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 February 2021 issue. Click “More Info” for further detail on each restaurant:
Tucked away in the Hana World Market, in North Austin, this no-frills counter serves up a treasure trove of Hawaiian-Asian fusion dreamed up by Uchi alums. Order this to go: the dreamy brown butter–poached halibut in a huli huli pineapple glaze and the tender, lightly charred char siu pork ribs. Seared snap peas were smoky and refreshing at the same time; Cajun-spiced wok-seared shrimp came crispy-shelled and bathed in garlic and butter. Pro tip: DoorDash and Grubhub—both with surprisingly large service areas—bring these dishes to your door, although the big supermarket makes for exotic browsing if you have the inclination.
Hawaiian | $$ | More Info
Chef Matt Balke, formerly of Bolsa, Smoke, and the Rustic, helms the kitchen at this Bishop Arts newcomer, in the space where Bolsa operated for twelve years. The menu shows Southern, Texan, and Californian influences, with plenty of crowd pleasers and a few adventurous offerings. Order this to go: Gigantic and rich ricotta gnocchi are bathed in a delicious broth loaded with roasted wild mushrooms, crumbled fennel sausage, and braised leeks; for good measure, they’re topped with a garlicky pecan gremolata and grated pecorino cheese. Peppercorn-rimmed beef-cheek pastrami makes a fine, shareable starter; the thick slices arrive with buttery toasts and smoky pimento cheese. Pro tip: Order online for curbside pickup.
New American | $$$ | More Info
This new seafood spot from Nick Badovinus is perfect for Highland Park Village: glossy yet welcoming, pricey but not too, and delivering all it promises. The patio at happy hour offers craft cocktails (the Blackberry Mule is gorgeous) and perfect people-watching. Order this to go: a lobster roll (we like the California, with avocado and pico) and a side of addictive fries seasoned with Old Bay. Check out the lobster bisque and the snow crab claws too. For dessert, split the blackberry bread pudding with salted caramel and Chantilly cream. Pro tip: If the main lot is busy, there’s an overflow lot across Mockingbird.
Seafood | $$$ | More Info
A casual, comfortable mash-up of stylish Southern and modern Wild West, this two-story restaurant and bar in the tourist-centric north side’s newly renovated Mule Alley may be the best offering to date from Marcus Paslay (Clay Pigeon, Piattello). Order this to go: The deviled eggs strike a deft balance with smoked paprika and sweet-sour bread-and-butter pickles in the mix. Hoppin’ John (a medley of black-eyed peas, tomatoes, and jalapeños) serves as a hearty bed for beautifully grilled trout topped with charred fresh lemon. Smoked bacon, sautéed mushrooms, scallions, and chile powder add depth to the rich grits that cushion big, meaty grilled shrimp. Don’t skip the sides; best are braised mixed greens, perfect with cast iron–baked cornbread. Pro tip: Allow plenty of time to pick up your order, as street traffic can be heavy and you’ll probably have to jockey for parking space in front (curbside not offered).
American | $$$ | More Info
Curry Boys BBQ
A flamingo-pink converted shipping container is the perfect space for this new walk-up venture. The owners of popular Pinch Boil, where the curry-meets-barbecue bowl was launched, have teamed up with South BBQ & Kitchen, and the results are a marvelous fusion of sweet, spicy, and smoky. Order this to go: Any of the bowls—brisket paired with green curry, peppery sausage combined with panang curry—make for a pleasant lunch to go or a picnic at the adjacent sailcloth-shaded tables shared with neighboring Pizza Party. Pro tip: If you go later in the day, you may find your choices limited; as with any barbecue establishment worth its sauce, when the meat is gone, the takeout window slams shut.
Barbecue | $ | 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.