Texas Monthly adds and updates approximately sixty restaurant listings to our Dining Guide each month. There’s limited space in the print issue, but the entire searchable guide to the best of Texas cuisine is at your fingertips online!
Below are a few highlights from the new restaurants reviewed in our December 2021 issue. Click “More Info” for further detail on each restaurant:
Dinner here is an experience as much as a meal. Expect a relaxing time in the lounge with welcome snacks and an aperitif and either a six- or nine-course Mediterranean-focused meal in the dining room. Every detail, from the cutlery to the art on the walls, is lovingly curated. Each small course is precisely arranged; think a translucent slice of raw crawfish touched with garlic and mint, or a fantastic dessert of candied almonds, Chantilly, and mandarin orange supremes. An eighty-plus-page wine list should satisfy every oenophile. The menu changes several times a year, and reservations are a must—plus some payment up front.
Mediterranean | ⭑⭑⭑ | $$$$ | More Info
Tavel Bristol-Joseph, a Food & Wine best new chef 2020, fills a niche in Austin’s ever-expanding culinary scene with Canje, named for the national bird of his native Guyana. Conjuring a festive beach-side feel are vivid wallpaper and raffia-draped fixtures, along with a menu rich in ingredients like silky coconut, tart-sweet pineapple, and piquant chiles. Golden-fried plantains were an addictive start to a meal that included a sizable platter of copper-hued, crispy-skinned jerk chicken and meaty poached grouper bathed in a subtle coconut cream with tiny, barely cooked cherry tomatoes.
Caribbean | ⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
Along with the significant renovation of Felipe Armenta’s OG Cowtown restaurant comes a menu update we found to be on par with the fashionable new setting. Chunky guacamole was accompanied by a pimento cheese queso, both scooped with perfectly crisp tortilla chips. Grilled artichoke hearts bore a charred-wood flavor, balanced by a perky herbed aioli. The hefty double-rib pork chop with a peppery crust was still juicy at the center, accompanied by rough-chop sautéed spinach and fluffy mashed potatoes.
American | ⭑⭑ | $$ | More Info
There’s a coziness about Rye, the Dallas offshoot of McKinney’s popular small-plates bistro. The original brick walls, hardwood floors, and proliferation of green plants give the room a charming, authentic sense of place. You won’t find steaks or salads on the menu; instead there are creative, idiosyncratic dishes like rabbit ravioli, Icelandic hot dogs, and pork belly lollipops.
Modern American | ⭑⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
Suburban Yacht Club
This sparkling Heights restaurant in the M-K-T development, brought to you by the geniuses behind Oporto, is a magical mix of Anglo-Indian and Portuguese food by way of colonial Goa. Bullet naan (a spicy take on the original) comes swiped with garlic butter sauce and is perfect for scooping up the aloo gobi bravas (crispy fried potatoes and cauliflower), creamy Goan fish stew (snapper, shrimp, and crab in a turmeric-coconut curry masala), and mishkaki, East African–inspired skewers of beef tenderloin with yuca and raita.
American | ⭑⭑⭑ | $$$ | More Info
Our reviews are written by critics who live in the cities and regions they cover. They remain anonymous to ensure that they receive no special treatment. The magazine pays for all meals and accepts no advertising or other consideration in exchange for a listing. Comments? Write us.