This year, Pat Sharpe’s annual ranking of the state’s best new restaurants looks a little different. Instead of a ranking of 10 establishments, Sharpe focuses on their favorite takeaway foods and drinks from across the Lone Star State, highlighting three of the most exciting new openings of the year.
In total, the article covers 30 restaurants in seven regions, writes Sharpe, which are divided into categories such as starters and side dishes, sandwiches, starters, sweets and cocktails. All offer take-away. To be eligible for the list, facilities must have opened between December 1, 2019 and December 1, 2020.
Sharpe chooses Kalimotxo, a Spanish-inspired bar and restaurant by chefs Kevin Fink and Tavel Bristol-Joseph (Emmer & Rye, Hestia). She praises the operation, which was originally conceived as a tapas-style cocktail bar affiliated with Hestia, for its fulcrum during the pandemic.
“Hestia now only tries in-house, while Kalimotxo has turned into a casual bistro that also offers take-away,” explains Sharpe.
For her Houston limelight, she commends the Bludorn restaurant and the chef Aaron Bludorn for combining the French techniques he developed as head chef at Cafe Boulud in New York with elements of his childhood in the Pacific Northwest and ingredients from Texas. She also nods to San Antonio’s Jardín, a café in the Eastern Mediterranean owned by well-known San Antonio chefs Jason and Jake Dady, located in the San Antonio Botanical Garden.
Austin restaurants are also well represented in the individual dishes. These include: Paperboys Pesto and Parmesan Kale Salad, Reunion 19s Pork Belly Banh Mi Tacos, Summer House on Music Lanes Eggplant Toast with Pickled Raisins, Peacock’s Aleppo Pepper and Garlic Prawns, Gatis Thai Coffee Ice Cream and Lola’s Donuts’ darker Chocolate chai donuts.
Visit the Texas Monthly website for the full selections of the list from across the state.