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 June 2021 issue. Click “More Info” for further detail on each restaurant:
Jett and Jira Hurapan have given CityCentre a sleek new Northern Thai option. Named after the floating lantern festival celebrated in Chiang Mai, Yi Peng recently provided us a meal worthy of a celebration. Dishes range from satays to curries to seafood, and many of the cocktails have a Thai twist. Order this to go: the pu krob: crispy, crunchy, and utterly delicious soft-shell crab. Also try the Three Flavor Ribs: twice cooked, deeply spiced, and topped with a tamarind-chile glaze. A generous helping of pad see ew, with its lovely tangle of rice noodles, tender beef, and sweet chiles, finished the evening. Happily, our gai yang, a Chiang Mai–style herbed and grilled half chicken, was almost as good the next day. Pro tip: Rely on your GPS, as CityCentre can be difficult to navigate. We had a bit of a wait curbside but eventually received an easy delivery to our trunk.
Thai | ⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
A relative newcomer to Dripping Springs, this upscale bistro offers takeaway items from an abbreviated version of the main menu, with a few extras to boot. Order this to go: Wedges of roasted beets accompanied by an earthy walnut dukkah and dollops of goat cheese cream make for a delicious starter, as does the traditional salade verte with shaved radishes and a perky white wine vinaigrette. The Dirty Burger, which is prepared with a green peppercorn–coated patty, Emmenthaler cheese, a thick fried onion, and a dousing of au poivre sauce, is indeed “dirty”; we suggest a fork and knife for this indulgence. Pro tip: Brunch is served on the weekends, but only dinner is offered to go. Place your order early, as some items sell out quickly.
French | ⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
Catbird nests just upstairs from Nine at the National, and chef Jeramie Robison oversees both venues at the glossy Thompson hotel, located in the landmark First National Bank Tower. Though Catbird is hidden away in an aerie high above downtown, a young, lively crowd has already discovered its arty, private-club ambience, spacious patios, and killer views. A carefully curated menu of small plates, tasteful wine selections, and knockout cocktails combine to make Catbird perfect for date night. Order this to go: Pair fabulous frites with medium-rare lamb chops, or choose the miso salmon with sushi rice on a bed of Little Gem lettuce. Pro tip: There’s a “business casual or nicer” dress code, so if you plan to stay onsite, feel free to dress up a bit. You can always pay for valet parking, but first check the west side of the block, on Field Street, for unmetered parallel parking.
New American | ⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
The Garden at Ellera
The casual sibling of Ellera, which offers more-formal Italian fare inside, the Garden is an outdoor space inspired by the Boston Public Garden, with a laid-back grouping of tables nestled beneath a grove of light-strung oak trees. Order this to go: Crispy potato croquettes stuffed with Parmesan and prosciutto epitomize hand-held comfort food, while a sizable salad of Little Gem lettuce with green and kalamata olives, goat cheese, and marinated tomatoes is a flavorful mix made even better by a generous allotment of extra-crispy morsels of pork belly. Finish with an order of banana zeppole, pillowy doughnut rounds served with cinnamon cream. Pro tip: Orders are taken by phone rather than online and can be picked up at the outdoor patio.
Italian | ⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
Hacienda Las Mariposas
The Saltillo-tiled patio overlooking the lush grounds of this beautifully remodeled former hacienda is the perfect spot to enjoy a refreshing rosemary-spiked sangria and an appetizer like the Choriqueso Hacienda, blue corn tortillas loaded with cheese and
house-made chorizo. Order this to go: The carne a la tampiqueña features tender grilled sirloin alongside an enchilada filled with cotija cheese and topped with mole sauce. The hearty sopa azteca, with cotija, fresh avocado, and roasted chiles, packs up nicely for enjoyment at home. Pro tip: Ask for the chef’s special salsa if you want an extra level of heat.
Mexican | ⭑⭑ | $$ | 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.