Texas Monthly adds and updates approximately sixty restaurant listings to our Dining Guide each month. There’s limited space in the print issue, but the entire searchable guide to the best of Texas cuisine is at your fingertips online!
Below are a few highlights from the new restaurants reviewed in our August 2021 issue. Click “More Info” for further detail on each restaurant:
Acclaimed chef Junior Borges’s highly anticipated restaurant in the new Village Dallas gathering spot was in the works for some time, but it was worth the wait. It has a sleek, private-club vibe, but there’s nothing fussy or glitzy about it, and the room attracts a diverse group of discerning diners. The food is much like the atmosphere: clean, fresh, and imbued with creative elegance. Try this: The sesame garlic pancake with avocado and caviar; the perfect stuffed quail and any of the fresh seafood options; the daily bread offering and house-made ice cream. It’s all stellar. Pro tip: The Village campus is huge, and signage is limited. Meridian is across from Village Fit.
Brazilian | ⭑⭑⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
There’s pizza and then there are these pizzas, self-described “New Yorkish” pies made in a food truck by husband-and-wife team Rachel and Christopher Stephens. Try this: We’ve sampled our way through the menu and are hard-pressed to pick a favorite. The “Hey Bob!” tops chewy whole-wheat crust with roasted garlic–infused ricotta cream, mozzarella, Calabrian chile, sage sausage, and pickled red onions, while the Hot Potato features spuds and kalamata olives. Many ingredients are locally sourced, like organic flour from Barton Springs Mill, produce from Fredericksburg’s Hat & Heart Farm, and cheese from Veldhuizen Cheese Shop, in Dublin. Pro tip: Everything is freshly prepared, so expect a thirty-minute wait for your pizza; order ahead through the website.
Pizza | ⭑⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
Tonight & Tomorrow
The restaurant at the venerable La Colombe d’Or hotel, within the elegant old Fondren Mansion, has been gracefully refreshed, with an expanded bar and nicely spaced tables. Try this: Chef Jonathan Wicks has kept some classic Colombe dishes, including a nigh perfect French onion soup, a rich balance of broth, onions, cheese, and croutons. A new dish, the Vadouvan Curry Carrots, was also fabulous: a creamy labneh base, sweet carrots, carrot-top pesto, and candied pecans. Another delight was the tender, juicy Brick Half Chicken atop smashed marble potatoes with bacon, salsa verde, and a topping of herbs. Less successful was the bucatini, an undercooked pasta that heirloom tomatoes and pistou could not save. Pro tip: There is no takeout or delivery available.
Modern American | ⭑⭑⭑ | $$$$ | More Info
Maria’s Mexican Kitchen
Felipe Armenta’s ode to his mother and her ancestral Guanajuato home ups the game for elevated Mexican dining in a gorgeous contemporary setting. Try this: Shredded short rib meat slathered in red chile sauce atop supple sopes gets a perky finish from pickled red onion, tempered by queso fresco. Mama Maria’s signature mole, a dark brick hue and perfectly velvety, envelops a juicy half-chicken; its deep and nuanced elements get a nice foil in the tart, crunchy escabeche veggies alongside. Thick shreds of crab fill a tender trio of enchiladas, each with a distinctive spicy almond sauce (one infused with green chile, one with red, and one left simple and creamy). Pro tip: Crowds fill the place day and night, so a patio table under the giant live oak is advised; the bar is charming but noisy.
Mexican | ⭑⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
The folks behind Austin’s Nickel City and Better Half have joined forces and taken their respective winning formulas to the charming town (and soon to be Austin suburb) of Lockhart. Try this: If fried chicken and “the coldest beer in Texas” don’t get you into this dive-y corner spot, we’re not sure what will. Maybe the whiskey sour or mezcal mule? The deviled eggs topped with chile crisp or the steak-finger sandwich? The drinks are on point and the food far better than it has to be. Pro tip: Save the Whatafrozen—bourbon, Amaro Montenegro, Dr Pepper, and cream—for dessert.
American | ⭑⭑ | $ | More Info