The Comeback Kid

Food News: Two Years After Harvey, Reef Returns

Plus, some of the best bartenders in Houston are in a big contest this month.

By Timothy Malcolm June 3, 2019

Crab fat and dough at Reef.

Hurricane Harvey temporarily closed Reef, Bryan Caswell's restaurant with an impressive selection of seafood from the Gulf and elsewhere. But it didn't end it.

Reef has returned. The restaurant at 2600 Travis St. in Midtown opened Friday with lunch service, and is promising dinner service at a future date. The menu will include Gulf and East Coast oysters; starters like snapper carpaccio, grilled octopus, and crab fat and dough; sandwiches, salads, and soups; and entrées like crispy flounder and andouille and clams.

You can make reservations now through the restaurant's website. Also open is Reef's attached 3rd Bar. Wine, cocktails, and craft beer are available at both.

Editor's note: Dinner is also on at Reef, over at 3rd Bar. The restaurant is open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5:30-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 6:30 p.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday. Bar open until 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday.

More openings:

Sambrooks Management Company (The Pit Room, 1751 Sea and Bar) has announced its Tex-Mex restaurant will be called Candente, which loosely translates to red-hot. Eyeing a mid-July opening, Candente at 4306 Yoakam will have a custom-built wood-burning grill. More details to come as we get closer.

Wholesome Kitchen and Wholesome Pies are hosting a grand opening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday. Up in northeast Houston at 250 Assay St., the joint concept goes like this: Wholesome Kitchen is a more refined neighborhood-style spot with from-scratch American dishes, while Wholesome Pies is a pizza place serving up Neapolitan fare. For its grand opening, Pies is offering half-off pizzas and appetizers, with drink specials at both restaurants.

Fajita Pete's is opening the doors of its GOOF location on Wednesday. On Ella and 43rd, the restaurant is the 10th Houston-area location of the chain. An 11th is coming to Memorial Drive in Memorial Park.


Haven't dined around Uptown in a while? This month is Uptown Dine Around, during which more than a dozen restaurants in the Uptown area are offering prix fixe dinner and lunch menus. Participating spots include Blanco Tacos & Tequila, Peli Peli, Fig & Olive, Yauatcha, and more. 

We told you about the Periwinkle Foundation fundraiser that's happening next week. Well, all this month, a veritable who's who of bartenders across the city are competing to concoct the finest signature Periwinkle Cocktail as part of the 2019 Iron Bartender event. A panel of judges is grading each cocktail, with the top three moving on to the finals in September. You can try Periwinkle Cocktails at participating bars and restaurants (with $1 from each purchase going toward the Periwinkle Foundation). Participating spots include Anvil Bar & Refuge, Nancy's Hustle, Better Luck Tomorrow, Wooster's Garden, Lei Low, Johnny's Gold Brick, and more. 

Crave Cupcakes has unveiled its new All-American Summer flavors, available today through Aug. 25. At all three locations, catch flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough, peach cobbler, patriotic confetti, and my favorites, strawberry lemonade (lemony with a sweet spread of strawberry buttercream) and s'mores (dark chocolate filled with a marshmallow creme, dipped in dark chocolate ganache, and topped with a toasted marshmallow and graham cracker cookie). Hungry, yet?

Oh, and we received our first news release about Houston Restaurant Weeks. It's scheduled for Aug. 1-Sept. 2, with the list going online July 15. Mark your calendars.

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