Dedicated restaurant hounds should hustle to check out Reef, the Midtown seafood emporium from chef-owner Bryan Caswell and his partner, Bill Floyd. Both came from the former Jean-Georges Vongerichten-operated BANK, at the Hotel ICON, where Caswell was chef de cuisine and Floyd was food & beverage director.
One must-order, while it's in season: a fat, juicy softshell crab bronzed in Caswell's tempura batter and given a salad garnish of "taqueria-style" pickled vegetables vinaigrette. Those vegetables are a little hot, a little sweet, tinged with coriander seed and wholly brilliant against the crab.
There's a big adjoining lounge where patrons can graze on bar food, too.
For more on the chef behind Reef, click here.
- Included on Southern Living's list of 100 Places to Eat Now (2013).
- Included on The Wall Street Journal's list of six outstanding oyster bars in the U.S. (2012).
- Named one of the Best Seafood Restaurants in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure magazine (2012).
- Named one of the 101 Best Restaurants in America by TheDailyMeal.com (2011).
- Chef Bryan Caswell named Rising Star Restaurateur by StarChefs.com (2011).
- Chef Bryan Caswell named James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Southwest (2011).
- Chef Bryan Caswell competed on The Food Network's The Next Iron Chef (2010).
- Chef Bryan Caswell named James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Southwest (2010).
- Rated by MSN.com and Gayot.com as one of the 10 best seafood restaurants in the U.S. (2010)
- James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Southwest (2009).
- Chef Bryan Caswell named one of six Texas Tastemakers in Saveur magazine (2009).
- Included on Travel + Leisure's list of the 50 Best New U.S. Restaurants (2009).
- Chef Bryan Caswell named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs (2009).
- Named the No. 1 seafood restaurant in America by Bon Appetit (2008).
- Sriracha Remoulade was featured in Garden & Gun's list of 100 Things You Simply Must Eat Before You Die (2008).
- Included in Continental Magazine's list of Five to Try (2007).