Best Restaurants 2014

Best New Restaurants: Seafood

Now more than ever, chefs are fishing the rivers and oceans of the world—not to mention the waterways of our own backyard.

By Robb Walsh and Katharine Shilcutt September 30, 2014 Published in the October 2014 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Blackened grouper at Holley's

Andes Cafe

If you’re just getting familiar with ceviche, this cute, casual East End eatery is the perfect spot to dive right in, especially as the dish is where chef David Guerrero really shines. At lunch or dinner, try his traditional Peruvian ceviche adorned with soft slices of sweet potato and crunchy bits of corn among the slivers of fresh fish and red onion, or get adventurous with fresh black clam ceviche from Guerrero’s home country of Ecuador. The musky, heady clams have a deeper and richer flavor than you may be accustomed to, but its alluring flavor will stay with you for days. 


Not since Bryan Caswell’s Reef opened in 2007 has there been so much buzz about a new seafood place, and justifiably so. Having captained Pesce for many years, chef Mark Holley brought an impressive seafood pedigree to his own restaurant—thus does the menu source its oysters and other fare from the best spots nationwide. But he also drew inspiration from local influences, which is why you’ll find East Texas lady creamer peas and Korean-influenced kimchi collard greens under blackened grouper, and barbecue shrimp served on thick, buttery slices of Texas toast. And if you’re going with a group, ordering the impressive Thai-style whole red snapper is almost imperative.

Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette

This hot new River Oaks hangout has lived up to its name, boasting an oversized oyster and raw seafood bar featuring everything from fresh-shucked half-shell oysters to robata-grilled “crazy” ones. In the “crazy” category, the one grilled with salt, pepper, and sturgeon caviar is a stunner; the one with jalapeño, tequila, lime juice, and avocado oil will delight fans of hot and spicy seafood; and the one with bacon, pork belly, and apple cider vinaigrette gives the term barbecued oysters a whole new meaning. Oh, and don’t miss Liberty’s Sunday-only fried chicken dinner. 

Preview Modern Seafood

Time was, Sugar Land residents had to drive into the city if they wanted a thrilling seafood experience on the order of Uchi or Kata Robata. Not anymore. The plates at this sleek spot are as pretty as any upscale sushi place inside the loop, though sushi isn’t all chef Jason Liao specializes in. You’ll also find ceviche featuring snapper, tuna, and scallops at Preview, as well as Canadian lobster bisque and our favorite, “Kentucky-fried” Tahitian big-eye tuna with black truffle salt, peaches, coconut crème, and toasted almonds.


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