When you hear Acadian, An array of seafood comes to mind. Gulf shrimp, scallops, and snow crab? Check.
Living in Houston, seafood cuisine can be found on almost every corner, but a new restaurant is setting itself apart from the rest. Prey, a new and sophisticated bar in Uptown, is a refreshing take on Acadian fare. The new development takes the place of the former French soufflé bistro, Rise.
Headed by Executive Chef Justin Kent, (Swamp Chicken) the menu draws influences from his upbringing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. With Prey, Kent curated a multiethnic fusion menu, leveraged by cajun and African cuisines.
“I decided to name the restaurant Prey because when you think about the jungle in the wild, the food is prey. So the restaurant is an interesting take on that,” Kent tells Houstonia.
The ambiance at Prey elevates the dining experience. The restaurant is dimly lit and the interior is covered with black and crimson decor, ideal for a romantic candlelit evening. Prey also gives off an Instagrammable feel, with greenery and artwork from local Black artists gracing the walls.
Located on the second floor of Boulevard Place, the restaurant also features an impeccable view of the city at night. Upon entering, guests are greeted by a welcoming and knowledgeable staff that gives a detailed rundown of the menu. On the menu is a multitude of seafood and quality cuts, paired with unique combinations of ethnically diverse flavors.
From a first impression, the restaurant prides itself on plate presentation. Each plate both visually appealing and appetizing. Their small plates include a savory stuffed shrimp, adorned with parmesan cheese and a crispy cajun roll that'll put other seafood eggrolls to shame. The flaky appetizer is fried in a spring roll sheet, stuffed with spinach, crawfish and crab and served with a golden cheese sauce that makes the combination melt in your mouth.
The restaurant's signature appetizer, the Prey Nachos (an absolute must-have) places a spin on the traditional oyster. Prey crafted a nacho dish that incorporates oysters and instead of serving the shellfish raw or charbroiled, Kent deep-fries them. You’ll find the oysters cooked with creamy-smoked gouda, mozzarella and feta cheese. To get the full effect, the nachos are served with a side of thick pita chips and an aioli sauce.
As you advance to entrees, the menu only gets better. If there’s one thing Chef Kent gets right, it’s how to cook a good piece of meat. Every serving was cooked to perfection, leaving the meat flavorful and tender. The large plates include the juicy Filet King, a ribeye topped with cajun seared scallops, butter-poached crab and signature Prey sauce.
Chef Kent also served me a soon-to-be added menu item: the succulent Black Tomahawk. A tomahawk pork chop served over black Chinese rice and sautéed mushrooms. Both meals did not disappoint and the filet was so good, I stopped eating to take some home with me.
While I’m already completely satisfied with the restaurant's food, the Prey team wouldn’t let me leave without trying their prized dessert, the White Lava Bread Pudding or what the team equates to “food porn.” Infused with bourbon, you’ll surely leave Prey happier than you came.
"People love great food and a great atmosphere, and I plan to give them the experience that they want," says co-owner and chef Deon Kent.
Prey Houston opened its doors mid-October for a soft opening and will host its grand opening Friday, October 29, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Prey Houston’s grand opening event will start at 5:30 p.m. Prey Houston, 1700 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 290. For more information, visit, https://www.preyhouston.com