Patricia Sharpe's Profile Photo

Patricia Sharpe grew up in Austin and holds a master’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. After working as a teacher (in English and Spanish) and at the Texas Historical Commission (writing historical markers), she joined the staff of Texas Monthly, in 1974. Initially, she edited the magazine’s cultural and restaurant listings and wrote a consumer feature called Touts. Eventually she focused exclusively on food. Her humorous story “War Fare,” an account of living for 48 hours on military MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat), was included in the anthology Best Food Writing 2002. Many of her stories appear in the 2008 UT Press collection, Texas Monthly on Food. In 2006 her story about being a restaurant critic, titled “Confessions of a Skinny Bitch,” won a James Beard Foundation award for magazine food writing.

Sharpe has contributed to Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Saveur, and the New York Times. She writes a regular restaurant column, Pat’s Pick, for Texas Monthly.

State Fare |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Dallas’ AquaKnox offers ceviche with a smile—three kinds, in fact.

State Fare |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Dallas’ Seventeen Seventeen has mastered the art of the catfish taco.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Stagestruck

At Aurora, the key word is “drama.” You step into the small, curtained vestibule of this new Dallas restaurant. The hostess ceremoniously verifies your reservation (“Omigod,” you think. “What if they don’t have my name?”). Then she flings open the draperies to reveal a jewel box of a dining

Pat's Pick |
January 20, 2013

Fearing’s

Like a summer blockbuster that’s been anticipated for months, überchef Dean Fearing’s domain at the new Ritz-Carlton in Dallas finally opened for business in mid-August—and how. The seven dining rooms (yes, seven, each with its own ambience) filled up immediately, and the hotel’s Rattlesnake Bar was colonized by the

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

October in Texas doesn’t always mean cool weather, but it does mean the beginning of quail season. At Anthony’s in Houston, chef Bruce McMillian stuffs the small succulent birds with seasoned wild rice and couscous, roasts them to a turn, and finishes them with a garnet-hued blackberry sauce. Hunters may

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

The bird on your Thanksgiving table this year should be pheasant—specifically, the savory roast pheasant with garlicky sausage jambalaya dressing from Cheryl and Bill Jamison’s new cookbook, Texas Home Cooking (Harvard Common Press). When Thanksgiving is over, try other recipes—both traditional and modern—from the Jamisons’ eminently readable text, which has

State Fare |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Revenge of the bird: A pleasant pheasant from the Rough Creek Lodge near Glen Rose.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Evan Daily wants to improve the environment; so when he opened Evan’s at 3939 Montrose in Houston the week of Earth Day 1990, he took steps beyond using recycled-paper menus and business cards. At Evan’s, organic produce and chemical-free meats are the basis of the meal, not just food for

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

“We thought about closing Hilltop after we bought it, but we just about had a mutiny on our hands,” says James D. Smith, Jr. He was speaking of the legendary country eating place that Madalene Hill opened 38 years ago in Cleveland, just a few miles from its present incarnation

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

The ingredients are earthy but the effect is divine in chef Mark Morrow’s rustic anitra arrosto, or roast duck. Morrow’s recipes from Mi Piaci in Dallas (14854 Montfort) do a turn on traditional Italian fare: fresh fowl brushed with honey and balsamic vinegar and slow-cooked creamy polenta, made from simple

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

When Bruce Pike was 16, he was doing chateaubriand and baked Alaska at the University Club in San Antonio. Now at 31—having migrated through some of that city’s fancier restaurants (including La Buca and Biga)—he is doing his own thing at Luna Notte (6402 N. New Braunfels). “I’m going for

State Fare |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Think fig: The chef at Austin’s Vespaio does, and his crispy duck is delicious.

State Fare |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Underscoring the “comfort” in comfort food, the Roaring Fork in Dallas (14866 Montfort) has brought classic roasted chicken into the nineties with a dish that’s a breeze to fix and soul-satisfying to eat. Chef Lance Youngs generously bastes the fowl with a lemon-and-honey glaze brightened by thyme and chives. The

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Autumn along San Antonio’s Paseo del Rio is truly a season of change—especially at the Zuni Grill (511 River Walk), where chef David James’s revamped menu creates a casual and innovative bill of fare with an intentional nod to the Southwest. But don’t expect a run-of-the-mill chile relleno at Zuni.

State Fare |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Roasted poblanos, toasted pumpkin seeds, tomatillos: At Houston’s Taco Milagro, you’ll want to eat the whole enchilada.

Web Exclusive |
January 20, 2013

Hecho en Mexico

Instead of a margarita with your chicken breast in red mole, try a Cabernet Sauvignon from Mexico's growing wine country.

