First Look: Eddie V's Prime Seafood

The first thing you notice at Eddie V's Prime Seafood, the newest mini-chain addition to Town & Country's enormous CityCentre development, are the white waistcoats on the servers. Yup, it's that kind of place.

It's traditional, even retro, in layout and style, with a few key modern touches--especially on the menu--that keep things 21st century. The lounge is total throwback, complete with cocktail menu, live lounge music and so much relaxed masculine energy that the bartender slipped and addressed me as "sir." To be fair, it was the only service error all evening. Soft opening be damned, these waiters, bussers, hostesses, etc. were on--to describe them as attentive would be woefully inadequate. Little extras abounded, from a chilled bottle of Fiji for water to a slightly springy table surface (great for elbows when deep in conversation).

Bypassing the enormous raw bar near the entrance (you can actually sit down at it and pick out your own protein), the dining room is deceptively large and has a wall of tinted windows looking into the spotless, stainless steel kitchen. We started with Alaskan king crab crudo atop diced cantaloupe and avocado, as well as a nearly perfect Maryland crab cake that is all crab with just a touch of breading on the sides to hold it together--like every crab cake should be but few are. For main courses we tried the amazing crab-stuffed shrimp, which were ludicrously large with just a hint of spice in the stuffing. Someday I hope to find a crab-stuffed shrimp stuffed inside a lobster tail, a phantasmagorical crustacean version of the turducken, but until then this was pretty damn good.

Less enthralling was the Chilean sea bass, steamed "Hong Kong-style" over spinach and a soy sherry sauce. The fish was fresh and perfectly cooked, but no matter how fancy or light the soy sauce was, my taste buds couldn't get past the association with cheap Chinese places, and it overpowered the main ingredient. Luckily, the bananas foster for dessert was without doubt the best iteration of the dish I've ever had. There's nothing earth-shaking or genre-busting going on here, but it is nice to see seafood classics executed extremely well. The owners seem to think Eddie V's will be a winner in Houston--there's already a second Houston location in the works at West Ave.

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Sarah Rufka