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 six must-know spots that have swung wide their doors over the past month.
As long as you keep eating, Texas will keep giving you new places to practice your craft. It’s a good arrangement, and this spring has witnessed a slew of compelling restaurant openings, including several that have followed the lead of everyone else by moving to Texas.
Three of our favorite new restaurants hail from New York, one has roots in Savannah and another’s from Mexico. And just to keep things interesting, we’ve also got a homegrown spot with a steamship theme. Let’s welcome them all to the neighborhood.
New York’s Major Food Group recently came to town, expanding their empire with three Dallas restaurants. The first is Sadelle’s, the brunch institution known for its bagel towers, sandwiches and salads. It took over an old Royal Blue Grocery in ritzy Highland Park Village, so there’s plenty of room to spread out in the colorful space. Come on a weekend for a power brunch of bagels and sliced-to-order fish, omelets and caviar-topped scrambled eggs, or join the party later for grilled branzino and a 40-day dry-aged porterhouse. If you can’t get a reservation, there’s also a walk-up counter serving coffee, pastries, rotisserie chicken and breakfast tacos.
1 Highland Park Village, Dallas (map)
New Design District inhabitants Carbone and side-by-side sister concept Carbone Vino are two more salvos from Major Food Group. The former is the popular New York Italian spot known for its pastas, veal parmesan and tableside Caesar salad, plus retro vibes that channel the 1950s. The latter brings a full bar to the party and is home to Carbone’s vast wine cellar, hence the name. Sit at Vino’s bar or a table, and you can dive into many of Carbone’s favorite plates, plus a handful of new dishes, including pizzas and salumi boards.
1617 Hi Line Drive, Dallas (map)
The Laura Hotel is named for the old steamship that brought Houston’s founders across the Buffalo Bayou and deposited them in the city in 1837. Now, it’s got a new all-day restaurant, dubbed Hull & Oak, that continues the nautical theme with boat-like arches and sea-green chairs. Fortunately, the menu is a big upgrade from what you’d get in steerage. It focuses on southern- and Texas-inspired dishes, with breakfast items like a pulled pork Benedict, chicken-fried steak and eggs, and johnny cakes. Dinner brings barrel-aged cocktails, cast-iron meatballs, bone-in pork chops and a smoked half chicken.
1070 Dallas Street, Houston (map)
A spinoff of the acclaimed restaurant in Saltillo, Mexico, by the same name, Don Artemio debuted in Fort Worth’s Cultural District with a menu that melds traditional Mexican cuisine with ingredients sourced from Fort Worth and Northeast Mexico — think nopales, goat and the tart red hawthorn fruit. The upscale design pays homage to the old clay houses in Saltillo, and the dining room is composed of more than 20,000 clay bricks. The restaurant stocks a large collection of Mexican wines to pair with dry-aged meats and dishes like braised beef tongue tacos, mussels in creamy chipotle sauce, sea bass in black mole and slow-cooked goat in tomato sauce.
3268 W 7th Street, Fort Worth (map)
Mashama Bailey and Johno Morisano opened The Grey in a 1938 art deco Greyhound Bus Terminal in Savannah, Georgia, in 2014. The awards quickly followed, including a Best Chef nod for Bailey from the James Beard Foundation. Now, the duo has come to Austin to open the Diner Bar, a restaurant focused on port-city southern cuisine, which is attached to the new Thompson Austin hotel. The dining room is retro-casual, and the menu turns seasonal ingredients into completed plates, like foie and grits with strawberry mostarda, lamb crepinette with pommes puree and braised greens, and shrimp and Carolina Gold rice with potlikker, ham and peas.
501 Brazos Street, Austin (map)
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