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 March 2021 issue. Click “More Info” for further detail on each restaurant:
This South Congress outpost of the Chicago-based restaurant boasts an inviting deck shaded by stately live oak trees, but for now we’ll enjoy Top Chef alum CJ Jacobson’s lavishly buttery za’atar-topped flatbread and silky roasted garlic hummus at home. Order this to go: There are the usual Med-menu crowd pleasers, like plenty of meze and grilled-meat kebabs served with fluffy, dill-flecked rice. But we were dazzled by the hefty brick of tamarind-glazed beef short rib crowned with shimmering ruby barberries. We weren’t as thrilled with the Spanish octopus atop freekeh—the grains may have missed their moment—but the accompanying grilled grapes were sensational. Pro tip: There are three delivery options (Uber, DoorDash, and Favor), but if you pick up your food, there are designated parking spaces in the Music Lane parking lot.
Mediterranean | ⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
Besides a gleaming mega market, the Texas outpost of this New York–based Italian food mecca boasts a to-go food counter, a bakery stocked with crusty loaves and gorgeous pastries, and three restaurants, from which a curated selection of dishes is available for takeout. Order this to go: The dense, deep-dish lasagna all’Emiliana boasts six layers of house-made pasta cradling ragù alla bolognese and creamy béchamel. Follow that (if you have room) with tiramisu, profiteroles, or panna cotta. Pro tip: The number of people allowed inside is restricted; avoid lunchtime, when it gets crowded. To-go orders can be made between noon and 8 p.m., either in person or online, with delivery from UberEats, DoorDash, and Caviar. If the kitchen is slammed, your delivery order may not be accepted, but you can try for a later time.
Italian | ⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
Wild Acre Camp Bowie
The local brewery scores big points on the west side with its new taproom and chef-driven kitchen. David Hollister applies ample artistry to sandwiches and other brew-friendly foods, as well as noshes for kiddos. Order this to go: Messy but a good traveler, the Billy Jenkins Beef Sandwich combines braised and shredded wagyu shank steak with rosemary aioli, arugula, Gorgonzola, a fried egg, and crispy leek tendrils on sourdough. It’s especially good with sides of fried yuca planks with chimichurri and jalapeño-and-lime-laced slaw. Best with a beer sampler, the German-style charcuterie stars a wurst mixture and a savvy cheese assortment. Don’t skip the New York–inspired cheesecake! Pro tip: Order online or by phone, and ask about daily beer specials, also offered curbside. Easy lot parking for pickup.
American | ⭑⭑ | $ | More Info
New from the folks at lauded Nancy’s Hustle, Tiny Champions is another east side winner. The menu is short but imaginative and the food soul-satisfying. Prices are right, and most dishes hold up en route. Order this to go: What sounded like a ho-hum starter, the “thinly shaved mushrooms,” turned out to be slivers of cremini with olive oil, a shot of lemon and black pepper, and a snowfall of Parm—simply delish. More hearty are the five smoky fried mozzarella balls, creamy inside and crusty outside, served with marinara sauce. We soldiered on with the perfectly al dente mortadella tortellini, bathed in lemon butter with a topping of pistachios. Our sausage and pepper pizza, with fresh basil scattered on top, had a bit too much char for us but otherwise tasted fine. Pro tip: Order online and arrive a little early for pickup, as parking can be tricky.
Italian | ⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
Store House Market & Eatery
Plan a jaunt to Bastrop’s Main Street to check out the newest venture of chef Sonya Cote, of Austin’s Hillside Farmacy. She’s rented a nineteenth-century commercial building and is doing a savvy menu of country favorites with city touches. There’s seating inside and out. Order this to go: Quail knots are hefty halved birds, so expertly fried they hardly need their accompanying dill ranch dip. Or try a wagyu-blend bavette steak with a blue cheese garnish (ours was tender on one side, rather chewy on the other, but perfectly medium-rare). The fries alongside are super crunchy, thanks to a panko cornmeal crust, and the fat vegetable fritters are made, whenever possible, with produce from the restaurant’s own farm, down the road. Pro tip: During Friday afternoon rush hour, traffic slows waaay down on Highway 71 coming into town.
American | ⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info