In this week's list news, GQ magazine just released its list of the 13 Best New Restaurants in America for 2018. Boo: No restaurant from Dallas-Fort Worth made the cut.
But buck up, we got our own special tout: Dallas alone was singled out by GQ critic Brett Martin as the "Next Best New Food City."
As for the list that Dallas did not make: Martin visited 75 restaurants in 18 cities to compile the Best New Restaurants list that have opened in the past 12-18 months. Two Texas restaurants were included, both in Houston: Xochi, Hugo Ortega's Oaxacan restaurant in the Marriott Marquis hotel; and Theodore Rex, Justin Yu's bistro-inspired follow-up to Oxheart.
To mollify the restaurants that did not make the list, Martin offers a kind of honorable mention called "The 13 Dishes I Can't Stop Thinking About."
These are dishes that were not "Perfect" enough to earn a spot on the Best list, but were nonetheless "perfectly wonderful." Perfect, no. Wonderful yes. It includes two Dallas dishes: the "Iberico Secreto" at Sachet, and the pulpo taco at Revolver Taco Lounge.
Sachet's Iberico Secreto wins the puzzling distinction of "best steak." It's puzzling for two reasons: No. 1, Sachet is noted more for its lighter Mediterranean-inspired food, shareable plates, and veggie focus. Of all the things to champion, steak, hmm. But whatever. No. 2, it's pork. So kooky.
Here's what he says about Sachet:
"Sometimes the cow needs to take a backseat to the pig in the steak department, even in Texas. Everything I tried on the long menu at this cool, expansive Mediterranean restaurant was impeccable, but nothing stuck with me like the secreto, a 'secret' skirt-steak-like cut, in this case from the shoulder of a rich, gamy Iberico pig. Served naked and scored atop a pile of crisp patatas bravas and pools of red pimento sauce and green mojo verde, it had nowhere to hide — and no reason to."
As for the taco at Revolver Taco Lounge, he said:
"It’s worth bringing enough friends to this Deep Ellum taco joint that you can order the whole menu. But if you must choose, go for the one filled with Michoacán octopus 'carnitas': slow-cooked, crisped with butter on the flat-top grill, and served in a tortilla with fried leek and jalapeño salsa."
A dish at a Houston restaurant also earns a spot on this list: the rabbit "wings" at Nancy's Hustle won for "Best New Wings," even though they're not wings at all. Such a crazy innovative thinker that Martin is.
Here's where he explains why Dallas wins as the "Next Best New Food City":
"Consider that I didn't eat a bad meal in two visits there this year," he says. "And don’t be surprised if the third point in the Texan triangle starts to get the kind of attention already bestowed on Austin and Houston."