student-chef restaurant like Courses?

See results

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi FlourishAnyway,

      It is fun showing off what makes Houston the special place it is in which to live. Glad you like this article and others.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 months ago from USA

      How nifty! I think everyone needs to do articles like you do about what makes their hometown or region special. I’d be first in line to try this place and I’d love to see the art on the walls too.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Manatita,

      Yes, the food is fresh, nutritious, presented beautifully, and less expensive than in typical restaurants. It is quite a bargain as well as a nice experience.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      4 months ago from london

      Nicely presented meals and good food. Glad you enjoyed it. I like the idea that one can buy there a bit cheaper and the food is still health and delicious.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rochelle,

      Your son must love living in Houston since it has such an active art scene. Thanks for sharing the information about Courses Restaurant with him.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      4 months ago from California Gold Country

      OK, another one I have to share. He's also an artist and art teacher so maybe he should check this place out for more than one reason.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Audrey,

      Houston would welcome you with open arms! As Bob Barker would have said: "Come on down!" Over, in your case. (Smile)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I'd be first in line, waiting to discover these tasty recipes, created by the students at Courses Restaurant. (Love the name.) Your photos make my mouth water, especially the tilapia and the hummus platter.

      I think I need to move to Houston.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Nyesha,

      The food not only looked great, but it was tasty as well. The young chefs are well on their way in their studies before they start serving the public in this restaurant.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Liz,

      Sorry about making you hungry. Haha! If this restaurant was closer to our part of town we would probably dine there more often.

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      5 months ago from USA

      Thanks for this interesting and informative hub. The food prepared by the student chefs looks great!

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Linda,

      This Courses Restaurant is a great place for diners and the students who are studying all the aspects of becoming chefs. Each time we have been there, the art on the walls is different. It is an excellent place for art students to have their work hung and showcased.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 months ago from UK

      This is a fascinating account and a glowing recommendation for dining here. It sounds like you have found a great place to dine out and the photos have now made me hungry.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This sounds like a place that is well worth visiting. The photos and your descriptions make the food look and sound very appetizing. I like the rabbit and the butterfly in your photos, too.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pamela,

      Not only can we eat the food by the student chefs, but with windows into the kitchen from the dining room, we can also watch them work. It is a unique place and one that was for us a delightful discovery.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Nancy,

      It is wonderful that you have personally experienced the good food, service, and ambiance of a similar restaurant in Chicago for your daughter's engagement party.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      It truly was a fun discovery for us, and with a discounted Groupon coupon, an excellent bargain. So happy to hear that your impression of Houston is getting better and better. Except for the sizzling days of summer, we really like it here.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Nikki,

      I hope you get to experience eating the food of student chefs someday in your part of the world. It makes sense that they have to practice their skills on someone. Thanks for your comment.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 months ago from Sunny Florida

      This sounds like a wonderful opportunity for want-to-be chefs and an opportunity for you and your husband to have a reasonably price delicious meal. It sounds like you and your husband had delicious meals twice at this good chef school. I enjoyed your article.

    • profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      5 months ago

      Nice article, Peggy. The art institute in Houston, with its amazing restaurant, reminds me of the one in Chicago which also has incredible art and an amazing restaurant. When my youngest daughter first became engaged, I gave her an engagement luncheon there (in Chicago). They did a beautiful job with the food and the service. The atmosphere was top notch.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      This is so cool! I wish Olympia had a place like this where aspiring chefs could learn their craft. I'm liking Houston more and more with each of your articles.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      5 months ago from London

      Good enlightening article, Peggy. I haven't experienced any food cooked by the student chefs. Yet, I would love to if I ever come across such an experiment.

      Thanks for sharing such a valuable hub with us.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)