Best New Restaurants

Surprises, snubs and lots of Houston love on list of best new restaurants in Texas

Snubs and lots of Houston love on best new restaurants in Texas list

Helen Greek Food & Wine
The team from Helen Greek Food & Wine earned the top spot in Patricia Sharpe's list of Texas's best new restaurants. Photo by Shannon O’Hara
Cureight foie gras pho broth
Dishes like foie gras in pho broth landed Cureight a spot on the list. Photo by Hubbell & Hudson
Brandi Key, Grant Cooper, Charles Clark at SaltAir
SaltAir Seafood Kitchen might be the best restaurant Brandi Key, Grant Cooper, and Charles Clark have opened, Sharpe writes.  Photo by Shelby Hodge
Helen Greek Food & Wine
Cureight foie gras pho broth
Brandi Key, Grant Cooper, Charles Clark at SaltAir

The Houston-area is well-represented on Texas Monthly food critic Patricia Sharpe's list of the state's best new restaurants. Just like last year, three Houston establishments make the cut, which is open to places that opened between November 1, 2014 and November 30, 2015. 

"Since I began compiling our annual roundup, in 2002, I’ve never seen as many exceptional new restaurants," Sharpe writes. "Austin in particular was on fire."

Leading the pack is Helen Greek Food & Wine, which follows up its James Beard Award semifinalist nod with the top spot on Sharpe's list. She praises the Rice Village restaurant for both co-owner Evan Turner's all-Greek wine list and the way chef William Wright "honors and tweaks tradition" by incorporating Texas ingredients into classic Greek dishes. 

SaltAir Seafood Kitchen ranks third on the list. Sharpe praises the River Oaks hotspot for a kitchen where "meat is handled as adroitly as fish" and thinks it might be the best restaurants Charles Clark and Grant Cooper have ever opened. 

Cureight, the tasting menu concept inside The Woodlands's restaurant Hubbell & Hudson Bistro, comes in fifth. She writes that, despite its distance from downtown Houston, chef Austin Simmons's eight-course menu is "decidedly worth the drive."

Three more Houston restaurants, British-American steakhouse Hunky Dory, Japanese small plates and cocktails concept Izakaya, and Portugese tapas restaurant Oporto Fooding House & Wine, all earn honorable mentions. 

The rest of the top consists of four Austin restaurants (Launderette, Juniper, Vox Table, and Emmer & Rye), two from Dallas (Rapscallion, Ten), and one from Fort Worth (Horseshoe Hill Cafe). 

Looking for snubs? State of Grace and Southern Goods are the most obvious Houston omissions.