It's the beginning of the new year which means it's time for another top ten pick of the best new restaurants from Texas Monthly. Running for the past seventeen years, Texas Monthly has been sharing with its readers the best of the best in regards of new restaurants and this year is no different.
This year includes ten distinct and surprising restaurants located across the entire state of Texas. According to Texas Monthly, a restaurant may be considered if it is 1) the first Texas location and 2) opened between December 1, 2016 and December 1, 2017. Restaurants that reopen but keep their original name are not eligible. Let's get into the rankings.
10. Piattello Italian Kitchen, Fort Worth
Known for their seasonally-rotating menu of fresh from-scratch Italian dishes, Piattello is the place to be if pizza and charcuterie is on your mind. Headed by Executive Chef and owner Marcus Paslay, the family-friendly restaurant offers antipasta dishes like crispy calamari, mussels and a selection of house cured meats and cheeses.
Open for lunch and dinner, make sure you order a plate of the Roman style pizza. It's transport you to Italy in an instant.
9. Range, San Antonio
With a dining room filled with dark leather and photographs depicting cattle drives on the walls, it's no surprise that Range specializes in fine steak. However, that's where all common expectancies are thrown out the window. Each meal is complemented with blueberry muffins served with a pink peppercorn butter. Dishes such as South Texas Beef Tartare with sharp cheddar and poblano and wagyu shabu-shabu elevate this classic steakhouse.
When dinner is finished stay tuned for a fun and sugary treat of cotton candy to accompany your bill. Chef Jason Dady wants this restaurant to be totally one-of-a-kind.
8. Riel, Houston
Spearheaded by Winnipeg, Canadian chef Ryan Lachaine, Riel offers it's guests an elevated look into his Ukrainian Grandmother's kitchen. Each week the menu changes with dishes such as hanger steak with cheddar pierogi, the classic Canadian Nanaimo cake topped with chocolate and frog legs served with herbed waffle, creole cream cheese and pepper jelly. It's a culinary worldwide adventure in just a few hours.
7. Pitchfork Pretty, Austin
Serving breakfast, weekend brunch, happy hour and dinner, Pitchfork Pretty offers family style dinning which is made for sharing. Order the dishes a la carte or take part in the four-course option for only $45.
Pick a snack such as chicken liver mousse with pickled vegetables, chives and toast and follow up with an appetizer. Save room for a plate of fried chicken served with a red chile buttermilk dressing or potato gnocchi with roasted pear and leek fondue. End the night with a lemon ice box pie made with lime zest, bay leaf and kiwi. Exquisite.
6. Theodore Rex, Houston
Yes, the name of the resturant is actually Theodore Rex. Named after Justin Yu's nephew and the dinosaur, Theodore Rex brings a pop of color to the old commercial building it resides in.
Previously the Executive Chef of Oxheart, Justin Yu has made good (expensive-tasting) food totally accessible to everyone. Try the stewed beef cheek warmed in pickle juice or the guinea hen breast served with a warm 'Bibb' lettuce salad. It's fancy food at a reasonable price.
5. Bullion, Dallas
Opened by Michelin star-awarded Chef Bruno Davaillon, Bullion boasts classic and contemporary French dishes reinvented through Davaillon's eyes. The elegant dining room feels refined yet has an edge of comfort, which reflects in the food wholeheartedly.
Enjoy ravioli D'escargots (yes, snails) and steak tartare in the lounge with a glass of perfectly paired wine. Move into the dining room and indulge on classic dishes like cassoulet, dover sole meunière and even duck confit.
4. Killen's STQ, Houston
Cooking since the age of eight, Executive Chef and owner Ronnie Killen opened Killen's STQ as a place to focus in on barbecue techniques. His third restaurant to open in the year (wow), STQ boasts a killer menu to please any Texan. Chew on beef short rib tamales served with brisket chili and cotija cheese or indulge your senses with a 14oz USDA prime dry aged beef New York strip.
3. Sachet, Dallas
Small bites are the name of the game of this Dallas eatery. Enjoy a family-style meal filled with eight different meze options or order a la carte with options like Moroccan lamb chops or a whole dorade fish.
Prices are substantially reasonable with a four-course prix fixe meal of meze, appetizers, a main of chicken paillard, rainbow trout or lamb chops, plus a dessert going for only $35 a person. A steal in our book.
2. Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, Austin
If Texas and Japan had a baby it's name would be Kemuri Tatsu-Ya. Created by Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya "Tako" Matsumoto, this Japanese brewhouse pub and Texas BBQ joint is a trip for the senses.
Order the Texas ramen filled with beef broth, brisket, pickled mustard greens and bamboo or enjoy a bite of chili cheese takoyaki. That's octopus fritters topped with chili, cheddar cheese and jalapeños and it's dang good.
1. Xochi, Houston
We finally made it to the top of the list. Named after Xochitl, which means the Goddess of the Flowers. Created by award-winning Chef Hugo Ortega and the H Town Resturant Group, Xochi encompasses the robust flavors of Oaxaca, Mexico.
Try Sopa de Piedra, a traditional fish and shrimp soup heated with hot river rocks from the horno or order the cabrito con chichilo, crispy goat with charred chilhuacle pepper mole. And don't forget to try the molotes, chorizo and masa hushpuppies served with a sprinkling of fried grasshoppers. There's no surprise why this restaurant topped the list.