Starfish

4.5
283 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Starfish, located right outside the historic Houston Heights neighborhood, boasts an upscale-casual aesthetic with a seafood-centric menu. Each menu item is created using local and seasonal ingredients paired with our selection of curated craft cocktails, beers, and wine. Whether you are out for an elegant evening or a quick bite and a tiki drink at the bar, we invite you to join us.
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What 283 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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CL
Houston
8 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved this place. I liked that the atmosphere was a bit more casual than what you would expect for a seafood restaurant. The menu was small but very creative. I actually prefer a smaller menu like this because too many choices can be overwhelming.
We ordered the seafood tower, the calamari and the cucumber salad. Everything on the tower was fresh and delicious but I felt like it could have used some crab or lobster. The calamari was some of the best I’ve ever had. The cucumber salad was delicious! What a creative way to serve cucumber. It had som spice and crunch and definitely impressed me.
The food quality definitely exceeded the price, so great value!
They informed us that it was their last night as Starfish and they would be opening in a few weeks under a different name. We will definitely be back to check out the changes and to try out their soon to be famous Gin bar.

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l
Houston
14 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Happy Valentine’s Day. Aphrodisiac oysters topped off by sensuous liquid chocolate with orange cordial. Sweet!

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OT
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

This poor guy lace is dying a slow death. Improper temp on steaks, delays in food presentation, uncooked seafood... and then no remorse or human interaction to try and salvage our many years of business!!!

So sad....

Rg

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RC
Orlando
3 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great meal. Great service. Interesting dishes. Some better than others. Oysters were fantastic but budget for them. Not unexpected for good quality shellfish. A must try for a non-traditional seafood meal.

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S
East Texas
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

The food was excellent! Service very good. The only service issue was a lack of familiarity with one guest’s food allergy. Manager came by eventually and issue was resolved. Ambience was fine except for noise level. This was part of problem as it was difficult to discuss with server.

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TB
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Since we eat early (6:30 ish) the restaurant always seemed deserted, but by the time we leave, it’s busy. Service is always prompt, friendly and happy to make minor changes in a dish (they kindly left the scallops out of my Seafood Salad). Oysters are extremely fresh, well-presented and although limited in selection, something to please any palate. Our third time eating here and we will definitely return and bring new people to introduce them to a great local option for people in the Heights/Montrose areas and an easy spot with good parking to get to from further away.

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LD
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was delicious and service was very good

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RB
Houston
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The place was empty on a Saturday night. It had changed owners from the first visit. Food and drinks were hip and fresh as we remembered. Service was great, but there were very few tables. Last time we had to wait for a table. We would go back... I guess. The interior design is a bit cold and modern. Great presentation of the food. Where the heck was everyone?

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CW
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and really good food. The Oysters McNair are a must.

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MG
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

You must order the calamari! Wine bottle prices are fantastic!

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s
Houston
9 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Surprising fusions that truly imbibed that word and we’re just delicious and delightful. Great drinks and a killer crème brûlée that was better than most of the French restaurants in town. We will definitely be returning to this gem of a place.

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w
Houston
9 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

This used to be our favorite place to go for date night but they need to get the food back to quality . we are going to give them time and try again after the first of the year... the steak was a cheap rib-eye and the fish was way to salty... actually they salted and peppered all the food to much... it had no flavor.

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OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Very limited menu and even with the limited menu not all items were available.

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J
Houston
5 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went on a Saturday night and were blown away. Their menu is not huge, but we had five different small plates and everything was fantastic! Their wine bottles are also very reasonably priced. We will definitely be back!

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ME
Houston
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I really loved he various oyster dishes on prior menu that included mild bakingvif better yet roasting. I did not find these this time

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WS
Houston
66 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 3

Disappointed—- they’ve changed the menu, removing many of my favorites, replacing it with a tasting menu (I typically hate these forced combinations of multiple courses) and a small cold bar/appetizer/limited main course menu. I love the food and drinks, but probably won’t go back.

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RB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service (Sara you are awesome!)
Food was terrific. We had a great time!

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CM
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

There were very few tables full, and yet it took a long time to get our food.

