You have one month left to eat out in 2012, and you have 10 restaurants before you. That's one restaurant every three days. Better get eating.
Spoon is chef John Tesar's version of famed New York seafooderie Le Bernardin and would easily be the hottest restaurant for this month regardless. But with Tesar emerging as the rising star of Top Chef Seattle, Spoon is about to become impossible to get in.
Bowl & Barrel
The thirtysomethings are already enchanted with B&B, merely for the novelty of being able to bowl within the loop. But Sharon Hage brings in foodie cred with her design of a menu that includes cheese and ham boards, oysters, hot dogs, and a bologna sandwich made on Empire sourdough bread with caramelized onions and Gruyère cheese.
Cafe des Artistes
This space at One Arts Plaza didn't swing as Screen Door, not even after they swapped out chefs and owners. Like the cavalry comes Alberto Lombardi to the rescue! Can he draw diners to this lonesome location? If you judge by the brisk opening party, the answer is yes.
Babb Bros BBQ & Blues
Barbecue is a tough category to crack, but the Babb brothers are giving it a go. This is the first restaurant to open in the Trinity Groves complex, which is, for the moment, a curiosity-seeker's destination.
JoJo Eating House & Bar
JoJo is where you can go to have a French chef, Laurent Poupart, make you pizza. Okay, also mussels and French onion soup. Really, the thing to do at JoJo is marvel at the amazing makeover of the old Tin Star space.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Hopdoddy is an Austin import so we're supposed to wrinkle our provincial noses, but the burgers are getting rave reviews, and they have Texas beer on tap. Hey, we like Torchy's too.
At the other end of One Arts Plaza sits The Greek, from the owners of Ziziki's, who've taken over the old Commissary space. Can anything replace a burger hand-patted by Tesar? Hummus can.
People's Last Stand
Mockingbird Station bar-restaurant has a big cocktail program, big ambitions and a big heart. Cocktail classes begin this month, and the place has plans for live jazz. Bonus points for the cloth hand towels in the restrooms — classy.
T/X at Luxe Stoneleigh Hotel
New restaurant at the newly redesigned Stoneleigh has an upscale Texas theme. Chef is Marcelo Vasquez, who worked at the Omni in Fort Worth, and his menu includes shrimp and cheese grits, beer-braised short ribs, and lobster pancakes.
Keeping up with chef Tim Love's burger chain keeps us busy. The original stands in the Stockyards, but he closed the So7 branch and will transform the Denton outlet to a steakhouse. This Shack is all-TCU, with big-screen TVs, beer and sloppy nachos on the menu. Go Horned Frogs.
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