Gatlin’s BBQ’s New Restaurant Is Dedicated to Texas Comfort Food

Gaitlin's new sister restaurant, Fins & Feathers, will showcase the best of both fish and fowl through a menu stacked with Texas comfort food and Gulf Coast seafood.

By Daniel Renfrow July 12, 2022

Fins & Feathers' menu is full of traditional Texas fare elevated through global twists.

Image: Becca Wright

Gatlin’s BBQ is getting a new sibling this week, and unlike her more terrestrially inclined brother, she has both scales and feathers—a half-mermaid, half-siren hybrid, if you will, whose song will lure you into the mightiest of food comas through ambrosiac plates piled higher than Mount Olympus with the best fish and fowl Texas has to offer. Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers, acclaimed chef-owner Greg Gatlin’s latest progeny, opens on Friday, July 15, in Historic Independence Heights, the same neighborhood where Gatlin’s father and family grew up. With Fins & Feathers, Gatlin hopes to bring about a seamless merger of Texas comfort food and Gulf Coast seafood for a menu that is quintessentially Houstonian. 

“Here on the Gulf Coast, it’s so nice to have somewhere in your neighborhood where you can get fresh, great seafood,” said Greg Gatlin, founder and owner of Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers, in a statement. “I also think everybody remembers who had the best fried chicken in their town when they were growing up—maybe it was their own grandma. We want to tap into that and make you feel the same way when you eat ours.” 

The restaurant’s menu, created by Gatlin alongside Gatlin’s BBQ executive chef Michelle Wallace and Fins & Feathers chef de cuisine Darius King, is full of traditional Texas fare elevated through global twists: think New Orleans–inspired shrimp alongside campechana, enchiladas, biscuits and jam, fried catfish, spicy miso wings, duck mole, and whole fish served with house-made chili sambal. If this sounds like a too-expansive definition of what counts as Texas comfort food, it’s probably because you haven’t spent enough time dining out in Houston. Our wide-ranging culinary scene, one of the most diverse in the nation, calls for a redefinition of what counts as comfort food in this state—or at least in its reigning global food city (sorry, Austin … and Dallas). 

The 3,000-square-foot restaurant, which can accommodate roughly 80 guests, will serve lunch and then dinner from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday. On Sunday, Fins & Feathers will serve its lunch menu from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. In September, the restaurant will introduce a Sunday brunch service. 

Items we can’t wait to try include the smoked chicken salad sandwich with lemon and curry (served on Texas toast, of course); the blackened catfish with garlic beurre blanc (yum!); and the Fins & Feathers Clucker, a spin on the charcuterie board that includes Szechuan-spiced chicken cracklings, Southern-fried gizzards, chipotle-glazed crispy chicken feet, smoked chicken liver paté, and berbere-spiced quail (double yum!). We’re also itching to try some of the fare off of the restaurant’s dessert menu, which includes staples like pecan pie, apple pie, and New York–style cheesecake alongside the Big D’s Dreamsicle Donut, which sadly we will have to wait all the way until this Friday to sample.


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