One of the best lunch experiences: THE REEF
The sea foam green decor is calming and reminds me of coral or the sea. It can come across as “hospital cafeteria-ee” if there were anymore green accents added but as it stands right now its fine. They have these beautiful chandeliers that I couldn’t keep my eyes off of. They really brought the space together.
The food here was simply awesome and the presentation of the dishes were stunning. If Chef Caswell’s goal was to ensure that his lunch guests experienced something like none other, he was certainly successful.
We were served warm bread with jalapeno jelly as we awaited on our main course. I was reading about REEF before I visited and someone had commented that the bread and jelly is so addictive, but to be careful because it would ruin your appetite. I took that warning with a grain of salt literally.
Each table has its own steel ramekin filled with Kosher salt but oddly no pepper. I didn’t need either.
Not only is the wall decor FAB there is a HUGE wine cellar along the back wall that would make any wine-o like myself salivate.
Food and Beverage director, Bill Floyd is the mastermind behind the great wall of wine and I hear that he personally tastes a glass from each bottle to ensure that it compliments Chef Caswell’s menu. Mr. Floyd, if you ever need a helper, call me!
Bread with Jalapeno Jelly (Jelly sold at counter)
I ordered the tempura soft shelled crab and avocado salad, with extra avocado of course. It was delightful and the best part was that I could eat the entire thing, even the shell. The sweet potato puree was soo.. well to be honest I have no idea how it tasted because I inhaled it. Plain and simple. By the time I was done there was no need for the kitchen to wash the plate because it was CLEAN!
My 3 lunch dates selected their items from the choose 2 for $17 menu and we all oohed and aahed when the beautifully crafted plates were placed on our table. The Chili Shrimp Wrap & Red Fish Salad Sandwich were a hit but the gumbo was just “ok”. Of course someone from Louisiana was at our table and we had a long discussion about gumbo.. because we’re lame.
We were celebrating my birthday so I forced everyone to have dessert. Only 2 of us fell for it and ordered something. MAN OH MAN the desserts here are mmmmm mmmmm good GOD! Please note that they are LARGE and can be shared. We totally stuffed our bellies trying to finish these. I think we rolled one of our companions out of there.
I am a sucker for lemon so I ordered the Bread Pudding with Trentino Gelato’s Lemon Thyme Sorbet. The dessert was served with a basil gastrique. The bread pudding was placed artistically on a bed of creme fraiche pudding and dusted with powered sugar, while the sorbet was served a top a powdery, cookie crumble. Please believe that it tasted way better that any words I could use to describe it.
The Peach Cobbler was also ordered and smelled so good. The aroma alone had me rethinking what I ordered. The peach sorbet was served with a thin sugar cookie in the middle and rested on a cookie crumble similar to the above dessert.
Both of our plates were almost clean. We were stuffed and had THE BEST TIME! Our server Brad was cool and funny. He joked that he got whippings when plates were returned to the kitchen with food on them. We did our best to ensure that he got no lashings!
I thought this note at the bottom of the menu from Chef Caswell was funny. I totally ignored it as I took photos of everything with not a care about my lunch mates. They seemed to be just fine and appetites in tact! Thanks for the note chef. LOL..