Bon Appétit’s infatuation with Texas has reached a delicious new level. Today the national food magazine named Dallas its 2019 “restaurant city of the year.” This recognition comes just two days after it announced that four Texas restaurants had made the list of fifty nominees for its forthcoming Hot 10 list, including two in Dallas.
In its story, Bon Appétit writes, “From the rich bowls of boat noodles to the crazy charcuterie boards to the spicy strawberry sotol, one thing is clear: Texas’ oft-skipped food destination is no longer skippable. . . . today, the city’s in the midst of a renaissance, with excellent new restaurants and bars opening so fast and so furious that it’s hard to keep up.”
Both the individual creativity of the city’s restaurant kitchens and the international diversity found within its culinary scene figured heavily into the magazine’s decision to honor Big D. The magazine highlights Dallas’s community of “highly ambitious chefs, hailing from all different backgrounds.”
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A visit to some of these “highly personal spaces” feels “more like stepping directly into said chef’s brain,” Bon Appétit writes, while also acknowledging that many of the featured restaurants aren’t in the central city, or even in the city proper at all: “Meanwhile, the confluence of strong immigrant communities that dot and surround the city mean that while you may have to drive a bit for your fresh-baked Iraqi bread or your Jalisco-style flautas or your perfect gas station momos, you’ll never have to go without.”
Among the some two dozen restaurants cited are Ceviche Oyster Bar, where you can grab a bright red picnic table for a lunch of boiled, fried, or lime-cured shellfish. At charcuterie specialist Macellaio, in Oak Cliff, the salumi and cheese toast with fluffy soft-scrambled eggs are singled out. (That restaurant made Texas Monthly’s best-new list earlier this year.)
Other destinations are La Viuda Negra, “a neon-lit speakeasy” offering “creamy pulque and mezcal cocktails that look more like art” and the “tiny-but-mighty Sandwich Hag,” known for its Vietnamese pork sausage banh mis.
Check out the full story here. Research was conducted by Bon Appétit‘s Hilary Cadigan and Julia Kramer. They cite the help of a knowledgeable local, Dallas Observer food critic Brian Reinhart, in guiding their visits around the city.
In reporting on the Bon Appétit honor today, Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Michalene Busico wrote in detail about Dallas’s rising prominence on the national food scene, also citing Texas Monthly’s recent creation of the position of “taco editor,” the first at any publication in the country. Dallas writer José Ralat was hired for the role.