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  • Reef

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Reef Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.reefhouston.com/index.htm
  • Phone: (713) 526-8282
  • Hours of Operation: Monday - Thursday: 11:00am - 10:00pm, Friday: 11:00am - 11:00pm, Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes

Getting there

  • Cross Street: McGowen Street
  • Parking: No
A word from Reef
Expertly prepared seafood with Gulf Coast, Mediterranean and Asian influences reflects culinary sophistication never-before seen among Houston’s high-profile restaurant scene. Imagine such delectable dishes as salted slow-baked salmon atop lemon risotto, crispy-skin snapper garnished by sweet and sour chard, grilled scallops aside truffle polenta and tempura batter-bronzed soft-shell crab enhanced with slightly sweet yet also sour vinaigrette. Venturing beyond traditional boundaries, less-known tilefish, triggerfish, wahoo, cobia and Rockport-caught tripletail are frequently showcased with savory brilContinued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSeafood
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNotable Wine List
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "Reef is one of our favorite restaurants in Houston. We have entertained friends and family for dinner at the Reef but this is our first visit for lunch. The food does not disappoint- the snapper carpaccio with grapefruit and red pepper was a delight. The shrimp salad and shrimp lettuce wraps were delicious but as a healthy eater I should have ordered the cream sauce on the side. The redfish salad stuffed puffed rolls was terrific. We always enjoy bread with the signature jalapeno jelly. It was fun sitting down to lunch two tables away from the chef Brian Caswell at a business get together."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "It's always a big treat to go to Reef. The food is delicious and the service is great. They always have a great menu of cutting edge food as well as simple grilled items. The milkshakes no-minors are always a swell finishing touch!"
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "We went here with some of our family that was in town visiting because they wanted to go to a seafood restaurant. I looked up on Open Table and found Reef - looked impressive, the restaurant was awarded the very prestigious James Beard award so I had expectations and it was awful. My cousin said the Oysters were terrible. My fish was served cold and with no taste - it was edible but that's about it and the corn puree was hard to eat because I kept having to spit out the hard part of the corn that didn't puree very well. My sister said that hers wasn't very good so it was a very expensive $450 terrible meal. We did have a great bottle of french wine that I will try and locate to buy but I won't ever be going back to Reef!"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Wonderful restaurant for foodies to try new and creative dishes. The menu seems to be seasonal and updated daily for the freshest ingredients to be showcased. Great wine list! Dress is casual to more upscale casual (though I saw some in semi-formal dress and some in shorts-make it your night as you choose)-relaxing environment but the real star is the food! Very fresh seafood cooked perfectly and even won over a non-seafood eater. Moderately priced, you could spend well over $100 for two as we did on a splurge to celebrate our anniversary, or you could go for just the food and reign in the price a little but having wine and dessert with the meal was a nice. For a more affordable night I would love to try the bar next time. Highly recommend."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Why did I wait so long! Was an excellent meal... everything is so fresh! Prices are more than reasonable... Wine list is tough to follow but extensive and reasonably priced... Will definitely be headed back again in the near future... Our Waiter was so very knowledgeable about each item on the menu and every recommendation was on point!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Have eaten at Reef 3 or 4 times in the past and has it has been excellent. This time none of the dishes were good, one had to be replaced as being uneatable. The replacement was not much better. The batter on the fried items was hard and over cooked. The barrel fish was very dry. Overall the visit was a great disappointment. I was entertaining an out of town visitor and had told him it was the best seafood restaurant in Houston. I was embarrassed. Will be asking my friends, who eat at your restaurant a lot, about their recent experiences. I also will ask the Chouhound group (of which I am a member). The result of their experiences will determine whether I return or not. Hope it was a one time thing and not a trend."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Great food. Great service. Great overall. Waitress was spot on. Our order was good and delivered quickly. Made good conversation and offered good suggestions for food."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "The staff was friendly, knowledgable, and entergetic. Amazing brussle sprouts and crab cakes."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "The food was great, but the service form the waiter made the experience unforgettable."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "I have been to Reef a few times. Each time I've enjoyed what I've had. This past time, I was a little disappointed. While everything was good, it was just really hard to find something that wasn't heavy on the menu. They do have the simply grilled scallops that came with a salad, and that was delicious (all 3 scallops). However, the apps were all heavy, as are the sides. I'm sure I could have asked to have something "special," but I hate to be high maintenance...also, this is a seafood restaurant--it seems like that should be a given."