The February 2013 issue of Texas Monthly takes the state's major cities to task on everything from traffic to neighborhoods to culinary offerings. The latter are highlighted by food critic Patricia Sharpe in a list of the dozen Best New Restaurants across the Lone Star State (ones that opened between Nov. 1, 2011 and Nov. 1, 2012).
(Sharpe usually only includes 10 restaurants in the annual roundup but, as she admitted, "2012 was a very good year.")
The short list included four new and notable Houston establishments that speak to the strength and variety of our dining scene: Oxheart, an "international vegetable palace" in the Warehouse District; Roost, which Sharpe describes as a "tiny, welcoming, humble" space offering creative dishes from chef/owner Kevin Naderi; Triniti, with its creative and minimalist fare from chef/owner Ryan Hildebrand; and Underbelly, the creole concept from Chris Shepherd.
Also meriting honorable mention were Lucille's, Provisions, Sparrow Bar + Cookshop and even Uchi (although it was officially ineligible for best restaurants because it's deemed a second location of the Austin original).
Eater Houston's Eric Sandler notes that the Pass — the higher-end of the dual restaurants from Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan — didn't open up in time for consideration on the list, although early indications point to its eligibility for the 2013 edition.
Dallas' Boulevardier, Driftwood and Oak made the list, along with Austin's Elizabeth Street Café and Salty Sow. Red Mountain Bistro in El Paso, Woodshed Smokehouse in Fort Worth and Bliss in San Antonio were also picked as the crème de la crème of new Texas dining.