The Artist’s Palate by Alisa Murray
Sugarland has a few hidden treasures and Fernando’s located at 14135 Southwest Fwy is one of them. Fernando, originally from Ecuador began as a teen in the food world and worked his way up from every position to now owner and chef. I visited with him in his kitchen and saw the passion of a true artist/chef explaining to me how every piece of the meat can be used from sauces to steaks to carnitas. His talent has evolved over the years into what he calls a fusion of old fashioned Italian and South American.
I asked him how important small restaurants are to his community and his eyes lit up. “My focus..you know is that I want diners to be satisfied and have an experience of not only amazing food but amazing service. We pull chairs, we tend to our guests here…it’s special.” He is so fine tuned to his craft that he runs his place like a small house. He is everything from the manager to the chef and because of that hands-on approach nothing falls through the cracks. I understand too well this concept as an artist myself and the similarities of running a restaurant that caters to a very intimate diner is the same as my client base that wants me to be their portrait artist. We both care deeply about what we do and that everyone feels like family.
The summer menu is debuting this month and boasts a beautiful and I might add very tasty filet topped with a creamy blend of crawfish and fresh avocado sauce. In his kitchen, I watched him slice a well appointed filet and then a smaller piece of meat and cut the smaller piece into a carnitas. A pinch of his “special salts” and a proud smear of his homemade chimichurri sauce dresses both cuts before going onto his grill. I watched intently as he created the dishes and he said “Oh Alisa, you’re learning all my secrets!”
The Ceviche is also a summer favorite as it is light and refreshing and easy
when it’s too hot outside for us all. Fernando’s is a blend of marinated Red Snapper tossed with a citrus blend of lemon and lime and peppers. When plated it is then tossed with fresh tomatoes and cilantro. YUM! Without a doubt though the Corvina, a delicate white fish that he imports from Peru is my favorite. This fish…oh my God …it’s like an angel’s kiss. Fernando smiled as I looked at him from the first bite. Arms folded over his chest like a proud papa. “What is THAT?” I asked. “Oh, it’s a little fish that I bathed in some eggs and finished with lemon and wine and butter.” I ordered four more to go! It goes with out saying that Fernando is living the American Dream. He started as a child in an industry that he grew to love and has a passion for his restaurant that he calls his ”baby.” Each day he cares and feeds this space by tending to the flowers, purchasing only the freshest products, greeting his guests and impeccably cooking for all who visit him. Fernando’s is truly a treasure in our community!
Fernando can be reached at 281-494-9087He’s open for dinner only ( 5:00-10:00 pm) because everything is being prepared especially for YOU! $$$