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 January 2022 issue. Click “More Info” for further detail on each restaurant:
Just west of Wimberley’s town square, this quaint little eatery serves a limited, evolving menu of Texas-inspired fare. On our visit, we enjoyed a patio spot overlooking shady Cypress Creek, which sparkled with lightning bugs as the sun went down. Charred okra and shishito peppers with salsa macha and a chile-lime ranch made for a snappy starter. An open-faced smoked turkey sandwich with thick-cut tomato and avocado was simple yet delicious, as was the pickle-brined, buttermilk-anointed fried chicken atop a toasty bun. For dinner service in the latter part of the week, reservations are recommended.
American | ⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
The expectations were high for this counter-service wine bar in East Austin, given the NYC bona fides of co-owners Arjav Ezekiel and Houston-born Tracy Malachek-Ezekiel. And they delivered, with a casual patio, evolving menu of adroitly executed food, and voluminous wine list (bottles come in clear-vinyl bags with some ice cubes, plus real glasses with stems, making the experience feel both fun and fancy). Panisse (chickpea) fritters, dusted with pecorino, were ethereally light, and fried morsels of rock fish were impossibly yummy. A roasted sweet potato topped with smoky bits of pork and crispy cubes of celery was point-counterpoint in texture and flavor. The steak with peppercorn sauce was sublime (the scallops merely fine). Dogs and toddlers are welcome. As are these relocated New Yorkers.
Wine Bar | ⭑⭑⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
This sophisticated Latin-inspired seafood spot opened over the summer in a reimagined ice cream shop. Chef/co-owner Victor Villarreal’s tight menu offers clever items like a Shark-cuturie Board, with house-cured gravlax and caviar. The weekly ceviche, on our visit shrimp and clams, was bright with coconut, lime, and jicama. Many plates are meant for sharing, but specials include traditional entrées, like a perfectly roasted sea bass on top of a generous pile of eggplant, squash, and tomatoes. There’s also a thoughtful cocktail list by co-owner Misty Villarreal; try the Panther City Sour, a pisco sour updated with hibiscus and aquafaba (the starchy liquid from a can of chickpeas, which whips up like meringue).
Seafood | ⭑⭑⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
Spying only about ten tables in the sleek interior one mild winter day, we headed instead for Concura’s spacious courtyard. A classic from yesteryear, veal in tuna sauce (vitello tonnato), came with a welcome twist: pink, wafer-thin slices of meat wrapped around dollops of tuna paste and garnished with cornichons and orange slices. Another starter, tuna tartare atop burrata cheese, was fine if a bit underseasoned. Our pasta, passatelli (tubular and al dente) in a creamy sauce topped with truffles, also proved rich and satisfying, though we still managed to polish off a chocolate-and-hazelnut roll served with Parmesan gelato.
Italian | ⭑⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
Hidden inside the Design District’s Decorative Center, in the space that used to house FT33, is a jewel box worth discovering. Cozy, dark woods evoke a private club, with walls showcasing artwork by Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol from owner Tim Headington’s collection. Chef Kylil Henson elevates steaks and seafood to a luxury level, but less expensive options include lobster corn dogs, silky celery root soup, seared foie gras on a peach tart, and the Tango Burger, made with dry-aged beef, shaved black truffles, and Swiss raclette.
Modern 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.