I am ashamed to admit that I have sometimes been a little snarky about the quality of restaurants in small towns, but you won’t find me knocking ten-month-old Café 909, in Marble Falls. This Central Texas newcomer is a dandy. The eclectic artwork—such as a convocation of yellow-headed blackbirds—amuses me, the sleek but tranquil look unruffles my feathers, and the menu makes me happy. Chef Mark Schmidt, an alum of the Compound, in Santa Fe, does amazing things with salads: I adore his endive-and-frisée slaw tossed with crisp English peas and bits of Granny Smith apple in a heavenly buttermilk dressing. I also like his self-styled “rustic gourmet” entrées, like snapper on a homey mix of okra, tomatoes, and andouille sausage with a side of hushpuppies. And his desserts are plate-cleaning good: Frozen pistachio parfait took the heat right out of a summer day.