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OT
Austin
28 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 5

Was a little disappointed to find out they changed many things on their menu as they're under new ownership. Still, the food was excellent. However, we had very limited time to enjoy our meal, which I made clear as soon as we entered. In fact, after taking a little while to come take it order, we ordered all our food as well as drinks immediately and I even reminded them that we we rushed. A couple of the appetizers came quickly enough, but the 3rd appetizer as well as our entrees were so delayed that we ended up leaving close to 20 min after we had expected to do so. (And, this was right when they opened at 4pm on a Sunday and the place was nearly empty! Sadly, while the service was attentive, I felt like our most important directive was ignored - and if there was an entree that was going to take a long time to prepare, I feel they should have called that out at the time we ordered it!) So, I guess, don't go unless you have plenty of time so you aren't made late and disappointed by the delay in receiving your food, but the food was very good. I'll go back when I'm not in a rush...

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FM
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

This restaurant used to be great, but now it is merely 'ok'. The menu was scaled down and quality has suffered as well. Prices have not come down accordingly, so it is rather expensive for what it is right now.

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JD
Houston
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

We had dinner at Starfish several times before food and service were not the best unfortunately.

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KC
Houston
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

One of the worst dining experiences in Houston.

- White wine was warm
- Server took the bottle away from the table to investigate
- Manager was unapologetic and it took a full hour to correct with a cold bottle of wine
- Did not receive entrees for over an hour and a half
- Two of five entrees were raw when we received them
- Womens restroom in disarray

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B
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

In the middle of changing ownership and it was very clear. Went at about 8:00 on a Saturday night and the restaurant was less than half full. The menu we were presented looked great, but 3 of the dishes (Sizzling Shrimp, Salmon, Cauliflower) we ordered were either no longer available or could now only be prepared completely different than what was on the menu. Thought the cocktails could save the day, but those were also less than desirable. Left and went down the street to Ritual.

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MS
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

Service was slow. Server not very apt. And there was no one in the restaurant.

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HN
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

There was no wait, which was nice, but since we eat earlier than the usual dinner rush, I wasn’t too surprised. The best thing about our meal were the appetizers. The crab cakes were good, but maybe a little bland. The red snapper ceviche had a nice flavor. The raw oysters were good as well. The entrees were disappointing for the price you pay. I got the salmon and it was hard to enjoy the flavor, because it was overpowered with salt. The salmon was served with noodles that had a strange red sauce instead of the whipped potatoes as described on the menu. This was just an odd pairing with salmon. The noodles tasted terrible and I could only eat one bite. Very disappointing. Please do not serve these noodles ever again. My husband ordered the red snapper which was one of the specials. This as well was over salted, but the spinach and potato sides tasted great. Overall, for the price we paid, I was disappointed with the quality of the food. By the time we left, which was well into the peak dinner time for a Saturday night, the restaurant was maybe half full. This completely made sense after the meal we had. We will not eat here again or recommend this to others.

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LC
Houston
45 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Friends hyped this place up way too much. It's decent, but not going out of my way to eat here. FYI, it's walking distance from my house...

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LM
Denver
7 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

Have enjoyed Starfish several times. This recent meal was a disappointment. Best part of meal was server who tried her best. Salmon entree was ok but not outstanding for an expensive price. Realize this is seafood restaurant but it serves Lee’s signature fried chicken. Was so overcooked and dry my dinner companion could hardly crack battered crust. This was returned without eating a bite. Server substituted with crab cakes which were good. Ordered bread pudding for dessert. Even with crème anglaise it was dry, hard and not easy to chew. Sad for this experience. Have enjoyed the restaurant in the past. This occasion seemed to be “just going through the motions”.

