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HTX Tastemakers 2014
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Vote for Best New Restaurant

Vote now: Elite Eight remain in the running in Tastemaker Best New Restaurant challenge

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Osteria Mazzantini patio with diners
Osteria Mazzantini has critical acclaim and a lively patio. Will that be enough to hold back Killen's Barbecue? Osteria Mazzantini/Facebook
Ronnie Killen Killen's BBQ barbecue opening day February 2014
Ronnie Killen's barbecue joint was the top vote getter in round one. Photo by Kimberly Park
Good Dog Houston hot dogs corndogs December 2013
Good Dog Houston is taking on Coltivare for the title of the best new restaurant in The Heights.  Good Dog Houston/Facebook
Coltivare Cauliflower
Garden fresh vegetables and excellent pizza have made Coltivare one of Houston's most exciting new restaurants.  Photo by © Debora Smail
Caracol dining room without people January 2014
Caracol squares off against Bradley's Fine Diner in round two.  Photo by © Julie Soefer
6 Bradley's Fine Diner April 2014 oak-grilled center cut Texas Wagyu
Bradley's Fine Diner meets Caracol's roasted oysters with this grilled akaushi ribeye.  Photo courtesy of © The Epicurean Publicist
4 Andes Restaurant Houston January 2014
Tried the grilled beef heart at Andes Cafe. Photo by Eric Sandler
60 Degrees Mastercrafted November 2013 main dining room
60 Degrees has been attracting a lot of buzz.  60 Degrees Mastercrafted/Facebook
Osteria Mazzantini patio with diners
Ronnie Killen Killen's BBQ barbecue opening day February 2014
Good Dog Houston hot dogs corndogs December 2013
Coltivare Cauliflower
Caracol dining room without people January 2014
6 Bradley's Fine Diner April 2014 oak-grilled center cut Texas Wagyu
4 Andes Restaurant Houston January 2014
60 Degrees Mastercrafted November 2013 main dining room

We asked you, CultureMap readers, to vote for Houston's Best New Restaurant as part of the upcoming 2014 Tastemaker Awards. You responded with a bunch of close contests and some unexpected results.

Among them, celebrity chef Bradley Ogden squeezed past long-time Houston restaurateur Tony Vallone as newly-opened Bradley's Fine Diner upset steakhouse Vallone's in the first-round voting.

 Round Two presents four great matchups, so if you like a place, get your vote in now.  

Heights-area restaurants did well, with both Coltivare and Good Dog Houston handily defeating their competition. Heights General Store followed the trend, garnering the fourth most votes, although it was no match for top vote-getter Killen's Barbecue, which looks like the early front runner to take the title.

Meanwhile, the three restaurants that serve sushi, and the only one that serves ramen, all lost. So much for Japanese food, at least in the Tastemaker bracket.

Which restaurants will advance to compete in the final round? That's up to you. Round Two presents four great matchups, so if you like a place, get your vote in now. I predicted only five of eight first-round winners, so maybe I'll do better this round.

(And join us May 8 when we reveal the winner at the 2014 Tastemaker Awards. Tickets are on sale now.)

60 Degrees Mastercrafted vs. Andes Cafe

Both of the restaurants narrowly won their first round matchups. Now they're facing each other in a battle that pits two very different restaurants in a head-to-head matchup. High-end neighborhood restaurant or casual cafe? Burgers and steaks or ceviche and empanadas? Polished wine program or BYOB? Certified Master Chef Fritz Gitschner or cancer survivor David Guerrero?

Andes Cafe is still a little off the radar, while 60 Degrees seems to be steadily building an audience. Take Gitschner to advance. 

Bradley's Fine Diner vs. Caracol

Can Bradley Ogden's newly-opened comfort food restaurant defeat its second high-profile Houston name? Don't expect Caracol to go down without a fight. Hugo Ortega's new seafood spot is the hottest restaurant in the Galleria area, where a stylish, see-and-be-seen crowd has made it a happy hour destination. The food at both restaurants is good, but Caracol has the clear edge with its adventurous, seafood-oriented menu.   

Can the James Beard Award winner defeat the three-time James Beard Award finalist, or will Ortega's status as one of Houston's top chefs push him to victory? Count on Houstonians to support one of their own and send the newcomer packing.

Coltivare vs. Good Dog Houston

This matchup will determine which of these two high-profile, highly-touted restaurants is the Heights' best new restaurant. Or not. After all, a restaurant's quality isn't measured strictly by an online vote. Still, it's an intriguing matchup that pits two successful restaurants against each other. Craft beer or cocktails? Hot dogs or pizza? 

Expect Good Dog's 10,000 Twitter followers to make their presence felt in a narrow victory. 

Killen's Barbecue vs. Osteria Mazzantini

Top vote-getter Killen's seems to have an easy path to the finals, but don't count out Osteria Mazzantini. After all, John Sheely's got plenty of fans who've made Mockingbird Bistro an institution, and Mazzantini was named one of Texas' best new restaurants by Texas Monthly. 

Still, it's hard to see Killen's coming up short here. People waiting an hour in line to eat at a restaurant isn't the only way to measure quality, but, in this case, the more popular restaurant should prevail. 

Ready to vote? Click through to the bracket. One vote per email address per day. Polls in the second round of voting are open until 11:59 p.m. on Monday April 28. 

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