Hometown Glory

Houston named the most electrifying food destination in U.S. — with 2 restaurants in Top 12

Houston named the most electrifying food destination in U.S. — with 2 restaurants in Top 12

Oxheart, beets from Emile Street Garden with savory granola, wheatberries and bitter almond
At Oxheart, beets from Emile Street Garden with savory granola, wheatberries and bitter almond Oxheart/Facebook
Layne Lynch, peanut butter, January 2013, Uchi Houston's Peanut Butter Semifreddo
Uchi Houston's peanut butter semifreddo Photo courtesy of Uchi Houston
Oxheart, restaurant, interior
Oxheart has a 30-seat restaurant in the Warehouse District.  Courtesy of Paul Sedillo Photography
Uchi, chefs, sushi
Uchi Houston made Alan Richman's list. Uchi Houston/Facebook
Oxheart, beets from Emile Street Garden with savory granola, wheatberries and bitter almond
Layne Lynch, peanut butter, January 2013, Uchi Houston's Peanut Butter Semifreddo
Oxheart, restaurant, interior
Uchi, chefs, sushi

Seasoned GQ food writer Alan Richman has delivered up a list of "The 12 Most Outstanding Restaurants of 2013," which promises to be a "no-b.s., trend-free, buzz-transcending, down-right mouthwatering roundup" of restaurants that "redefine fine dining."

The two Houston restaurants that made the cut just happen to be some of the most buzzed-about in the city, which Richman notes "is becoming the most electrifying food destination in America." 

Uchi's Houston home — the Austin-based restaurant group's third — made the list for its "spectacular sushi" offerings. Though the "irresistible possibilities" of sushi wowed, it was the Texas quail marinated in coconut milk, shrimp paste and curry oil that Richman suggests you don't miss (along with the 2010 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir).

Also on the list was Oxheart, chef Justin Yu's veggie-centric, 30-seat Warehouse District eatery. Richman praises the "ridiculously reasonable $49 tasting menu" and the elegant precision of Karen Man's pastry creations, but gives special kudos to the restaurant's warm sunflower-seed soup and the 2003 R. López de Heredia Viña Gravonia (presumably recommended by staff sommelier Justin Vann).

Barring Brooklyn, Houston is the only city to score two spots on the list which only includes a dozen restaurants in the U.S. total.