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OT
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

We were really looking forward to dining here. Unfortunately the experience was not great. The restaurant was kind of slow, not many people there... perhaps the weather and also a holiday weekend. That being said, service should have been better considering the wait staff to clientele ratio. First, when we walked in there was no one at the host stand... we had to wait until someone stopped chatting to come over to great us. We then went and had a drink at the bar, which was actually very nice. Friendly bartender and good drinks. After we had a drink we went back to the host stand, again having to wait, and were seated at a booth. The booths are very spacious however there were people seated at the booth behind me and they literally were laughing and moving so much that they pushed the banquet into our table, so I literally had to switch sides. Ok so back to the meal.... we ordered the puffy lobster taco .... we sent it back. Truly terrible. It was more like a hardened microwaved shredded lobster tostada... inedible. We were so put off we just went to our main courses which were the fried chicken and the whole snapper. The chicken was okay, but in the future I’d rather just go get fried chicken from Lees Fried Chicken just down the street ( for less money). The whole fish (grilled) was delicious. Well cooked and definitely fresh.
The service was inattentive and forgettable. Again when we left, we just walked right out, no one even said goodnight or thank you.
We really do like Lee’s other restaurants and enjoy his food, however this restaurant was a very big disappointment.

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L
Central Coast
17 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

This restaurant is for someone who is deaf!!! Good food. Sandwiches are huge and look good. I enjoyed the lobster tacos.

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UV
Houston
14 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

I heard a rumor that this restaurant group is dissolving and that Starfish is closing. If that is true, all of this makes much more sense. The place was empty, the food was not very good, and our server was barely present. Don’t get the fried chicken breast, even if someone tells you it’s the best item on the menu, and if you decide to get dessert, ask for the price first (there’s no desser menu). We got the white chocolate bread pudding. It was good (comparable to Ruggles Cafe) , but it was also $17.

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D
10 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

We have enjoyed our previous dining experiences at Starfish, but this trip wasn’t up to their standards. While our appetizers and cocktails were good, the entrees were not. We were also served a couple of glasses of a wine at $16 apiece that was described to be buttery and smooth, when in actuality it was grapefruity and tart. Had it been a bottle we likely would have declined it.

Hopefully Starfish can get back on its game. It’s a cool place and there’s definitely a need for a good seafood restaurant in that area.

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t
Houston
40 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

I was disappointed up front because they had changed the menu a week earlier so They did not have the items I had seen online and was wanting to try. We focused on appetizers as there was nothing on the main entree list that appealed to us. We enjoyed the crab cakes and crab claws. The puffy tacos were good but difficult to eat. The sizzled shrimp had no flavor at all and the zucchini chips were soggy. We split the ahi tuna which was good but small for the price. Our service was extremely slow. The restaurant was not busy at all when we arrived and only started to get busy by the time our meal was over. I felt the tables were too low so you could not sit very comfortably at the table. I feel the prices are too high for the quantity and quality of food you are getting. There are many other seafood restaurants in Houston that have better food and service. Will not be coming back.

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RB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Surprise! Over 100 types of gin offered at the bar. Excellent gin martinis. Attentive service. Seafood pasta was perfectly cooked. Grilled snapper excellent as well. Side dishes of zucchini, fries, brussel sprouts excellent as well. Attentive service.

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h
Houston
8 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Saw a review of Star Fish on channel 2 Resterant Review and put it on the try list. We were not disappointed.

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N
Houston
11 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, and we love when we have the Irish waiter

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KC
Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

The seafood appetizers were great (and would return if for that alone); however, the two mains we had left much to be desired (especially at that price point). Pasta dish was rather bland and the brussels sprouts were thickly infused with overbearing smokey flavor. Bar service and wine / champagn list were great but pricey.

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RR
Austin
21 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Something very off in the kitchen. Fried oysters super greasy and not hot when they left the kitchen. Also used to getting my whole snapper filleted; fried version had a thick breading that was also super greasy. Cocktails were tasty and server was great!

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FD
Houston
69 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wood-fired oysters and platter very good!
Grouper and snapper superb
Relaxed atmosphere but attentive service and kitchen

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GK
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Enjoyed our meal. Mussels continue to be on our must-get list here. They were delicious once again. Grouper special was well prepared with crisp skin and perfectly cooked julienned vegetables.

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VP
Houston
7 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent menu; very creative dishes with exquisite taste! Great concoctions from the bar, too. Service was outstanding! Decor and ambience very inviting. Will be a regular spot for me going forward!

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