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Dallas celeb chef eatery makes NY Times list of 50 exciting restaurants

Dallas celeb chef restaurant makes NYTimes '50 most exciting' list

fried chicken Tiffany Derry
Fried chicken from Roots Southern Table. Photo courtesy of Roots Southern Table

Dallas' celebrity chef Tiffany Derry is basking in the national spotlight: The New York Times selected her new restaurant, Roots Southern Table, as one of the 50 American restaurants it's "most excited about right now."

Published Monday, October 11, the list spotlights "the 50 most vibrant and delicious restaurants in 2021 . . . They’re not ranked, but together they reflect the rich mosaic of American dining," the article states.

It's rendered in alphabetical order and extends from Sofra Bakery and Cafe in Cambridge, Massachusetts, all the way to Paju in Seattle.

Four other Texas restaurants also made the list:

  • Birdie's, a natural wine bar and cafe in Austin
  • Fish Lonja, Mexican seafood restaurant in San Antonio
  • Blood Bros. BBQ, a creative barbecue joint in Houston
  • Sylvia's, a taqueria in Brownsville

The list includes short profiles of each restaurant, with nods to special dishes.

Times food reporter Priya Krishna hails the Louisiana-influenced Southern food chef Derry is serving at Roots Southern Table, writing "If eating [Derry's] cornbread with smoked butter is like a warm embrace, the duck-fat fried chicken — which should certainly be ordered with a side of duck-fat-fried potatoes — is the equivalent of a bear hug."

Krishna also covers Fish Lonja, praising San Antonio chef Alejandro Paredes for his creative approach to Mexican seafood. Citing dishes such as shrimp aguachile and a shrimp-and-chorizo quesadilla, Krishna writes that the restaurant's food "tastes so fresh, you might wonder if San Antonio is a coastal town."

Writer Brett Anderson profiles Houston's Bood Bros., stating, "The daily changing menu at this strip mall barbecue restaurant in a Houston suburb is a product of the seemingly endless ideas for cooking Texas barbecue whirling through the brains of the owners and staff. One day, brisket burnt-end steam buns and smoked chicken karaage. The next, char siu pork banh mi and Thai green curry boudin balls."

Anderson also praises Birdie's chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel’s "bright, graceful food" that includes steak tartare, roasted eggplant, and vanilla soft serve, describing the wine bar as "the leading edge of what makes eating great in this booming town."