Contributors

Patricia Sharpe

Patricia Sharpe's Profile Photo

Executive editor 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. She eventually focused exclusively on food. Her humorous story “War Fare,” an account of living for 48 hours on military MREs (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. Her story about being a restaurant critic, titled “Confessions of a ‘Skinny Bitch,’ ” won a James Beard Foundation award for magazine food writing in 2006.

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.

1223 Articles

State Fare|
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Be the king of all that you sorbet with a passion-filled dessert from Anthony's in Houston.

Recipe|
January 20, 2013

Watermelon Gazpacho With Passion Fruit Sorbet

Ginger Crisps1/2 cup butter at room temperature 1 cup sifted powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 3/4 cups sifted flour 1/2 cup milk, warmed to room temperature 1/4 cup very finely chopped candied gingerPreheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter. Sift sugar again and beat with butter until smooth.

State Fare|
January 20, 2013

State Fare

At Houston’s La Réserve, you can have yourself a merry little Christmas tree—for dessert.

Recipes|
January 20, 2013

State Fare: Shrimp and Herbed Goat Cheese Crostini

Tempt summer-singed appetites with this breezy Mediterranean combo: a sensational salad and crisp crostini topped with shrimp and goat cheese from Dallas’ Sambuca (2618 Elm). Executive chef Willem De Froy says contrast is the key: “You pile the peppers, which are sweet, on top of the crostini with goat cheese,

Recipes|
January 20, 2013

State Fare: Picnic Special

This alfresco feast from Eureka!, a Dallas restaurant and gourmet-to-go emporium (4011 Villanova), can turn a backyard cookout or tailgate picnic into a classy occasion. A grilled chicken breast marinated in lemon and garlic provides this custom menu’s mainstay, with assistance from an emphatic tomato-basil sauce touched with Parmesan. A

Recipes|
January 20, 2013

State Fare: Chile Relleno En Nogada

“A chile relleno doesn’t have to be heavy,” says Arnaldo Richards, the owner of Pico’s in Houston (1427 Lomitas, near Kirby and Southwest Freeway). That’s why he has composed a luscious vegetarian version of Mexico’s traditional pork-stuffed pepper. He eschews the usual egg batter and deep frying in favor of

Recipes|
January 20, 2013

State Fare: Key Lime Pie

El Paso’s clubby San Francisco Grill (127A Pioneer Plaza) is a cool downtown retreat from the big-city clamor, and its menu offerings are a far cry from the picante specialties of other local eateries.The Grill’s Key lime pie, a towering drift of sweetly tangy citrus in a nutty toasted crust,

Pat's Pick|
January 20, 2013

Cava Bistro

BEST CELLAR A lair for urban animals, Houston’s Cava Bistro feels like a wine cellar in a city where basements are as rare as igloos. The place has been open less than three months, but its rustic rock arches look hundreds of years old. By the light of chandeliers with

Pat's Pick|
January 20, 2013

Forever Fruitcake

When I was a child, it puzzled me that other families left cookies and milk for Santa Claus. He could have that any day. In our family, my two brothers and I set out a slice of my mother’s homemade fruitcake and a glass of port for the jolly old

Recipe|
January 20, 2013

Twelfth Day Cake

This recipe for old-fashioned fruitcake is chock-full of raisins and other natural dried fruits and contains no evil green and red citron. The pecans are a Texas substitution for the original’s almonds.

State Fare|
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Some dishes are so harmonious that they practically sing, and this creation from chef Mynetta Cockerell at Marty’s WineBar in Dallas is one of them. Served in the small, cozy restaurant located at the front of the wineshop, the dish involves variations on the themes of garlic, ginger, and sesame.

State Fare|
January 20, 2013

State Fare

As Valentine’s Day desserts go, this one from Houston’s Houstonian Hotel takes the cake.

Recipes|
January 20, 2013

Bouche de Noelle

After Bruce and Susan Molzan bought the Ruggles Grill four years ago, they revitalized the menu at the sleepy Montrose landmark with his brash cooking style and her luxurious desserts.Both Molzans are graduates of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and their approaches to food

Pat's Pick|
January 20, 2013

Hattie’s

MAD FOR HATTIE’S On my first visit to Hattie’s, a brand-new restaurant in Dallas’ Oak Cliff area, I ordered the prosciutto-wrapped figs stuffed with Maytag blue cheese and walnuts just because the combo sounded different. Wham! Salty, sweet, pungent—this was no appetizer to trifle with. Hmmm. How to mellow out

Food & Drink|
January 20, 2013

Burning Pear

HOT TOPIC When you hear the name the Burning Pear, I challenge you not to think of British funnymen Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s classic skit about a restaurant called the Frog and Peach (“There’s only two . . . dishes, really,” Cook says to Moore. “There’s frog à

Food & Drink|
January 20, 2013

7

The restaurant’s sign—a giant white “7” set against a marine-blue background—is —an enigma. But here’s a hint: Think “seven seas.” Located in a small, unfussy space —on South Congress, 7 brings Austin diners a daily-changing menu of pristine sea creatures from around the world. The storefront, formerly occupied by

Recipe|
January 20, 2013

Dutch Babies

There are innumerable recipes for these baked pancakes, varying the ratio of eggs to flour and the cooking temperature and time, so feel free to experiment. The finished product is actually quite similar to Yorkshire pudding (minus the beef drippings) or to popovers. Besides the traditional topping of lemon juice

Web Exclusive|
January 20, 2013

Oh, Baby!

When you tire of oatmeal and toast, head to Fort Worth for a special breakfast treat.

