Let’s Eat: REEF – Houston

You might remember Bryan Caswell from Season Three of the Next Iron Chef (the one where Marc Forgione won).

He wasn’t my favorite but he did seem like a great chef so when my uncle told me he owns a few places in Houston, I was excited to go. The restaurants he currently has are:

  • Little Bigs: This is a burger place that serves little burgers with big taste…supposed to be awesome.
  • Stella Sola: Stella Sola means “lone star” in Italian, pretty cool. This place serves Tuscan Texas style.
  • REEF: Great seafood restaurant. Two-time James Beard nominee.

We picked REEF and made a reservation for 5 o’clock. Yep, 5 o’clock. Well, it had to be on the earlier side because my three year-old was going to be with us. When we called, it was either 9p or 5p. So, we took the 5p.

It actually worked out perfectly. We were done (and by done I mean exhausted) from visiting The Children’s Museum. It wasn’t a far drive and we pulled up for the valet parking (nice touch).

When we arrived the place was just about empty (surprised, not much). The atmosphere was cool. Very blue/green, crystals, and light. There was an open kitchen and for a moment we thought Bryan Caswell was actually there. And, maybe he was but he certainly wasn’t the man we thought he was.

Side note: Wouldn’t be a cool idea to have a look-alike chef/owner be there so everyone thinks the main guy is actually in the place cooking your food, himself. People would be excited (by people, I mean me)…just saying.

Anyway, we all ordered fish (hello, it’s called REEF for a reason). All except Leah. They don’t have a children’s menu and wouldn’t make a child’s portion.

Okay, I get it’s a nicer restaurant and a lot of people aren’t bringing their kids there but I thought they could have been a little more accommodating.

To resolve it, we ordered mussels as an appetizers for all of us and gave her a bunch. We also gave her some of our fish and got her a side order of fries.

It was all good. I have to say, not awesome like I thought it was going to be. Leah’s fries were probably my favorite thing (and there was this cool looking aioli sauce that looked fantastic but was horrible!).

The service was just okay too. I mean our server was nice enough but he really didn’t seem to know the menu or the offerings. He had to check on a few things and get back to us. I’m glad he checked but I wish he just knew the information.

It was a happy night, even though I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. Also to note, it was packed by the time we left.

Here’s what I loved:

  • the atmosphere
  • valet parking

Here’s what I liked:

  • the food
  • the service

Here’s what I didn’t love:

  • no accommodations for children
Have you been to REEF?
What did you think? 

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