Tuesday, November 30, 2010


bryan iron

I watch a lot of cooking shows and was excited to see one of the contestants had a restaurant in Houston and knew I had to try it out. Chef Bryan Caswell from Next Iron Chef owns Reef and Stella Sola in Houston. I’ve heard fantastic things about Stella Sola and mixed reviews about Reef. We happened to be going down town for a charity event so we popped in Reef for an early dinner.


The restaurant had a nice look to it, very simple and clean. They where hosting a Christmas party in the wine room, but other then us there where 2 tables filled at 6:30pm. I got the feeling the dress code was business casual and that was fine with me. The only thing that bothered me was all the waiters hanging out at the pass. I know what’s where they need to pick up their food for the tables, but when there’s no one there they shouldn’t huddle there.

I really like that they had homemade sea salt rolls and jalapeno jelly at the table. The bread reminded me of a pretzel and the jelly had enough sweet to it to balance out the heat. I also never understand why they give you 3 rolls for 2 people. Yes things look better in odd amounts but come on I want my own roll!


As an appetizer we ordered the Crunchy Calamari, Charred Green Tomatoes, Cilantro Aioli, Pickled Pepper Condiment $9. The sauces where awesome I just wish we had more calamari for the amount of aioli we had.


As my entrée I ordered the Crispy Skin Snapper, Sweet and Sour Chard, Tomato Brown Butter &26. The snapper was bland, cooked well but very bland. I think the chard could have been cooked a hair longer. The thing that had all the flavor was the broth. Wow if only the fish could have taken on some of that flavor.


D ordered the Redfish on the Half-Shell, Fried Mac & Cheese $26. Let’s see what can I say about this dish….ummm well that’s a huge block of fried mac and cheese. His whole plate was bland and the fish stuck to the skin so bad it looked like he butchered the thing. The sauce on the fish was really good that was about it.


Overall maybe we had a bad night there, but I wouldn’t go back. I’ll be trying his other restaurant and pray it’s better.

Friday, November 12, 2010

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant (Town and Country Location)

It’s been a long time since we’ve eaten at McCormick and Schmick’s. They recently opened up a new location in Town and Country which is a lot closer to us then their other locations. D found a gift card on www.plasticjungle.com at a pretty good discount so we gave them a try. First off let me say that going out on a Friday night is risky due to the amount of people out. We had reservations at 6pm and still had issues with parking. I think if you plan ahead you could get a better parking spot then we did.


We started off our meal with a Fried Calamari $12.90 “Full Bowl” Roasted Tomato Sauce, Lemon Tabasco Aioli. I think it was a little overpriced, but the Tabasco Aioli was really nice.  (I’m sorry I forgot to take a picture)


They have specials on select bottles of wine at half price so of course we had to get a bottle.


As the main course I selected a Jalapeno Cornbread Stuffed Fish with Green Beans. I can’t find it on their menu anymore which is probably a good thing. It lacked flavor and the cornbread was dry. The only good thing was the fish wasn’t overcooked. The green beans where under done and had to cut.



The winner of the night was D’s choice which was a Chilean Sea Bass $32.90 with a Miso Broth, Udon Noodles and Stir Fry Vegetables. The price was a little much, but the flavor was AMAZING! Normally we each order something different and split them, but he had a hard time handing over his dish.


We finished up the evening with a seasonal Chocolate Crème Brulee $6.95. This was fantastic and I would order it again.  We also split a Pumpkin Cheesecake $7.95. The cheesecake was ehh ok but not worth ordering again. It seemed really heavy and the flavor was off. I did like the ginger snap crust that they used.


Overall the service was really good and I would recommend anyone who goes to try the bass you won’t by sorry.