Reef
Reef

Reef

  • 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 bril
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerSeafood
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Reef reviews from OpenTable diners
328 reviews since July 31, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelEnergetic
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (228)notable wine list (165)special occasion (155)hot spot (114)good for groups (103)neighborhood gem (79)romantic (55)vibrant bar scene (52)great for lunch (49)late-night find (21)great for outdoor dining (9)great for brunch (9)scenic view (8)kid-friendly (6)Show More
  • Something wrong?
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/26/2014
    Been here many times before and have liked it a lot. Something is off. Usually this place is stellar, but the last couple of times it was not very good at all-I don't mean up to its par, but simply not very good. The fish and the broth was soupy, odd tasting, and just kind of sloppy. Not what you would expect at Reef. Is there some changes here that we don't know about? Just seemed very inattentive to the details of the food, which was a hallmark of the place. Service is excellent, but if it continues like this, it will be another flash in the pan.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Reef Has Continued Its Excellent Performance
    BeforeTheConcertVIP
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    I visited Reef several times over the past three years and it has consistently performed excellently. The pork chop was outstanding! Smoky and moist, it was the star of the evening's entrees.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    Dawn
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    I was disappointed given all the hype about how good Reef was. Appetizer was rushed. I had the golden tile, which was overwhelmed by the sauce. Serivce was so-so, I had to ask for water, wine and utensils. Ambiance was fine, but noisy. Next time I want fish, I'll go somewhere else.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • wish our experience was better
    Ashe
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    this place was very crowded. we had high hopes. yet, the slow service and so-so meal left a bad impression
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great food, scary wine list
    dunnowhat
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    My wife and I were looking for a place to enjoy a nice kid-free child menu-less night out together. After reading all the press, online reviews and food critic articles we decided to finally try Reef. We were happy we did. We started with cocktails. Both were good. Then we hit the starters. I chose 6 oysters on the half shell. They were good. Not a risky choice but I rarely get the chance to eat them so treated myself. The special sauce they serve is ok but I preferred the normal saltine method. Still they were good and fresh. My wife went with mussels. They were actually the lowest point of the meal. While not bad at all, they were not nearly as good as expected, promised or hyped. They still tasted a little too seafood-y. The sauce wasn't any better then at other places so I would go elsewhere for that again. They were cooked fine and sauced well but we didn't think they were special. The main courses were both excellent. My redfish was perfectly cooked and seasoned. I could have eaten two of them. The fried mac n cheese was good too but I expected more creamy cheese, as odd as that sounds. Still very good and a fun side. They were out of grouper so my wife had the 3 tail with the greens. It was good too. The bacon flavor was a nice touch. Her dish was good but I liked mine better. As for that wine list, the proprietors made a special point to let you know that despite the size, the list should not be intimidating. However, its long length and verbiage made it really hard to tackle. Also they said they classified wine into easier descriptive sections but they did not have enough groups: just 2 types of red and 2 types of white. More subgroups would have helped; buttery, citrus, fruit forward and basic body would help. Still we managed to make a good choice with the help of our waiter. Overall, I greatly enjoyed dinner and would gladly go back. The food was excellent, the service was too and the place had nice ambiance.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Food was ok, staff and kitchen seem to be going through the motions, no real effort or pride or passion behind anything.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing restaurant
    Russell
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    A friend took us to Reef to celebrate our recent marriage. She told our waiter why we were there, he congratulated us, then nothing more was said about the special occasion. We then proceeded to have a two hour dinner that was incredibly delicious with impeccable service and not a hint of "why don't you folks finish and get out of here?" as is so prevalent in many restaurants. After we ordered dessert, a gentleman whom we assumed to be the owner or manager, brought a plate that had "congrats" spelled out in chocolate and on the plate were three shotglasses of their milkshake with liquor in it dessert choice. What a lovely way to celebrate, and how wonderful it was for the restaurant to commemorate our occasion without any major fanfare, just a simple "congrats." I, for one, hate it when a parade of waiters comes forth to sing a boisterous Happy Birthday. I realize that this occasion didn't warrant that, but it was so nice to be honored without being singled out in front of a restaurant full of people We were quite moved. Reef may become our regular anniversary dinner place, plus I would not hesitate to host friends there for other special days.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding service and food!
