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 December 2022 issue. Click “More Info” for further detail on each restaurant:
We’re truly tickled to find that this food truck had made the move to a brick-and-mortar. The Filipino shop shares seating in a cheery food court space with a handful of other newcomers on the Near Southside. Rice bowls rule the day, with toppers such as sumptuous shredded barbecue pork belly balanced by pickled red onion, papaya, jalapeños, chopped herbs, and—the magic ingredient—fried garlic laced with annatto (achiote). Other worthy options on our last dinner stop included the honey shrimp and the vegetarian picadillo, crafted from Beyond meat, peas, and carrots. A must? An over-easy egg atop every bowl. Oh, and an order of paper-thin, crispy egg rolls called lumpia, filled with ground pork and ready to swish in sweet-spicy dipping sauce.
Filipino | ⭑⭑ | $ | More Info
The walls of the former Enoteca space have been transformed with faux crystal sconces and big red and purple flowers painted on the wall. The look is not particularly Mexican, but the menu is. Given that Oaxaca is famous for its moles, you might start with the four-mole degustation; ranging from yellow to red to green to black, they’re all good, and the last—the mole negro—is spectacular, rich with chilhuacle chiles and dark chocolate. Light eaters will appreciate the aguachile of tuna, bay scallops, avocado, and more, gently
marinated in citrus and mango-orange vinegar. But our favorite dish was the memela duo: soft masa cakes topped with braised pork and crispy chicharrones.
Mexican | ⭑⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
Offering “smoke, steak, and spirits,” this place is for those seeking the Texas trinity of barbecue, beef, and bar. This being the Park Cities, however, the comfortably contemporary atmosphere is more country club than dance hall. Lunchtime emphasizes burgers, pulled-pork sandwiches, and other casual barbecue options; dinner puts several pricey cuts of Chicago-based Allen Brothers Prime steaks on the menu, as well as salmon and pork chops. Nothing is particularly inventive here, but everything is satisfying, including the perfectly cooked steaks, a delicious wedge salad, and a decadent banana pudding. If you find yourself at the bar, the shrimp cocktail makes an excellent happy-hour bite.
Steaks | ⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
Barrio Eats & Drinks
Floral wallpaper and exposed brick set the scene for this new spot in the Las Plazas Arts District. The menu is mostly Mexican, with some American sandwiches and a couple pastas thrown in for good measure. Elotes arrive as mini corn cobs slathered in butter and queso fresco, while flautas ahogadas, filled with beef or chicken, come bathed in a spicy red-chile sauce. The ideal cocktail is the Chico, made with silver tequila, blackberry liqueur, and Topo Chico. Breakfast is served Thursday through Sunday; try a pineapple mimosa and the Barrio Breakfast: a twelve-ounce ribeye, three eggs, and your choice of an enchilada in red, green, suiza, or mole sauce. Follow that with a downtown stroll.
Mexican | ⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
Heights & Co.
From the team behind Savoir and Patton’s, this place is all about cocktails and meaty pub grub. The brisket grilled cheese on brioche was just about perfect, but we would skip the starter of watery artichoke dip next time. Steak frites is probably the heartiest dish on the menu; we found the meat a bit fatty and salty, but the fries are stellar. Burger lovers should try the Bordelaise, topped with grilled onions, Boursin cheese, and red wine sauce. If you’re craving a fresh vegetable, the broccolini with apples and bacon vinaigrette hits the spot. Ditto the huge Caesar salad made with Little Gem lettuce crowned with creamy dressing and crunchy croutons. FYI, the music is loud wherever you sit, even outside on the large, partially covered, dog friendly patio and deck.
American | ⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
Our reviews are written by critics who live in the cities and regions they cover. They remain anonymous to ensure that they receive no special treatment. The magazine pays for all meals and accepts no advertising or other consideration in exchange for a listing. Comments? Write us.