This month’s additions to the Dining Guide include Drake’s Yoke, in Willow Park, west of Fort Worth, where you can enjoy a yesteryear mood and a menu offering the likes of flash-fried shrimp and brisket burnt ends; Rosewood, in Austin, where heirloom carrots atop coriander-spiked yogurt chutney have found a home in a stately Victorian house; and Purépecha, the secret little back room at Revolver Taco Lounge in Dallas, which has been turned into a rustic fine-dining haven serving an eight-course tasting menu. While you’re at it, make sure to read up on our esteemed food critic Patricia Sharpe’s picks for July, Dallas’s Fachini and Perfect Union Pizza Co.
Below are a few of the highlights from the new restaurants reviewed this month. Click through on any for more details and the full searchable Dining Guide!
With the Mueller development just to the south and the second location of Cenote a few streets to the north, it was only a matter of time before this aging shopping center would be on the radar of entrepreneurial restaurateurs. This time, it’s the folks who brought us Henri’s (which closed in 2016). Their new project is an all-day space—one third coffee shop, one third lounge, and one third modern diner. A long open deck invites the neighbors in; the space is like the white jeans in your closet—breezy, light, and evocative of Southern California. There are cocktails and charcuterie plates carried over from Henri’s but also sea salt–studded slabs of olive oil cake and venison kolaches for the morning commute. And though the service is frustratingly wet behind the ears, the more substantial dishes are excellent, like deep-mahogany fried chicken, with a crust that shatters as you dunk bites into honey emboldened with sriracha, and comforting tagliatelle pasta with a hearty Bolognese sauce and dabs of ricotta cheese.
Texas favorites with a Southern twang are just what you’d expect at this busy, casual eatery and watering hole. The theme of country backroads and oil fields plays out with a distressed Chevy truck tailgate behind the bar affixed with hammers and wrenches as the beer taps; welder’s masks are repurposed as wall sconces. Old “Eat Here” signage and vintage photos create a yesteryear mood, and stacks of wood used in the smokers give extra warmth to the setting. Clever match-ups on the shareable side of the menu include grilled pork belly with a maple glaze infused with brisket drippings (set atop sautéed spinach with blue cheese crumbles) and crunchy flash-fried shrimp with brisket burnt ends, fried green tomato, and creamy goat cheese, presented on a board. Paired with cocktails brightened with fresh fruit and herbs, they make us want to graze the day away.
A stately Victorian house has been transformed into a many-roomed contemporary restaurant, where clever drawers in each table hold napkins, utensils, and readers. To start, get the spunky breaded whole soft-cooked duck egg on a bed of salty, mildly smoky mushrooms. Another good option: lovely, if slightly too al dente, heirloom carrots atop coriander-spiked yogurt chutney and mezcal-marinated raisins. For a main course, skip the too-mature braised lamb with slouchy ricotta cakes. Instead, try the fine modern jambalaya with andouille, cornmeal-fried oysters, and sautéed shrimp. A springy blackberry-fennel compote on lemony pound cake succeeded despite in-your-face goat-feta ice cream.
There’s a well-kept secret in the back room of Revolver Taco Lounge: a fine-dining haven featuring a dazzling eight-course tasting menu from chef-owner Regino Rojas. The homey ambience conjures the magical, cooking-with-love aura of the film Like Water for Chocolate.Terra-cotta cazuelas decorate the walls, and tables are set with fine white linens and gold-rimmed china. Rojas’s adorable mother takes center stage at a counter where she and her chef son put the finishing touches on heavenly dishes like sea bream ceviche with caviar and adobo-crusted Wagyu beef with morels. Reservations are required, and the cost is $85 (except when pricey ingredients are used lavishly).
The Botanical Garden’s Sullivan Carriage House is Rosella’s new morning-to-night hot spot. Avocado toast with lemon-citrus butter and an Egg Cloud Sandwich (with prosciutto, arugula, and tarragon aioli) provide sustenance early, then the menu switches to sandwiches and salads, plays on comfort food like classic burgers with white cheddar or a toasty BKT of bacon, kale, and tomato.