Pho-Spiced Bone Marrow, Smoked Brisket and Ice-Cold Martinis
Feast accordingly at Texas’s best new restaurants
Another month is in the books, and once again our patience is rewarded with a spate of restaurant openings worthy of our collection attention. The past few weeks have given us a shiny new American classic, an ode to barbecue from a restaurant legend and the 2.0 version of a modern Vietnamese favorite. Good drinks can be found alongside plates of steak, brisket and goat curry, while patios are welcoming diners to enjoy the spring weather before summer takes hold. Below: five of the best new restaurants in Texas, including a compelling trio in Houston. (Thanks, Houston.)
Ramble Room is the latest project from Jon Alexis (TJ’s Seafood, Escondido Tex-Mex), and it occupies a two-story space in Dallas’s historic Snider Plaza. That space is lined with floor-to-ceiling windows, and the dining room has black leather booths, flickering gas lanterns and a spiral staircase that leads up to the mezzanine. The menu includes a range of American classics, including steaks, lambchops, grilled salmon, handmade pastas, a wedge salad and a Reuben that nestles house-made corned beef on rye bread. All that is paired with a handsome horseshoe-shaped bar that features a list of classic and creative cocktails, including martinis made with on-tap Tito’s vodka dispensed at a chilly 38 degrees.
6565 Hillcrest Avenue, Suite 150, Dallas (map)
The Blind Goat
James Beard Award semifinalist and Masterchef winner Christine Ha debuted her Blind Goat concept at downtown Houston’s Bravery Chef Hall in 2019. Now she’s taken the modern Vietnamese restaurant to new digs in Spring Branch. The larger space is inspired by open-air markets and Vietnamese street stalls, and the menu features dishes like whole roasted turmeric fish, pho-spiced bone marrow, goat curry and crawfish and garlic noodles. The food is meant to pair well with beer and other drinks, so don’t miss the thoughtful selection of wines and cocktails like the Một-Hai-Ball, which merges Japanese whisky with apricot, black sesame, cucumber and Topo Chico.
8145 Long Point Road, Houston (map)
Dollar Oysters and Half-Pound Wagyu Steaks Are the Stars at Chicago’s Best New Restaurants
Also on tap: Southern coastal, more super-upscale sushi and dry-aged Holstein
The Sundown Entertainment squad (Todos Santos, Sugar Room, The Sporting Club) has opened the doors to Muse, a new concept in the old Emmaline spot on the border of the River Oaks and Montrose neighborhoods. The overhauled space sports a large bar, leather banquettes and several spotlit cherry blossom trees, and a rooftop terrace is in the works. Chef E.J. Miller’s menu takes a global approach and features everything from raw oysters, sushi rolls and caviar service to lobster pasta, wood-grilled lobster with yuzu butter, a grilled ribeye and duck. The 75-bottle wine list is joined by cocktails like Japanese Breakfast, which combines orange blossom gin, bergamot liqueur, sake and white peach tea and is served in a teapot.
3210 W Dallas Street, Houston (map)
Philippe Schmit, aka the French Cowboy and former chef at Bistro Moderne and Philippe, is helming a restaurant once again after a decade of private chef gigs and catering. PS21 is more casual than his previous restaurants, though the 60-seat dining room’s tables are still draped in white tablecloths. Dishes include sardine rillettes, steak frites, duck breast Wellington, seafood bouillabaisse and a whole chicken that serves two people. There’s also tableside raclette service and a section of shareable snacks, plus a French-only wine list that’s 50 bottles strong.
2712 Richmond Avenue, Houston (map)
Loop 9 BBQ
Larry Lavine founded Chili’s in 1975. You’ve probably heard of it. Most people would stop there and bask in their success, but the restaurateur is still going. His new project is Loop 9 BBQ, located at the ambitious EpicCentral development in Grand Prairie, where you can also find artificial lakes, a waterpark and a pickleball restaurant, with more on the way. Lavine is betting that’s the kind of destination people will want to eat barbecue, either inside the casual dining room or on the sprawling patio. He and his wife created most of the recipes, and the menu features classics like brisket, beef ribs, sausage and smoked turkey, plus burnt-end queso, jalapeño poppers, Mexican corn, borracho beans and Key lime pie.
2951 S State Highway 161, Grand Prairie (map)
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