Dallas has not lacked for new restaurant openings in the past year, but only two made the just-released list of 10 best new restaurants from Texas Monthly: Sachet, the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant from Gemma chef/owner Stephen Rogers and his wife Allison Yoder; and Bullion, the downtown Dallas restaurant from former Mansion chef Bruno Davaillon that offers a lighter take on classic French fare.
That’s down from four last year. The city that wins the most spots is Houston, with four restaurants. Austin earns two, and Fort Worth and San Antonio claim one each.
Restaurants that are eligible for inclusion must have opened between December 1, 2016 and December 1, 2017; reopened restaurants that kept their original names, such as the French Room, are not.
"There will be steaks — that’s a given. And Mexican food. And Gulf seafood," writes Texas Monthly critic Pat Sharpe. "But our annual roundup of the ten best new restaurants in Texas contains surprises too, including a place with a Canadian chef, as well as a Japanese-Texan mash-up that almost defies description. I've been putting together this list since 2002, and I can’t remember a year that included two such distinct outliers."
The no. 1 spot goes to Xochi, the acclaimed Houston restaurant from Hugo Ortega, and no. 2 is Austin restaurant Kemuri Tatsu-ya, a barbecue-influenced izakaya from the owners of Austin restaurant Ramen Tatsu-ya.
Dallas' Sachet takes third place. Sharpe cites dishes like field peas with grilled scallions, grilled baby carrots with pumpkin seeds, and crispy pork with porcini mushrooms as standouts and hails the restaurant's beach-inspired design that "would fit right in at a seaside resort."
Bullion is no. 5, thanks to its "stupendous" seafood offerings, such as ethereal fish-mousse dumplings and silken seared scallops in an Ibérico ham broth.
Two Dallas restaurants earn honorable mentions: trendy Mirador at the Forty Five Ten boutique in downtown Dallas, and Town Hearth, the over-the-top steakhouse from chef Nick Badovinus.
Houston's other three list-makers include Killen's STQ, which blends steak and barbecue; Beard Award winner Justin Yu earns the sixth spot for Theodore Rex, the bistro from Justin Yo of the acclaimed restaurant Oxheart; and Riel, from Canadian chef Ryan Lachaine.
Other restaurants on the list include Pitchfork Pretty, the stylish Austin restaurant that blends Hill Country and Asian influences; Range, chef Jason Dady’s steakhouse on the Riverwalk in San Antonio; and Piattello Italian Kitchen, the Fort Worth restaurant from chef Marcus Paslay.