    RobertVIP
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    First time there and with a party of 8. To begin, J.J. was awesome from beginning to end. His recommendations were spot on. The food was beyond our expectations. Fresh oysters, best I have ever had! Fish entrees, amazing. We ended up sharing each other's plates. Macaroni side was awesome. I personally had the hot pot. It was perfect. For dessert, the tart, key lime pie, molten lava cake, WOW! And lastly, kudos to the bartenders for their generous pours and specialty drinks!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Friend recommendation fail
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    It has been years since I have been to Reef. My husband and I have a nice dinner out at least twice a month. This was his first experience there. My friend recommended the restaurant to me again and specifically recommended the 'no minor' milkshake. The restaurant was loud and acoustics made it difficult for us to hear each other. We sat at our table for about 10 minutes before anyone spoke to us. (I thought we might be in trouble at this point). We order drinks, which were well made by the bar. He had an Old Fashioned. I started with a Lemon Drop Martini and switches to champagne. We ordered calamari for an appetizer. Then we waited. Our appetizer never came and our waiter never stopped to see if we got it. When our entrees arrived, my husband's pork was over cooked and the seasoning was mediocre. My salmon was average, but had very good risotto. I let the waiter know that we never received our appetizer. He blamed it on the kitchen and said that they sent our order to another table. Had he ever checked on us, he may have noticed. He offered us dessert to make up for it. I asked for the 'no minors' milkshake, but the shot glass size that they were handing out instead of the large goblet. My husband ordered bread pudding. When we got the check the breeding pudding was charged, so essentially our waiter only gave us the free desserts that the restaurant gives out anyway. For the price of the meal, the food was underwhelming and the service was bad. We will not be returning.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Outstanding Restaurant
    LauriepVIP
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    Excellent food and service. Great choice to show off Houston's superior restaurant scene to out-of-town guests!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Best seafood and fish
    DocchefVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    First time in Houston, was attracted by the fact owner was a celibrity chef, but will return agaun and again for the food. Fresh and innovative dishes
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Love it....
    lidabb
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We were 8 of us who came to have girls night out and looking for eating great food and having a great time, We did have great food, great time and good service...definitely be back...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Stay Away
    passionfordevinefood
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    When you walk in the place it reeks of a fishy smell. We sat down for 15 minutes with out anyone saying a word to us. When the Manager Bryce came to the table he was very nonchalant about the fact and did return to the table to ensure we had better service. The restaurant was empty and the food came out luke warm. I will give this place to thumbs down and would not return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice place, good food
    HpyAniversry
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    We had our anniversary dinner at Reef on a Friday night. The service was exceptional and their version of oysters Rockefeller was a standout. My girl had the hotpot and I had the porlchop. They were both good, but not great. At that price point, I generally expect to be amazed by my my entre. The atmosphere is very nice and as I mentioned, the service was very good. I wouldn't dissuade anyone from going, but we're not rushing back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hit or Miss
    illbethejudge
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    MISS! The philosophy is great. Everything is as fresh as it gets. However, fresh doesn't necessarily mean delicious. The service was very slow and not attentive over the course of the evening. Our dishes were perfectly prepared with regards to texture and temperature. Yet, all five dishes were just a bit beyond flavorless. The warehouse style design is appealing but the reverberations from the concrete, metal and glass make it next to impossible to have a conversation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Once was not enough
    LinguinePattiVIP
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    just back from a weeklong biz trip and "discovered" Reef-the food was simply excellent and I found myself returning within a few days-eating there once was not enough! I've now had the snapper (2 ways-both excellent!) grouper, raw tuna appetizer,gumbo,crab cake, Brussels sprouts, fried mac n cheese, Vietnamese coffee tart, "no minors" milkshake,and blueberry financier. All I can say is yum yum yummy! For those of you unlucky enough to only go once consider ordering crab cake, raw tuna app, snapper on the half shell with Brussels sprouts vs the fried Mac n cheese ( everyone loves the Mac n cheese but for me it was just too filing/rich-I wanted to save room for dessert!) and the coffee tart or milkshake! Great place- go forth and eat!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lunch
    MetooVIP
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Tried lunch and it was good, mashed potatoes were very good - the salmon was decent - coffee was great.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Reef - Houston, TX
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Had anniversary dinner at Reef. The crispy red snapper and grouper were both perfectly prepared. The collards were outstanding and the fried macaroni was delicious. I would suggest Reef to anyone. We saw engagement parties meeting there but the noise level wasn't too high and we enjoyed a romantic meal.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not very good
    nothappy
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Excellent service. Food is fine not good or very good. To much picked vegetables and portions are small. Price ia very high the quality of food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best Meal of my Life!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    A friend and I shared a meal here and I have to admit this one goes right to the top of my "foodie" best meal ever list. Everything, from the crunchy calamari, grilled green tomatoes, cilantro aioli, pickled pepper condiment appetizer to the red fish on the half shell entree with cauliflower grits and ponzu glazed roasted brussels sprouts to a sample of the milkshake (for adults) and blueberry financier with limoncello curd and ginger gelato was just perfect. Our waitperson helped us make choices and made sure the service flowed smoothly. Couldn't have improved on the experience in any way.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best seafood in Houston
    Pickyeaters
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Creative and tasty seafood and great prices bring us here almost every time we are in Houston and Bill Floyd is a masterful host.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food and service
    SAbrams
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    This was one of the best seafood restaurants we have been to from how the fish is selected to how it is prepared. The jalapeno jelly is to die for and the mussels and broth was some of the best I had. The broth alone was worthy of bread dunking. The bread was made fresh and was hot, combined with the jalapeno jelly, was exemplary. We appreciated that the chef took so much pride in his work and our server was extremely knowledgeable and went out of his way to tell us about the food. In fact, the server was the reason we tried so many dishes, and we were not disappointed. If you go to the Reef, make sure you are served by Cesile. He knows his food and was great at his job. Superb.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect for date night
    FoodLover
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    The ambiance is perfect for date night or a night on the town. I took my boyfriend out for his birthday, and he loved it. The pork chops are amazing. I also had a few keylime martinis with the graham cracker rim, they were great. I will be returning very soon.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and service.