Food and Drink|
January 20, 2013

Cocina Confidential

What did I do when I wanted to indulge my weakness for cooking classes? I put San Miguel de Allende on the menu.

Recipes|
January 20, 2013

State Fare: Neil Doherty’s Whiskey-Cured Salmon

Neil Doherty, the executive chef at the Marker in Houston’s Adam’s Mark Hotel (2900 Briarpark Drive) was something of a child prodigy. By 21, he was already a head chef in his native Ireland, where he learned the value of cooking with local ingredients such as seaweed and nettles. He

Recipes|
January 20, 2013

State Fare: Warm Lobster Tacos

Tacos go uptown in the hands of Dean Fearing. All it takes is a little lobster, jalapeño-spiked cheese, fresh spinach, and Fearing’s snappy yellow-tomato salsa. A signature dish of Dallas’ Mansion on Turtle Creek (2821 Turtle Creek Boulevard), these tony tacos are featured in De Gustibus Presents the Great Cooks’

Pat's Pick|
January 20, 2013

Blowfish

Fishing Expedition Blowfish is blowing my mind. I’m sitting in this jazzy, five-month-old sushi bar in an Arlington strip center looking at a menu that’s as up-to-date as anything in Dallas or Houston. You want pure raw fish? A wide array is offered—tuna, yellowtail, eel, conch, plus specials like Hawaiian

Recipes|
January 20, 2013

State Fare: Tortilla-Wrapped Fish

Austin’s beau monde has had a serious crush on Jeffrey’s (1204 West Lynn, Austin) ever since the intimate, unpretentious restaurant opened in 1975. This standard-setting establishment takes a maverick approach to gourmet dining: Executive chef Raymond Tatum, a self-taught cook with a rebel streak, specializes in improvising provocative Southwestern fare

State Fare|
January 20, 2013

State Fare

Hungry for shrimp? Use your noodle—udon, preferably—and head for Citizen in Dallas.

Recipes|
January 20, 2013

State Fare: Swordfish and Chipotle-Mango Sauce

Chef Oscar Mejia’s splashy tropical creations give a summer feel year-round to the menu at the Merchant Prince in Galveston. Located just off the soaring lobby of the beautifully restored 1879 Tremont House hotel (2300 Ship’s Mechanic Row), the intimate restaurant showcases Mejia’s idiosyncratic blend of Caribbean and Southwestern culinary

Recipes|
January 20, 2013

State Fare: Soft-Shell Crabs with Moqueca Sauce

Resolutely international, Austin’s Clarksville (1205 N. Lamar) draws on a world of culinary influences, from the Far East to South America. A creation that melds the traditions of two continents is the irresistible fried soft-shell crabs in moqueca sauce. The dish originated in northeastern India as pokeka, a seafood stew.

Pat's Pick|
January 20, 2013

Reef

Where are we, Miami? The Bahamas? The shimmering blues and aquatic greens say “seaside.” So do the shell light fixtures and the wavy-textured back wall, which reminds me of a David Hockney swimming pool. All that’s needed are a few coconut palms to complete the Caribbean vibe. What’s driving

Food & Drink|
January 20, 2013

State Fare

At Joey’s (4217 Oak Lawn) in Dallas, the concept of cheesecake has undergone a paradigm shift: Restaurateur Joey Vallone’s version is (1) not sweet and (2) not a dessert. To create this savory variation on a theme, chef Michael Wahl blends cream cheese with mascarpone, then folds in jumbo shrimp

Recipes|
January 20, 2013

State Fare: Sesame-Crusted Scallops

In 1980, when Armando Miranda took his first job in America as a line cook, he barely knew a muffin from a mousse. That has changed. In his peregrinations through prominent Houston restaurants, including the River Cafe, he taught himself to cook. Even today he’s a free spirit. “I don’t

Pat's Pick|
January 20, 2013

Go Fish

Here’s a game to play while snacking on edamame and perusing the menu at Kenichi: How many shades of black—not counting the patrons’ clothing—can you spot at this sleek new sushi bar in downtown Austin? Although the look, by architect Dick Clark and designer Tonya Noble, is the essence of

Pat's Pick|
January 20, 2013

Catalan

Juicy, very juicy. as my happily dazed friend remarked, perusing the tabletop, “There’s so much to dip your bread in that you hardly know where to reach next.” Consider yourself warned: The one thing you do not want to do at Catalan is run out of bread, lest you miss

Recipes|
January 20, 2013

State Fare: Seared Halibut

For more than a year, Houston’s cafe society has been holding its breath in anticipation of the scheduled September reopening of Tony’s (1801 Post Oak Boulevard). Not only has the interior been lavishly remodeled to suggest a restaurant on the Italian Riviera, but owner Tony Vallone and chef Mark Cox

Pat's Pick|
January 20, 2013

Pacific Overtures

On the day that Roy’s opened its first Texas outpost, Austin’s muggy winter weather ended abruptly with the arrival of a bracing cold front, so the hula dancers brought in for the occasion, clad in nothing but grass skirts and coconut-shell bras, were shimmying like mad on the sidewalk. I

Recipe|
January 20, 2013

Seared Ahi Tuna With Passion Fruit-Shrimp Salsa

Passion Fruit Shrimp Salsa1 ripe passion fruit (mango or other tropical fruit may be substituted) 4 or 5 extra-large shrimp (about 4 ounces total), peeled, deveined, and diced 2 teaspoons olive oil 1/4 cup finely minced onion (a Maui onion if available) 1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and finely diced tomatoes

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