Joe Cervantez still lives with his wife and two young children in his hometown of Pearland. Until recently, that made sense. He was an executive chef at Killen's Steakhouse since 2014.

But these days, he says he's spending a lot of time catching up on what local radio has to offer as he commutes from the 'burbs to Brennan's of Houston in Midtown where he began as executive chef in May. It was a homecoming for the chef; his original tenure at Brennan's began in 2010, when he took on the role of sous-chef under Danny Trace, whom he's now replaced.

General manager Carl Walker, a onetime chef at Brennan's himself, says that the goal in bringing in a young gun such as Cervantez was revitalizing the menu while maintaining Southern flavors and ingredients as the grounding factor. And don't worry: turtle soup, Redfish Pontchartain and Bananas Foster are secure in their places on the menu alongside Cervantez's more forward-thinking creations.

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Editor’s Pick

Brennan’s of Houston

$$$$ Cajun, Creole, Seafood, Southern 3300 Smith St.

Housed in the old Junior League of Houston building on the edge of Midtown where it meets Montrose, this stalwart seafood palace was also the site of Aurora ...

Editor’s Pick

Killen’s Steakhouse

$$$$ Steak 6425 W. Broadway St.

For many Houstonians, the best steak in Houston isn’t found inside the Loop or even (gasp!) the Beltway; rather, it’s found about 30 minutes south of Houston...