Got the midwinter blahs? Or craftily thinking ahead to Valentine’s? Here’s a plan for either situation: check out our annual list of the best new restaurants in the state. I promise you’ll find something to like because, as usual, they’re all over the map, from a splashy Mexican seafood emporium in Houston to a chic French dining room in Fort Worth to the home of the year’s most ballyhooed steak, in Dallas.
The longish horizontal window was set at eye level, so nondescript that it looked like an empty aquarium. I didn’t even notice it until we’d finished our dinner. But after we paid, we walked over to peer through the glass. Mere feet away, Le Cep’s small, pristine kitchen was a tableau of workers in white.
If there’s one genetically modified organism we Texans can get behind, it’s our beloved grapefruit, the pride of the Rio Grande Valley, whose warm temperatures and loamy soils, combined with the aforementioned technological tinkering, produce fruits that are vibrantly red, unusually sweet, and, as New York Times reporter R. W. Apple Jr.
His hands on the steering wheel of an off-road utility vehicle, Larry Barton bounces along a few of Indian Mountain Ranch’s trails looking for brown-striped piglets. This is his ranch, so the area—a mix of open grasslands, dense woods, and plenty of mud pits, midway between Fort Worth and Abilene—is familiar to him. But the piglets are tough to find.
There’s no sugar-coating it: it’s been a rough year for Texas wine. As I reported in September, late spring freezes wiped out grapes in the High Plains and the Hill Country, two of the dominant growing regions in the state. During harvest, winemakers knew the 2014 vintage would produce mixed results.
You could live next door to La Flor and likely never notice it. The tiny trailer sits in the corner of a nondescript Stop-N-Shop that has seen better days. But the unassuming exterior masks something heavenly: affordable, filling tacos served on freshly made corn tortillas. The meats are the focus—nopales and onions are as close as you’ll get to proper vegetables here—and rightfully so. Each protein-based variety we tasted impressed, but the simple pollo taco stood out.
Austin has developed a bit of a reputation for being obsessed with the breakfast taco.