    bwang123
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Went right at 5PM and there were only a few tables filled. Once we left it started filling up. The service was prompt and any questions we had about possible recommendations were answered adequately. The food tasted great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    In seven years of eating at Reef, I had never tried the Pork Chop mainly because I love the variety of seafood offerings but I have been intrigued by it ever since Marc Forgione [winner of Chef Caswell's season of Next Iron Chef] called it one of the Best Things he Ever Ate. This trip I was determined to have the Pork Chop and am I ever glad that I did. It was simply spectacular!! I started off with the Baked Oysters, Reef's take on Rockefeller. My wife had the Tempura Soft Shell Crab and we split the Fried Mac and Cheese and the Ponzu Glazed Brussels Sprouts. As always, the incredibly priced wine list provided a perfect bottle to round out our meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Dinner
    Firefox
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Everything was great. I highly recommend Reef. Service, food and atmosphere was fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exceptional
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Always a favorite, new item on the menu is butter shrimp w/crispy rice.... excellent
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Worst restaurant in Houston
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    My husbands birthday. The waiter was very rude . No manners what ever when serving, reaching over heads. Forgot to place orders to chef. Food was horrible. Took my credit card (did use) to give the appropriate tip and he kept it. He thought it was a gift card. (Master Card all over the card). My party of 5 included my husband who is a prominent Dentist along with my in-laws one who is a very prominent national recording artist. We eat out 4-5 nights per week at other upscale restaurants in this our hometown and this was the worst experience we have ever had. Do not plan to ever return or suggest this place to any of our friends.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome place!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Every course was perfect!!! Guaranteed a phenomenal meal!! A great staff!! An amazing experience!! Highly recommended!!!! Can't wait to come back!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another great dinner at Reef
    Maggie
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    This restaurant never disappoints. The food was creative, fresh and delicious. On this trip, one highlight was our waiter who was enthusiastic about the food and his recommendations were spot on. This is the kind of place you want to regularly visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very good but not perfect
    St8kluvers
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    My wife and I had dinner with my boss and his wife. This was our second time to dine at Reef. The simpleness of the restaurant, from the plain tables, recycled paper menues and coasters is ironically and wonderfully elegant. Our waiter was very knowledgeable (made an excellent wine recommendation) but he seemed just a little too sure of himself. I had the gumbo and the salmon. Both were fantastic. My wife ordered the red fish. She was slightly disappointed. It was a tad dry, but Mac n cheeses was out of this world. We shared the brussel sprouts. They were good but were prepared with an unnecessary glaze of some sort. We find most restaurants cover sprouts with something, rather than let the wonderful sprout taste speak for itself.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding night
    micahloves2eat
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    The food, the wine, and the service were top notch. Can't wait to go again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food andrvice
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Food and service were great😊but a little too loud😐
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Dinner at the Reef was very enjoyable. For a "seafood" restaurant, we heard the pork chops were very good and they were fabulous. We have been to The Reef before and enjoyed is as much the second time.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Business lunch
    SCar
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Great place for a business lunch. Food is consistently good. Service is generally solid.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    The Ambiance, food and service was excellent! It was a special occasion and your staff made is perfect! Thank you and I will be back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice night out
    annie
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    If you like seafood - this is the place to go. My dining partners had the mussels and redfish on the half shell(rated both very good), gumbo(very spicy) and charred rice(sadly, very light on the shrimp). I had the brussel sprouts which had a nice sauce but were still very, very crunchy - not fully cooked. The fried mac and cheese is a novelty - good if you like lots of crust - very filling. The atmosphere is lively, if loud - nice 'industrial' feel. Service staff are very good - meeting needs without being overly intrusive.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great menu!
    Imsassymolassy
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    The quality of the food was amazing. We had appetizers through dessert and all of them blew me away.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Yummy
    Quandry
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Excellent meal. The fried oysters are among the best I've eaten. The shrimp and rice dish with chili paste was very good. Nice combination of flavors and the shrimp were perfect. The cocktails were also outstanding. I will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wrightstar
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Good food; however, the restaurant was packed by 6:00 p.m. and attention to service slowed. I appreciated the tablecloth provided for my birthday. It was a nice touch.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.