Restaurants / Openings

Ultra Ambitious New Seafood Restaurant Brings Brennan’s Former Chef and an Oyster King Together — Get Ready for Pier 6

Waterfront San Leon Retreat Aims to Become a Destination Spot

BY // 07.31.20

You might say that former Brennan’s of Houston executive chef Joe Cervantez and oyster king Raz Halili are pitching their hats into the ring for three Michelin stars, the highly coveted honor bestowed on restaurants that deliver “exceptional cuisine and are worth a special trip just to visit.” It will take a 40-mile trip to San Leon, Texas to sample what is coming from the partnership when their new seafood restaurant opens in late fall.

Pier 6 Seafood and Oyster House at 113 6th street marries the culinary creativity of Cervantez with the entrepreneurial skills of Halili, president of globally-renowned Prestige Oysters. Within an hour’s drive of Houston, depending on traffic, the new restaurant is expected to draw diners from across the region. With the focus on seafood “from tide to table,” it should be a winner.

The 5,000 square foot waterfront restaurant, designed by Coevāl Studio, opens to views of the bay where working oyster and shrimp boats handle their fresh from the sea catches, some of it destined for Pier 6. And what could be more welcoming in the time of COVID-19 than the 2,250 square foot outdoor patio lounge with a canvas covering?

Cervantez brings several levels of culinary expertise to the party. There is his two-year tenure as Brennan’s executive chef and his position as top toque at the top-rated Killen’s Steakhouse in Pearland.  Thus, he knows his way around Gulf Coast seafood and Cajun influences as well as wood grilling. Expect wood grilled fish, seafood and locally sourced meats cooked over a variety of woods at Pier 6. There will be East Coast style seafood dishes as well on the varied menu.

Joe Cervantez and Raz Halili by Kimberly Park (5)
Executive chef Joe Cervantez and oyster mogul Raz Halili have joined forces in a new seafood restaurant in San Leon, Texas.

With the restaurant in the hands of the world’s leading oyster businessman, diners can expect a focus on the regional bivalves as well as Gulf Coast crab and shrimp. Halili adds that oysters from beyond the region will be served as well.

Pier 6 is a first for both Cervantez and Halili. It is the chef’s first time to create a restaurant menu of his own and this is Halili’s first entry into the restaurant arena.

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“Hospitality is an adventure. I’ve experienced dining around the world and am excited to take part in it myself, especially working with a skilled chef like Joe,” Halili says in a statement. “He comes highly recommended from many chefs around town. I’ve been around chefs for well over a decade, and you don’t come across too many who have the culinary skills, along with the charisma and character that Joe has.”

Cervantez is obviously thrilled with this Pier 6 opportunity. “Starting a new restaurant is fun,” he says. “It’s nice setting time aside to just think about food. Plus, we’re right there on the coast, sourcing literally right out of the water. The endless possibilities of what we can make of this place are exciting to me. We’ll never get bored of it.”

Check out Halili’s heroic efforts during the Hurricane Harvey floods here.

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