Once again Bon Appetit restaurant and drinks editor Andrew Knowlton has revealed his list of America's 50 Best New Restaurants. Just like last year, only one Houston restaurant makes the list: Italian-influenced Coltivare in the Heights.
While congratulations are certainly owned to Pera and Weber, it's hard not to wonder why some other worthy contenders didn't make the cut.
Knowlton cites the "veggie-driven dishes" and "stunning back garden" as two reasons Coltivare made the cut. As for what to order, he recommends "any of the pizzas (especially the Texas 1015 with clams); cavatelli with garden vegetables; grilled broccoli salad."
Initially, the City of Houston told Coltivare to convert the 3,000 square-foot plot of land next to the restaurant into parking. Thankfully, owners Morgan Weber and Ryan Pera delayed the restaurant's opening for six or seven months to seek a variance to ensure they could use it for a garden, as the produce grown there helps set Coltivare apart.
Reaction from the restaurant's social media account was swift and appropriately celebratory.
While congratulations are certainly owned to Pera and Weber, it's hard not to wonder why some other worthy contenders didn't make the cut. Where are Caracol, Killen's Barbecue or Common Bond? Surely a top-notch Mexican seafood restaurant, a barbecue joint that's rapidly emerging as one of the best in Texas and a bakery that turns out life-changing croissants all deserve a spot on the list.
At least Texas did well overall. Austin has three representatives, San Antonio beats Houston with two and Dallas's CBD Provisions serves as the city's sole representative.
Of course, when The Pass and Provisions was the city's sole representative on the top 50 in 2013, it seemed like Houston might get snubbed. Then Knowlton named it the sixth best new restaurant in the country.
Knowlton will reveal whether Coltivare makes his top 10 for 2014 on August 19. If it does, it will join P&P and Oxheart to give Houston three straight years with a top 10 winner. Wouldn't that be cool?