With Jonathan Jones directing the menu at the rebranded Xuco Xicana and Bryan Caswell opening El Real, it looks like chefs are taking Tex-Mex seriously.
And a new contender is joining the mix. Austin-import Vivo has been anticipated for months on the north side of River Oaks, and now it's announced a May opening — and a chef.
Paul Petersen gets dubbed the "rock star chef" because of his background as a drummer growing up in San Antonio, but he's also a Culinary Institute of America graduate and a James Beard Foundation Best New Chef: Southwest semifinalist from his time at the Gage Hotel's Café Cenizo in Marathon, Texas.
Though the menu at the new Vivo is still a work in progress, Petersen is known for taking classics and putting his own twist on them. He's also something of a barbecue star, with an appearance on TLC's BBQ Pitmasters; a steak specialist, with a stint at Rick's Chophouse in the Dallas suburb of McKinney; and he's been christened the future of "new Texas cuisine" by Esquire, so we're interested to see how all these inspirations — plus Tex-Mex — come together.