txmo best new restaurants

8 Houston eateries land on Texas Monthly's best new restaurants list

8 Houston eateries land on Texas Monthly's best new restaurants list

Ostia chicken with salsa verde
Texas Monthly includes Ostia on its list. Photo by Jenn Duncan

Texas Monthly food editor Pat Sharpe’s annual ranking of the state’s best new restaurants looks a little different this year. Instead of a ranked list of 10 establishments, Sharpe focuses on her favorite takeout dishes and drinks from across the Lone Star State, along with spotlighting three of the year’s most exciting new openings.

In total, the article covers 30 restaurants spread across seven regions, Sharpe writes, divided into categories such as starters and sides, sandwiches, entrees, sweets, and cocktails. All of them offer to-go. To be eligible for the list, establishments must have opened between December 1, 2019 and December 1, 2020.

Sharpe selects buzzy Montrose restaurant Bludorn for her Houston spotlight. She praises chef Aaron Bludorn’s restaurant for blending the French techniques he honed as executive chef at New York’s Cafe Boulud with elements of his Pacific Northwest childhood and Texas ingredients.

“Special design accents, especially the mural by a local artist of magnolia groves in East Houston, give it a modern sense of place. It’s sophisticated dining sans preciousness,” she writes.

The writer selects two other spotlight restaurants: Austin’s Kalimotxo, a Spanish-inspired bar and restaurant from chefs Kevin Fink and Tavel Bristol-Joseph (Emmer & Rye, Hestia), and San Antonio’s Jardín, an Eastern Mediterranean cafe at from noted San Antonio chefs Jason and Jake Dady that’s located at the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

Houston restaurants are also well-represented in the individual dishes. They include: Acadian Coast’s crab cakes and El Topo’s Houston taco in starters and sides; Mico’s Hot Chicken in sandwiches; Ostia’s chicken with lemon and salsa verde and the barbecue ribeye rice bowl from Saigon Hustle in entrees; and the Rubbish Pie from Xin Chao in sweets. Musaafer gets recognized for its Adraki Sutra cocktail.

Head to the Texas Monthly website to see the complete list selections from across the state.