Although Houston is located along the Gulf Coast, the state of Texas still has a weird, unfair reputation of being entirely beef-focused and land-locked. When in fact, the state’s largest city proves at its steakhouses that chefs are more than willing, capable and excited about highlighting Houston’s proximity to fresh, bountiful seafood. Here are some of the best seafood and fish options at Houston’s best steakhouses.
Killen’s Steakhouse: In Pearland, Killen’s kills it with the novel takes on seafood and fish. There’s the crawfish tartine with spring peas and the smoked crab cocktail with fried green tomato and pink peppercorn, for starters. This is followed by crawfish bisque with creamed corn hush puppies and pan-seared Gulf snapper with lemon butter and lump crab.
Vic & Anthony’s: One of the city’s most iconic, old-school steakhouses is still one of the best. It’s timeworn, enduring legacy is thanks to the kitchen’s versatility and consistency with everything from salads and appetizers to assorted steaks. And this is certainly true of their seafood, too. Fried lobster mac & cheese, Alaskan king crab legs, Atlantic salmon and shrimp scampi are a few classic examples. The big hit, though, is the Gulf red snapper. Sourced fresh off the Houston coast, the dish features fresh vegetables and other seafood flavors like jumbo lump crab and sherried lobster sauce.
Steak 48: There’s a lot going on at Steak 48, from prime steakhouse meatloaf and fresh burrata to Wagyu filets and heirloom tomato salads. One area where this place excels, though, is its “ocean fresh seafood” selection. Here you’ll find salmon, New Bedford sea scallops with lemon butter, Maryland-style crab cakes, ahi fillets and twin lobster tails. Then there’s the raw bar, which boasts bountiful goodies like iced Alaskan king crab legs, Maine lobster cocktail, Hawaiian poke and colossal shrimp cocktail, among others.
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse: The perfect meal at New Orleans-inspired Pappas Bros. starts with lobster deviled eggs (topped with honey pepper bacon, no less), fried oysters and smoked salmon rillettes with goat cheese. Then move on to turtle gumbo with aged sherry, certainly not something you see in your everyday steakhouse. Then, since the steaks are too good to turn down, opt for the surf & turf filet duo, which features medallions served two ways, one with jumbo lump crabmeat bearnaise and another with jumbo grilled shrimp.
Genesis Steakhouse & Wine Bar: For one of the most unexpectedly elegant and refined steakhouse experiences in Houston, head to Genesis. Here you’ll find sublime steaks, seasonal salads and a few Mediterranean-inspired dishes sharing menu space with the likes of snapper ceviche, sushi-grade tuna poke, a grilled ahi tuna spinach salad, salmon quinoa bowls, tortilla-crusted snapper and green chile tuna with chimichurri sauce, green chile beurre blanc and pico de gallo. These are some of the most unique and vibrant steakhouse seafood selections you’re likely to find in the city.
Vallone’s: This is one of the rare restaurants where seafood (and lots of other things) come with table side pomp and circumstance. Tuna tartare and salt-crusted Gulf red snapper are both served as table side preparations, meaning they’re assembled and served right at your table. For the tartare, the fresh fish is sliced and diced finely before being beautifully arranged on a plate. Meanwhile, the snapper is a lot bigger and requires 24-hour notice from customers. The salt crust is opened and the fish is flayed, then arranged on plates for $35 per person.