First lady's visit turns Montrose eatery into hotspot

The First Lady ate at Triniti with a friend and now the restaurant has become somewhat of a local tourist attraction
April 13, 2014 12:32:23 PM PDT
When the Obamas flew into Houston last week, President Obama attended a couple of high-end fundraisers. The first lady, though, was looking to slip away with a friend and relax. Of all the restaurants in Houston, Mrs. Obama chose one in the Montrose area, turning it into somewhat of a local tourist attraction.

In the 26 months Triniti has been open in the Montrose area, the minimalist modern restaurant already has a following, and now they can add the first lady of the United States to the list.

"She is just graceful," said Triniti owner Michael Kahtiv. "She is the first lady and I saw the biggest of smiles I've ever seen on peoples face when she walked in."

After the first lady selected Triniti from a list of six Houston restaurants, the Secret Service arrived ahead of time and picked a table for Michelle Obama and her friend. Known for her campaign of healthy eating in schools, she made quick request of the complimentary bread.

"She asked me to literally to remove the temptation, she referred to the bread on the table," Kahtiv said. "That pretty much gave me an idea what she would like."

As the Secret Service sat strategically at nearby tables, Mrs. Obama and her friend shared a salad and then went for a light healthy entree.

Kahtiv recalled, "It's a fish fillet of halibut, just simple pan sear, a little salt, little pepper. We use a little bit of olive oil and butter and assortment of summer squashes and crab tamale, tomatillo broth."

Word has already spread of the entrée, now taking on White House status, with the restaurant's clientele now requesting the dish.

Triniti's executive chef and partner Ryan Hildebrande said, "The halibut is definitely taking on that personality as her dish. It seemed to be her favorite from what I could tell and we've had a few people come in and ask about it in a little bit more detail and want to try it and share it."

The first lady and her friend spent more than three hours at Triniti. Customers are now coming in asking to sit at her table and enjoy her exact meal.