Restaurants / Openings

New Waterfront Restaurant Adds Overnight Stays for a Picture Perfect Gulf Coast Escape — Pier 6 Brings a Whole Vibe

Fresh Oysters and Comfy Airbnbs

BY // 01.07.21

True confession: While I was so looking forward to our dinner at the much ballyhooed Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House in San Leon, I had my doubts about overnighting in the restaurant’s related Airbnbs. I mean, seriously, how acceptable could a rental be in this mish-mash of Gulf Coast bait shops, fishing camps and the occasional grand mansion?

I had told my husband that if the accommodations were more fishing camp than Ritz Carlton, we would dive into the oyster plates at Pier 6 and then head back to Houston, with it not much more than an hour’s drive to home to our Frette linens and down pillows.

It proved to be with unnecessary skepticism that we approached the unassuming greenish building on stilts overlooking the bay. With trepidation we mounted the stairs and opened the glass door to our quarters. Aha!

The joke was on me. What a delight welcomed us!

We stepped into a resoundingly pleasant apartment, neatly furnished and decorated with a slight beachcomber vibe. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls opened to a view of the bay and the two fishing piers that are at the disposal of overnight guests. The adjoining deck was nicely furnished in cushioned teak seating with decorative throw pillows.

We were pleased with the open floor plan of the living area which included all the necessities of a full-sized apartment. And at around 1,300 square feet, this was indeed spacious living quarters.

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Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House airbnbs, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, average around 1,300 square feet. (Photo courtesy of Swiggart Creative)
Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House airbnbs, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, average around 1,300 square feet. (Photo courtesy of Swiggard Creative)

The fully-equipped kitchen with full-sized oven, stove, fridge, dishwasher and even clothes washer and dryer added to the appeal. A spacious bathroom with shower, a walk-in closet and nicely decorated bedroom, easily accommodating a king size bed and a large screen TV, indicated a sophisticated attention to detail.

“We wanted to have diners from Galveston and Houston have a place to spend the night if they wanted to come down for dinner and not have to drive home,” said Raz Halili, who heads the family’s Prestige Oysters that partnered with chef Jo Cervantez on the restaurant concept.

We began our adventure with sunset cocktails on the deck listening to the waves lapping the rocky shore, and watching the moon rise over the quiet bay. A gentle sea breeze wafted across the deck.  No surprise then that we quickly decided that one night would not be sufficient for this ever-so relaxing escape from the city.

Pier 6’s Food

Five minutes before our dinner reservation, we hopped in the car for the very short drive to Pier 6 where chef Joe Cervantez delivered on all that was promised in the anticipation of this new seafood restaurant.

In developing the core menu and specials, Cervantez, a native of Pearland, draws on his years with Brennan’s of Houston to impart strong Cajun and Creole influence, but he’s also finding inspiration in Texan, East Coast and global seafood preparations and from seasonal harvests by nearby farms. 

The restaurant was packed at 6 pm on a Tuesday in late December night and for those without reservations, the wait was an hour. However, the patio was open, with not all of the tables present due to inclement weather. There was enough covering on the patio bar for us to sit in the less crowded area and take advantage of the outdoor heaters.

We began our feast for a dozen raw oysters. After all, that’s what Pier 6 and Prestige Oysters is all about. Before we could order from the menu chef Cervantez and Halili arrived at our table with two of their house specialties— The Prestige, baked oysters with grated parmigiano reggiano and fresh herb shallot butter, and blue crab oysters — crab gratin stuffed baked oysters.

Joe Cervantez by Kimberly Park (1)
Chef Joe Cervantez brings his experience at Brennan’s Houston to the kitchen at Pier 6 Seafood & Oyster House in San Leon, Texas. (Photo by Kimberly Park)

By this point, we had no room for Tide to Fried, the mouthwatering collection of potato crusted snapper, crispy gulf shrimp, cornmeal fried oysters, French fries and shaved coleslaw accompanied by cocktail and tartar sauces.

However, we made room for a small sampling of the fried shrimp and oysters and, as expected, they were to die for. This from a South Louisiana girl who know plenty about fried seafood.

In short, we will definitely be back. We will definitely book one of the comfy Airbnbs (starting at $300 per night)  and maybe spend more than one night, taking time to fish and chill on the breezy deck.

Pier 6’s Design

Fulfilling a long-time dream, Halili took over an old Bubba’s Shrimp Palace to create Pier 6, bringing in Dallas-based Coeval Studio to carve the contemporary, playful restaurant, the motto of which “The World Is Your Oyster” is lit up in bright neon. The colorful 170-seat restaurant also has seating for 75 on the indoor/outdoor patio and room for another 62 in mixed seating on the lower deck which consists of lounge seating and wrap-around bar rattan swings for the ultimate sunset or moonlight view.

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