Chris Loftis in as Executive Chef at Number 13 in Galveston

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Number 13 Prime Steak and Seafood, the swanky waterfront restaurant overlooking Galveston island's Pelican Rest Marina, has named Chris Loftis as executive chef. Loftis, who joined Number 13 as part of their opening crew, had originally joined the restaurant as a sous chef when the restaurant opened in December. He was promoted to executive chef late July, and has slowly been revamping the menu since.

This is the first executive chef position for Loftis, whose resume includes being a part of the opening crew at Killen's Steakhouse under Ronnie Killen, as well as stints at Skyline at the Hilton Americas, The Foundation Room at House of Blues, Strata in Vintage Park, Sweetwater Country Club and at the now closed The Barbed Rose in Alvin, Texas.

Number 13 is a gorgeous restaurant. Named after brothers Jean and Pierre Lafitte, brothers who lived on Galveston Island while acting as spies for Spain and revolutionaries for Mexico during the Mexican War of Independence, the restaurant positions itself as a modern take on what these brothers might have called home. With soaring exposed wood ceilings, large, glowing, globular chandeliers, a very attractive open bar, and windows overlooking the marina, the upscale ambiance embodies coastal fine dining.

Loftis' contribution to the menu has been to strike relationships with local purveyors so that his menu reflects the bounty of the Gulf Coast. Locally caught fish is featured daily, offered in chef preparations or simply grilled.

Loftis also dry-ages the restaurant's USDA prime steak in-house for 28 days. Dinner service includes oysters and seafood tower, a charcuterie board featuring house-cured meats, and caviar service. Lunch offers a more abbreviated menu, featuring salads and smaller entrees. On a recent lunch visit, we tried a delightful crab and burrata salad, served with local Texas citrus and prosciutto -- artfully plated, extremely fresh and delicious. The burrata was sourced from a local creamery, delicate and so, so creamy it was just pleasure to taste.

Though the lunch menu also featured an appetizing sounding lobster roll, the house-ground hamburger was the order of the day. Served on a Kraftsmen artisanal bun branded with the words No. 13 on the top of it, the thick-cut house-ground burger topped with house-cured maple bacon is solid.

Number 13 also boasts an upstairs lounge featuring plush outdoor couches and lounges, with live music on fridays and saturday nights, along with an casual, wood-decked covered outdoor patio, perfect for those lazy afternoons that call for a beer and oysters after a long day at the beach. A brunch menu is offered on Sundays as well.

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