Family Foodstalking

Momma G recently visited me in Houston, and of course the agenda was packed with foodstalking opportunities. I had heard a lot about Reef ever since I moved here, but never had the chance to check it out. It just so happened that the week before Momma G came to visit, Executive Chef Bryan Caswell was named one of Food & Wine’s Top 10 Rising Chefs. This honor comes on the heels of another heady compliment: #1 Seafood Restaurant in the U.S. according to Bon Appetit. So, reservations were made, four days prior to “Bryan Caswell Day” in Houston.

The dining room of Reef is super chic. Funky, spindly light fixtures, huge wine room with floor to ceiling glass walls, and tables bunched close together for a warehouse-type feel. We were seated at a table right by the front window and got a big kick out of the valet strategically parking the red Ferrari right in front of the restaurant. Jokes were made about my car being parked in Galveston…

On to the food: everything we had was fabulous. Really, really unique flavors that I would have never thought of as going together… went together. Portions I thought were a good size: not too big, not too small. Overall a really great meal!

Biscuits with pepper jelly. For some reason I expected the pepper jelly to be literally jellied peppers. It actually was sweet but had that nice kick of heat to it. Not something I would usually be a fan of, but I loved this.

Biscuits with pepper jelly.

For some reason I expected the pepper jelly to literally be jellied peppers. It actually was sweet but had that nice kick of heat to it. Not something I would usually be a fan of, but I loved this.


Ceviche to start. I can't remember for the life of me what was in it. All I know, it was tasty and pretty.

Ceviche to start. I can't remember for the life of me what was in it. All I know is, it was tasty and pretty to boot.

Momma G forgot that her foodstalking daughter needed to take a picture before devouring these crab cakes. However, I think it shows the inside- which to me is the most important part of a crab cake. Plenty of crab, not too much breading. The "taqueria style" salad underneath was fabulous too.

Momma G forgot that her foodstalking daughter needed to take a picture before devouring these crab cakes.

However, it shows the inside- which to me is the most important part of a crab cake. Plenty of crab, not too much breading. The “taqueria style” salad underneath was fabulous too.My entree. Crispy Skin Snapper, Sweet and Sour Chard, Tomato Brown Butter. Y’all. That skin was the best thing I’ve ever tasted. Crispy, buttery, delicious. I’m not usually a fish skin fan, but this preparation won me over.

Mom's tripletail (never heard of it before this night- mild white fish) served over corn pudding and a grilled peach. Delicious- love the southern spin with the peach and corn.

Mom's tripletail (never heard of it before this night- mild white fish) served over corn pudding and a grilled peach. Delicious- love the southern spin with the peach and corn.

We shared dessert: Vietnamese coffee tart with condensed milk ice cream and lime syrup. Like eating coffee with a spoon (if only it were that easy...)

We shared dessert: Vietnamese coffee tart with condensed milk ice cream and lime syrup. Like eating coffee with a spoon (if only it were that easy...)

And so ends our meal at Reef. I really loved it from start to finish. Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.
We ate a lot of meals (maybe too many for Momma G), including recent favorite Tiny Boxwoods and long-time favorite, El Rey. One place we visited is one that hasn’t gotten its due on foodstalkers, but is one of my favorite restaurants in Houston. Dolce Vita is the Bettola of Houston- but better. I have professed my love of pizza here before- I love it for its versatility. Beer, wine, milk (Home Alone, anyone?), it goes with everything and can be adapted for any occasion. Dolce Vita is one of those chameleons. It’s the kind of pizza place where you drink wine, but it still manages to be casual. The setting is a rickety old house and a great, vine wrapped porch right in the heart of Montrose, the artsy area of Houston.

Dolce Vita's most famous dish: Truffled Egg Toast. Thick slab of toast with an egg cracked in the middle, shaved black truffles over the top, drizzled with truffle oil and topped with a little parm. My first experience with truffles, and a good one at that.

Dolce Vita's most famous dish: Truffled Egg Toast.

Thick slab of toast with an egg cracked in the middle, shaved black truffles over the top, drizzled with truffle oil and topped with a little parm. My first experience with truffles, and a good one at that.

Pasta special: ravioli with chicken and ricotta, peas, and truffle oil. Not as good as the infamous veal gnocchi special, but still very good.

Pasta special: ravioli with chicken and ricotta, peas, and truffle oil. Not as good as the infamous veal gnocchi special, but still very good.

Siciliana Pizza. Tomato, mozzarella, olives, and capers. Olives and capers on a pizza to me, are bliss. The way to do Dolce Vita is to plan to order enough so that everyone is able to eat pizza and everyone is able to eat pasta.

Siciliana Pizza. Tomato, mozzarella, olives, and capers. Olives and capers on a pizza to me, are bliss. The way to do Dolce Vita is to plan to order enough so that everyone is able to eat pizza and everyone is able to eat pasta.

There you have it for the noteworthy LG + Momma G meals. There’s definitely no better group to foodstalk with than family.

Stay tuned for adventures from LG’s new kitchen AND a headfirst dive into vegan territory by Miss Em!

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