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "We live only a few blocks from Reef and have always wanted to try it. Overall impression is: nice set up with open concept kitchen, great minimalistic furniture with an open concept in the dining area, very knowledgable and attentive staff, but a little bit lackluster on a couple of the dishes. The crabcake appetizer was great...lots of fresh crab and crunchy exterior! The grouper w/ collard greens was very tasty. The softshell crab was a disappointment on seasoning and how it was cleaned. The salmon BLT was a bit overwhelming size-wise. The salmon was seasoned and cooked perfect! But, there was so much on the 2 pieces of thick bread that it became a mess to eat for lunch. Some greatness, but a little lackluster for the pricepoint."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "Loved Reef food was outstanding. I had the grilled tuna. Our server Tibeaux was also wonderful he explained the wine and menu to us and made great recommendations. Overall couldnt have been any more pleased."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "Great tasting food; easy menu. The calamari is the best I have ever had. The fish tasted very fresh and the staff was very knowledgeable."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "I took a group of friends here to experience Reef. I have previously eaten here several times and the food a and service have always been excellent. I was disappointed in the service aspect of our experience. Things started out fine, but our waitress was assigned another larger table across the room and the service level fell. I actually had to go to the hostess stand to ask for someone to come get our credit cards so we could pay to go home. Food was excellent. Service was disappointing."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "The food was superb! Service was perfect. Our severer heiped make it outstanding. He explained the selections in graphic detail."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "This was my 3rd visit to Reef and I have never had worse service. It took forever for the waiter to take our drink order and when it came time to order food he was no where to be found. We were craving the bread but that took awhile to come out too. At least the food is always good. That made up for the lack of service and personality in our waiter. What was supposed to be a romantic dinner turned into an unpleasant dining experience."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Wonderful experience. I took my girlfriend for the first time and she loved it. We made a reservation but ended up sitting at the bar because there were two open seats. Bartenders were very helpful and food was great."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "I always enjoy REEF and this past Monday I had some clients in from Argentina so I took them for dinner. The service and food is always terrific and Bill Floyd came over and spent some time visiting with us which made the dinner even more enjoyable."
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "Hostess was kind of rude and disorganized. We had reservations, but had to wait about 30 minutes to be seated. They seemed amateur. The waiters and servers were very, very good and what I expected."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Have dined at Reef many times. Seafood is excellent. Gumbo is outstanding. Huge wine selection priced at retail."
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "Fresh, perfectly prepared fish. I love the choices of fish you don't see in other local restaurants, such as cobia, triple-tail and amberjack."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Not a fancy place, but the food and service was great. My only complaint was that it was a bit noisey."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Reef continues turning out Houston's best seafood. While it may no longer be the "hot newcomer" it was when it opened 7 years ago, that is not a reason to stay away. Inventive starters like a snapper carpaccio or a tuna tiradito coexist with classic starters like tempura shrimp, fried gulf oysters and the superb crabcake. Entrees included the roasted grouper and the grilled amberjack. You can't go wrong with the brussels sprouts or the fried mac and cheese as terrific sides. Add to all this delicious food the most reasonably priced wine list in Houston [not to mention a list with incredible breadth and depth] and you've got yourself one great evening."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Visiting from out of town, our research led us to the Reef as one of the better seafood options in Houston. The menu promised a culinary experience to be remembered. The food I would give high marks, as our appetizers and entrees were very enjoyable. Crunchy Calamari, Beet & Ricotta Ravioli, Beet & Ricotta Ravioli, and the amazing Fried Mac & Cheese all deserve gold stars. Only the pasta fell short on substance and flavor. Our server Randall was amazing, and made our visit memorable. Thanks again sir. Overall Reef is worth at least one visit to measure where it fits into your view of dining in town. I may get back there again, but only after sampling the myriad of other options in Houston."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "This is the second time we have eaten at Reef and loved it yet again, the service as well as the food was outstanding and well worth the drive downtown."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Service was great and food well executed. Restaurant was very welcoming and didn't try too hard...great night."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Our waitress was precious. The food was terrific and we had a really fun time with friends. We will all be back again soon"
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "We have not been to Reef for several years so decided to go back. The Crab Cake app was wonderful! Both fish had good flavor but were a little overcooked resulting in dry around the edges. The wine person was off that evening and the person filling in had no clue about best wines with our meal. Bottom line is we will try Reef again in future as this was our third time there and first two were great; however, for the price service and food should always be top chef perfect!"