Pat's Pick |
January 20, 2013

Luna Blue Cafe

MOONSTRUCK “Luna” means “moon” in Italian and Spanish, but San Antonio newcomer Luna Blue Café will be on my must-visit list way more often than once in a blue moon. To begin with, the service at this bright, light ristorante is excellent—the waiters watched our table like hawks, and the

Recipe |
January 20, 2013

Steamed Mussels With Chorizo Sausage

CrostiniUse any rustic style bread, such as ciabatta or sourdough. Slice bread and brush with extra virgin olive oil. Either grill or toast bread slices. Rub garlic cloves into hot bread.Mussels1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 16 to 18 Prince Edward Island mussels, cleaned with beards removed 1/4 ounce white

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Season’s Eatings

When we asked chef Bruce Auden of San Antonio's Biga on the Banks to create a festive holiday feast, he served up a menu with some delicious twists on tradition.

Recipe |
January 20, 2013

Fish Cooked In Paper

Pescado Empapelado al Diablo (Fish Cooked In Paper With Devil’s Sauce.)One of the most relaxing places on Oaxaca’s coast is the picturesque Lagunas de Chacahua. At the restaurant Los Delfines de Chacahua, owner Juana Ramírez says that this is the most popular dish she serves. The “paper” used is actually

Pat's Pick |
January 20, 2013

Taste of the Town

Senior editor Patricia Sharpe, a judge at this year’s Dallas Wine and Food Festival, talks about the biggest event.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Treebeards does lunch. Not the hasty post-modern “Let’s do lunch” but the leisurely traditional “Will you join me for lunch?” Inside the flagship Market Square location (315 Travis) in Houston, ceiling fans waft a breeze across baskets of fresh produce while customers queue up to peruse the possibilities: shrimp étouffée,

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

Peas Be With You

This farm-to-table feast will make you thankful for the Texas growers who still work the land and for at least one hip chef who gives new life to the fruits and vegetables of their labor.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Grains, greens, and wild game form a partnership in this power lunch from Dakota’s (600 N. Akard), an urban enclave deep in the heart of downtown Dallas. Dakota’s bills itself as a new American grill, its menu running the gamut from homey to nouvelle.Executive chef Jim Severson is particularly fond

State Fare |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

"Deer diary, tonight I had a wonderful venison stew from Hudson's on the Bend outside Austin . . . "

State Fare |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

San Antonio’s Las Canarias has a dish that will be deer to your heart.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Venison is the name of the game in this stylish take on a Texas classic from Hunter’s Moon in Fredericksburg. Partners and chefs Cynthia Castleberry and Alan Hirsch embellish the lean meat with a lush demiglace-based sauce incorporating cranberries, pistachios, ginger, and sherry. The final kick comes from the judicious

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Sweetbreads are a rarity at most restaurants, but executive chef Raymond Tatum has made the rich organ meat his signature dish at Austin’s talked-about 612 West (612 W. Sixth). “People tell me that I make the best sweetbreads,” Tatum says. “And personally I really like them. It’s only human instinct

Feature |
January 20, 2013

Franco File

The best French restaurant in Texas is in San Antonio? Mais oui. And around the state, there are others that are très bon as well.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Don’t judge Cuisine Actuelle by its pictures. The glamorous cookbook, written by Victor Gielisse, the chef at Dallas restaurant Actuelle (the Crescent, 500 Crescent Court), might well daunt the quotidian cook. But, in fact, most of its 150 recipes are as easy as pie. Rich, heavy sauces are conspicuous by

State Fare |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Eat to the beat: Rosemary-marinated pork from Houston caterer and string bass player Joe Abuso.

The Culture |
January 20, 2013

The Shuck Stops Here

Whether you plan to buy tamales or make them from scratch this holiday season, here's everything you need to know about these simple (and simply delicious) gift-wrapped treats.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

One brother greets, the other cooks. Between them, Peter and Patrick Tarantino have created one of Dallas’ artier dining venues. At Tarantino’s (3611 Parry), chef Pat presides over a menu that does not shrink from extremes. “I introduce deliberate contradictions into my food,” he proclaims, “but my goal is to

Recipes |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

There are two ways to use Stop and Smell the Rosemary: Recipes and Traditions to Remember, the spectacular new offering from the Junior League of Houston. First, you can use the cookbook part to prepare any of the five hundred excellent recipes. Second, you can concentrate on the menu and

State Fare |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Houston’s restaurateur to the stars, Tony Vallone, goes full boar.

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

“Mixing so many flavors, you wouldn’t think the dish would turn out,” says Ethel Fisher, the executive chef and co-owner of Houston’s Post Oak Grill. But it does, and more is more in this unlikely pairing of lamb and not-so-subtle tomatillo sauce.Fisher spent twenty years traveling throughout Europe and South

Food & Drink |
January 20, 2013

State Fare

March is the month for lamb—especially the delectable variety served at Monte Carlo in the Grand Kempinski Hotel Dallas. With a solarium, pale peach walls, and trees and potted palms scattered throughout, this light and airy place captures the ambience of restaurants in Italy and the South of France. The