Food & Drink | May 27, 2022 6:45 am

The 5 Best Texas Restaurants That Opened in May

Make reservations for wild boar tacos, wagyu beef and so much pasta

Spread from District
Spread from District
Kathy Tran

To keep tabs on every Texas restaurant and bar opening is folly. But to keep tabs on the most worthy? Yeoman’s work, and we’re proud to do it. Thus we present Table Stakes, a rundown of five must-know spots that have swung wide their doors over the past month.

As spring rolls into summer, we’re entering what’s known as prime eatin’ season. You will no doubt engage in several poolside cookouts, but you can’t live on self-prepared food alone — well, more accurately, you don’t want to. So it’s a good thing there are plenty of new restaurants to check out. The latest batch to land in Texas includes Michelin-starred Asian cuisine, an Italian comeback story and a food truck serving wild game at a sotol distillery. Go on and introduce yourself.

Wagyu Beef at Akira Back
Wagyu beef at Akira Back
Akira Back

Akira Back

The Colony

Pro snowboarder turned Michelin-starred chef Akira Back has restaurants all over the world, from Los Angeles to Paris to Dubai. Now, he’s got one just north of Dallas in The Colony’s Grandscape development, which is packed with dining, entertainment and retail. Back’s menu focuses on modern Japanese cuisine with Korean and American accents, and includes dishes like his signature tuna “pizza” with umami aioli, micro shiso and white truffle oil, miso black cod with sake foam, and A5 wagyu beef. If you’re up for an adventure, try the Nazo 9, an omakase-style mystery box that’s filled with an assortment of the chef’s favorite sushi and sashimi.

5765 Grandscape Boulevard, The Colony (map)

Hot rock-seared Wagyu beef
Hot rock-seared wagyu beef
Hai Hospitality

Uchiko

Houston

The Hai Hospitality empire spans from Uchi and Loro to a handful of Uchi sister concepts, including Uchiba in Dallas and the beloved Uchiko in Austin. The latter has expanded into Houston, and inside its just-opened doors you’ll find a dining room that leans into clean lines and wood, with a menu that incorporates smoke and char. There’s a yakitori grill burning Texas post oak and Japanese binchotan charcoal, with multiple smoking and curing techniques used for hot and cold dishes. So you can still snack on sushi and rolls, but now you’ll complement them with oak-grilled sea bass and pork belly, hearth-roasted lobster and hot rock-seared wagyu beef.

1801 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 110, Houston (map)

The new District restaurant in Dallas
Cocktails, wine or whiskey, you can’t go wrong.
Kathy Tran

District

Addison

District comes to Texas from Northern California. It’s known for shareable plates paired with wine and whiskey, which seems sensible. The new Addison location is run by Chef Aaron Staudenmaier, who’s worked everywhere from Abacus, Jasper’s and Lover’s Seafood to the luxe Boot Ranch property in Fredericksburg. The kitchen is churning out crispy squash blossoms and mole-spiced street corn alongside charcuterie, lamb meatballs and pizzas. If you’re extra hungry, you can keep the burger or Cubano sandwich all to yourself. But you should probably let someone help you eat the s’mores pot de creme. Either way, order one of the 10 seasonal cocktails, two dozen wines by the glass or one of the many whiskeys — the list goes heavy on bourbon and other American styles, but it also features bottles from Scotland, Ireland and Japan.

5100 Belt Line Road #544, Addison (map)

Burger from Lo Salvaje
Burger from Lo Salvaje
Lo Salvaje

Lo Salvaje

Driftwood

Chef Jesse Griffiths of Austin’s Dai Due knows his way around wild game, and he’s a proponent of controlling the state’s invasive wild hog population by cooking and eating them. Now, he’s opened a food truck at Desert Door distillery in the Texas Hill Country called Lo Salvaje that puts a Mexican spin on wild game. Get the wild boar guisada tacos, duck tinga tacos, antelope-bacon burger and sweet potato tots loaded with wild boar, chorizo, asadero cheese, escabeche, guacamole and salsa. All that is bound to make you thirsty, so it’s a good thing you’re at a distillery, where you can down sotol flights and cocktails.

211 Darden Hill Road, Driftwood (map)

Interior of Dolce Riviera
Interior of Dolce Riviera
Kathy Tran

Dolce Riviera

Dallas

Dolce Riviera closed more than two years ago — so it’s been nearly 800 days since they served their last plate of pre-pandemic pasta. Now they’re back, with a spiffed-up dining room that channels the Italian Riviera, an updated menu, a new bar called The Parlor and a revamped patio with coastal vibes and a massive lemon tree. The menu features lots of seafood (branzino, salmon, whole poached lobster) and a dozen pastas, including cacio e pepe, cocoa-infused pappardelle with speck, peas and black truffle, and tagliatelle spiked with cuttlefish ink and rock shrimp. During the week, The Parlor opens early to serve grab-and-go breakfast and lunch, and at night it transitions into an intimate lounge, with cocktails and wine. 

2950 N Harwood Street #115, Dallas (map)