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 2020 issue. Click “More Info” for further detail on each restaurant:
The McGuire Moorman Hospitality group reaches west—to Japan. Order this to go: If you’re going to order sushi and sashimi for takeout, it might as well be from restaurateurs who are fastidious about details. The yellowtail belly is superlative, as is the grilled Wagyu short rib roll (tender beef and pickled mushrooms enrobed in rice and laced with a hit of horseradish). The clam and cucumber ceviche shows that adding a little Texas-style jalapeño heat is always a good idea. Everything withstood the drive home, even the mixed-vegetable tempura. Pro tip: Five-minute parking is available right next to the restaurant entrance, on W. Annie.
Sushi | ⭑⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
Elm & Good
Graham Dodds, of Hibiscus and Wayward Sons fame, brings a fancy farm-to-table flair to the new Kimpton Pittman hotel, in Deep Ellum. Locally sourced meats, cheeses, and produce anchor the menu, which includes a few hits from Dodds’s prior ventures. Order this to go: Although you won’t go wrong with the luscious braised beef short ribs with hen of the woods mushrooms, the Grilled Berkshire Pork Riblets appetizer could stand as an entrée, paired with vegetable sides. Fall-off-the-bone tender (we suspect brining), the meat gets a bright, herbal lift from chimichurri sauce and a sweet accent from chunky preserved figs. Get a side of globe carrots; halved and perfectly crisp-tender, they come bathed in a pesto of carrot top greens (no waste!) and almonds. Pro tip: Order by phone; a friendly staffer agreed to curbside delivery, though it’s not advertised.
New American | ⭑⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
Ngon Vietnamese Kitchen
Sleek, modern Ngon specializes in dishes from the Hanoi region, packing a lot of variety into a menu barely the size of a place mat. Take your pick from an array of salads, curries, rice and noodle bowls, banh mi, and northern-style pho, which is said to be the original, purest form of the beloved Vietnamese national dish. Order this to go: Imperial rolls and crab-fried rice both traveled extremely well, were easily shareable, and were our favorites overall. Pro tip: Unless you can walk, bike, or ride-share there, or you enjoy battling for a parking space, try to go during the week, as Lower Greenville is back to being a mob scene on weekends.
Vietnamese | ⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
Lanny Lancarte II, great-grandson of Joe T. Garcia, has fajitas in his DNA. Doing double-duty in his “ghost kitchen” at Righteous Foods, in the Cultural District, he and an industrious team focus on quality Tex-Mex favorites delivered to your doorstep. Order this to go: Tender beef sirloin and juicy chicken breast mingle with grilled peppers and onions in the combo fajita package (you can also opt for the veggie-and-tofu dinner). Packages come with sour cream, grated cheddar, black beans, Mexican rice, and divine flour tortillas. Add-ons worth the extra dinero include guacamole, queso, salsa, and crunchy chips, as well as churros and warm chocolate sauce. Margarita kits with fresh lime juice complete your fiesta. Pro tip: Delivery is contact-free, and everything is packed in specially designed boxes meant for recycling.
Tex-Mex | ⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
Jason Dady has moved into the beautiful Sullivan Carriage House at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens with Mediterranean offerings that range from Sunday brunch scrambled eggs with feta to dinner’s lemon-herb-stuffed whole branzino. Order this to go: Always a good choice is an assortment of mezze, the eastern Med version of tapas, packed up in separate containers but begging to be admired on a big platter at home. On our list of favorites: roasted red beets with blue cheese and walnuts, tiny grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato jam, luscious labneh with crudités, and rich Bolognese-stuffed arancini. Salads here are too good to pass up; be sure to add one to your order. Pro tip: Reservations are strongly suggested if you decide to “eat in” on the garden-view patio (all tables nicely spaced). Otherwise, pick up your order inside at the bar.
Mediterranean | ⭑⭑⭑ | $$$ | 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.