Reef

Reef

2600 Travis St., Houston, TX 77006

About two years ago, when Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant Bank, at the Icon Hotel, closed, its chef de cuisine Bryan Caswell turned his attention to a former Pontiac showroom in Midtown. He recast the glassy industrial space in aquatic hues, called it Reef, and ended up with a hit. Caswell is a Texas-Louisiana boy who once really liked fishing, and his passion for the Gulf of Mexico catch—ever tried wahoo, sheepshead, or tripletail?—powers Reef’s distinct piscine personality. Though the menu’s globalism can feel a little promiscuous, the dishes anchored closer to home really rock the boat. Sweet braised collards and pecan-shallot cracklings add Southern sass to the succulent roasted grouper. Toasted ancho chilies give a spicy-dusky Mexican kick to fat mussels steamed in Shiner Bock beer. And did we mention the absurdly low markups on the well-edited wine list?

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