Mesteña’s apple sorbet and walnut-apple flautas are delicious to the core.
Tired of plain old greens and lifeless veggies? Houston’s La Mora has a salad you just can’t beet.
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,
The luxurious French toast at Benjy’s in Houston makes every day a challah day.
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
“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
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,
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
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
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.
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.
How did the chefs at Dallas’ French Room whip up such a delicious cake? Choc it up to creativity.
Three former Texas first ladies dish about life in the Governor’s Mansion and share recipes that have served them well.
As Valentine’s Day desserts go, this one from Houston’s Houstonian Hotel takes the cake.
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
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
Who feeds Zuni stew and scrambled eggs to George W. Bush? Meet Sarah Bishop, the young chef at the Governor’s Mansion—and try out some of her favorite recipes.
A cake that gets to the heart of the batter from Austin’s Rather Sweet Bakery.
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
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
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
When you tire of oatmeal and toast, head to Fort Worth for a special breakfast treat.
What did I do when I wanted to indulge my weakness for cooking classes? I put San Miguel de Allende on the menu.
Even cowgirls get the munchies, which is why Paula Disbrowe came up with these great recipes for migas, blackberry blue-corn muffins, and other breakfast staples.
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
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’
Walnuts, Gorgonzola, and chutney make for an upscale fish dish at the Grape in Dallas.
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
There’s nothing fishy about tasty Vietnamese fish tacos at Houston’s Kim Son.
Yellowfin tuna with wasabi mayo at San Antonio’s Silo Elevated Cuisine? It may take you a while to get Orient-ed.
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
Some like it hot; Texans like it hotter. That’s why Carl Walker, the chef at Brennan’s in Houston (3300 Smith), branded his barbecued shrimp with black pepper and poblano chiles. Double-daring the Southwest palate, he paired the shrimp with his spicy version of a down-home favorite. “I wanted to make cornbread pudding
Hungry for shrimp? Use your noodle—udon, preferably—and head for Citizen in Dallas.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
This recipe from Kenichi in Austin is an irresistible East-West hybrid.
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
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
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
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
“Brunch isn’t just eggs Benedict anymore,” says Matthew Antonvich, chef-owner of Dallas’ Sipango (4513 Travis), as he whips up a batch of frothy scrambled egg whites studded with morsels of pink smoked salmon and handsomely accessorized with oven-roasted potatoes and caramelized onions. “Five years ago,” says Antonovich, “nobody would have
Pudding a new twist on shrimp at Houston’s Amazón Grill.
It’s okay to be shellfish: You won’t want to share this shrimp appetizer from San Antonio’s Massimo.
Salmonchanted evening, you’ll get hooked by a delectable fish dish at Fort Worth’s Bistro Louise.
HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I SAID, “Darn! Why doesn’t Texas have more steakhouses with deejays?” How often have I groused, “Where the hell are the steakhouses with mirrored columns and silver-leafed domes?” And most important, “Where are the steakhouses with $69 margaritas?” I mean, really—if you want to go out
CAPITAL HILL I could feel the effects of a brutal day vanishing the minute I walked into the elegant dining room of the Mansion at Judges’ Hill—the designers who create impeccable sets for Merchant-Ivory films have nothing on the architects and decorators who brought Austin’s historic Goodall Wooten house back