Lafayette's Legacy

Denis' Seafood House outclasses the competition

Ten years ago, Alison Cook, then of the Houston Press, told the sad saga of the Landry brothers and their five partners, and how infighting and family squabbles tore apart the gumbo kingdom (see "Food Fight," June 30, 1994). Fertitta acquired what was left of the Landry empire in 1986. "They were so far ahead of themselves in the '70s and early '80s. They let the Pappases learn from them and build a big restaurant company. Then I bought them out and built a big restaurant company. It's ironic," Fertitta told Cook a decade ago.

Until Fertitta took over, Willie G's, Don's and the Landry brothers' other restaurants served top-quality seafood lovingly prepared in the Cajun cooking style that Prudhomme had made so popular. Denis Wilson still carries on the spirit of those original restaurants at Denis' Seafood.

Tilman Fertitta removed the Cajun flavors from the food at Landry's and Willie G's after he took over. His food is for the "masses," not the "classes," he explained. A decade later, it seems Fertitta got what he wanted -- lots of money -- but also all the lawsuits, shareholders' meetings and stock market analysts that come with it.

You get what you order at Denis' Seafood House: 
Here, the fabulous amberjack with sauce piquante.
Troy Fields
You get what you order at Denis' Seafood House: Here, the fabulous amberjack with sauce piquante.

Location Info


Denis' Seafood House

9777 Katy Freeway
Houston, TX 77024

Category: Restaurant > Cajun

Region: Outer Loop - NW


Crawfish bisque: $11.99
Cajun sampler (for four) : $19.99
Shrimp poor boy: $11.99
Stuffed crabs: $14.99
Fish of the day with topping: $16.99
12109 Westheimer, 281-497-1110. Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Wilson kept what Fertitta didn't want: culinary integrity. Denis's Seafood outclasses most of its competition for two reasons. First, it's always been honest about what it's serving. When you order red snapper at Denis', you get Gulf red snapper, not some mystery fish. Second, the restaurant doesn't hold back on the seasonings. This is the real old-fashioned Louisiana deal.

Whether you're nostalgic for spicy Cajun seafood, or you're eager to try the definitive version for the first time, put Denis's Seafood at the top of your list.

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help