Two Dallas restaurants have made Esquire’s list of the twenty best new restaurants of the year, chosen by its longtime critic John Mariani. The pair are Spoon Bar & Kitchen, by chef John Tesar, and Stampede 66, by chef Stephan Pyles. No other Texas restaurants made the cut, although Mariani checked out a score or more in Austin, Houston, and Dallas.
Of Spoon, Mariani wrote, “Tesar built his reputation at the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas. Following a zigzag career, he has returned to open Spoon, certainly the most exciting new seafood restaurant in America since New York’s Marea opened four years ago.”
Summing up Stampede 66, Mariani said, “Thirty years ago, Stephan Pyles’s restaurant Routh Street Café, a pioneer of New Texas cuisine, appeared on this list. His namesake, Stephan Pyles, won him Chef of the Year honors in 2006. Now, with Stampede 66 (Pyles’s family once owned a Phillips 66 gas station), he has culled all he truly loves about the old and new traditions of his home state and brought them to vivid life in a hugely entertaining restaurant.”
The full story will appear in Esquire’s November issue and is online now.