    Dined on 6/16/2014
  • "Good, but waitress messed up my wife's and daughters orders; they corrected it. No acknowledgment of Anniversary, as noted on Opentable reservation comment. Arrived 5 mins early for reservation; waited 10-15 mins for table."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "The food spoke for itself but our waiter Freddie made the experience great. His recommendations for wine, dinner and dessert were all fantastic!"
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "I am a foodie and this is one of the top places I take visitors of Houston. Each time I visit, the food is above and beyond expectations. There service is wonderful, and the staff are very knowledgable. The menu is updated daily with each day's freshest fish. Although it can become a bit pricy, it's well worth the money."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "This was one of my first dining experiences moving back to Houston. Everything was terrific. Will definitely be back, that is something I don't say often."
    Dined on 10/18/2013
  • "I had read the reviews, and upon arrival, the atmosphere was very energetic. The service far exceeded our expectations. The quality and combination of food is unmatched. We will be returning soon to further explore the menu..."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "We had a great meal as usual at Reef. Our sever did a great job. We arrived 1 or 2 minutes before our reservation and were asked to wait. While we waited at least 2 other couples were seated. When compained they took us to a table in an area with 4 other ready tables. There were Other empty tables in the restaurant."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "While I wanted to love this restaurant and support a local celebrity chef, I was highly disappointed in the service. The wooden chairs were very uncomfortable. The decor was questionable - torn up menu pages for coasters, seriously? But superficial things aside, the experience at a restaurant is made or broken by the service you get. It was hard to crack a smile from *any* of the wait staff. They all seemed rushed, cold, and like they had a chip on their shoulders. Our server seemed particularly disinterested in answering questions, being friendly, and making sure our experience was top notch. When you shell out $100 for a dinner, you expect service that makes you feel special, not like you're scum!"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Great place to take a date on a Saturday evening for dinner for two! The seafood there is tops in Houston! The service there is very attentive too, but not to an excessive level, which I prefer."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "A real find in Houston. Fresh seafood with a menu that changes daily to reflect what is fresh. The fried mac n cheese??? Different but runs contradictory to the fresh healthy seafood."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "The food at Reef tastes fresh and clean, not cluttered with sauces. The snapper carpaccio was amazing, light and clean with citrus and herbs. Perfect on a hot Houston evening. The jalapeño jelly is a revelation. I normally don't care for it, but Reef's version is just sweet enough with a little heat. Overall, everything we had was great."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Our server was fantastic and made several suggestions on wine and food that were wonderful. They had a HUGE wine selection that provided something for everyone. Fresh oysters were available from two locations which were delicious. The recommended appetizers and main courses were exactly what the server recommended. The spicy redfish was well-seasoned and generously portioned. My dining companion described the gulf crab carbonara as "creamy deliciousness." Others enjoyed the scallops and cobia. The "adult" milkshake was extremely creamy and smooth, and the blueberry financier was also wonderful."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "For as high as this restaurant is rated we thought it was average at best. You would think that a restaurant that is a Seafood restaurant would know how not to overcook fish."
    Dined on 6/13/2014