HTX Tastemakers 2015
Tastemakers 2015

Competition is delicious for Tastemakers Best New Restaurant's Elite Eight in dramatic match-ups

Competition is delicious for Tastemakers Best New Restaurant's Elite 8

Holley's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar July 2014 Mark Holley
Hoiley's Mark Holley squares off against Prohibition's Ben McPherson in round two. Photo by Eric Sandler
5 BCN Taste & Tradition October 2014
BCN earned the most votes in round one. Photo by Eric Sandler
Tout Suite interior seating 2
Tout Suite ,shown here, takes on Weights + Measures in round two. Photo by Eric Sandler
Dak & Bop sign
Dak & Bop takes on Bernie's Burger Bus in round two. Dak & Bop/Facebook
Holley's Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar July 2014 Mark Holley
5 BCN Taste & Tradition October 2014
Tout Suite interior seating 2
Dak & Bop sign

Round one of the Tastemaker Awards Best New Restaurant voting produced some surprising results. Almost all of the matchups were highly competitive, but some of the favorites have made an early exit.  

Common Bond may have lines out the door, but it was no match for Weights + Measures. Pax Americana posted a picture of Prohibition sous chef Matt Wommack in its dining room as a sort of celebrity endorsement, but the downtown supperclub and bar triumphed anyway. 

Still, the people have spoken, and now it's time to move on. Here's a brief breakdown of the second round matchups. Polls are open through May 4. Vote now.

Dak & Bop vs Bernie's Burger Bus
Both of these restaurants dispatched their round opponents fairly easily, but this second round contest should be a little closer. Both feature elevated twists on familiar cuisine with Bernie's carefully constructed burgers taking on Dak & Bop's ultra-crispy, Korean fried chicken. This matchup will answer the question of whether CultureMap readers prefer burgers and milkshakes or wings and cocktails.  

Holley's vs Prohibition Supperclub & Bar
Holley's won the battle of Midtown over Oporto fairly easily, but it faces a tougher test in Prohibition, which upset Pax Americana in the first round. Both restaurants serve carefully prepared raw and cooked seafood dishes, feature extensive oyster offerings and shake quality cocktails. Maybe this matchup comes down to style — Holley's upscale ambiance versus Prohibition's retro luxury. Or maybe Prohibition builds on its social media strengths and rolls through another popular spot.

BCN Taste & Tradition vs Table 57
Spanish fine dining restaurant BCN may be the dark horse of this entire bracket; it garnered more votes in round one than any other competitor. Table 57 edged out The El Cantina in round one, but the combination of grocery giant H-E-B and chef Randy Evans's personal popularity could give it a jolt. If it comes down to cuisine, BCN should prevail; no other restaurant in Houston serves such authentic Spanish cuisine.

Tout Suite vs Weights + Measures
It's a battle of hybrid cafe/bakeries. Both Tout Suite and Weights + Measures feature re-purposed, industrial-looking spaces, long hours of operation, and have emerged as exciting, new brunch destinations. Tout Suite offers pastries all day, but Weights + Measures counters with its full bar. Having already upset Common Bond in round one, look for Weights to keep its momentum rolling into a battle with BCN.