With the new year ahead, so many culinary opportunities beckon us all. Leave it to our editors Lance Avery Morgan (Austin), Cynthia Smoot (Dallas), Jake Gaines (Houston), and Alexandra del Lago (San Antonio) to recommend the best of the newest.
What’s not to love about Verbena’s 36-seat bar and lounge, 60-seat dining room, and open kitchen with a wood-burning hearth, both of which open to a lush open-air courtyard? The old-world farm-to-table fare is artfully composed in a modern presentation to delight every guest.
At Canje, traditional meets innovative in this New Age Caribbean cuisine restaurant on the east side. The name refers to the Canje Pheasant, the national bird of Guyana. From Jamaica to Puerto Rico, Canje explores techniques, ingredients, and the many expressions of vibrant food across the region.
The Westlake Wine Bar in Davenport Village is the new destination. Not only does it offer over 150 wines, but also a menu of beef bourguignon, tartare, steaks, and fish, alongside bar snacks with either indoor or patio dining available.
Elephant East in The Harwood District offers guests a menu that focuses on technique, flavors, and signature dishes from Southeastern Asia, as well as stylish cocktails, sake, and soju. The design features hand-carved wood, tropical and bamboo greenery and a symphony of rich jewel tones.
I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE
National Anthem is the much-anticipated concept from Chef Nick Badovinus in downtown Dallas’ newly revitalized East Quarter. The interior is divided into the main dining room and the bar area with several high-top tables. Look for a classic American menu of salads, burgers, seafood, pasta, and more that are sure to please.
La Mina is the latest concept to open at The Village residential development. Look for regional Mexican food and agave cocktails in a subterranean spot beneath the Drey Hotel. We especially love the weekend brunch.
FINE AND FINER
Celebrating 75 years, the place to be by the Texas Medical Center is the Intercontinental Hotel’s new restaurant offerings, including Safina, the all-day, modern Mediterranean eatery and cosmopolitan craft cocktail destination, The Naturalist Café and the Lounge Bar. Revel in their modern design paired with unrivaled hospitality.
Toro Toro is the chic new pan Latin restaurant at the Four Seasons downtown. It celebrates the vibrant, robust flavors and convivial dining culture of Central and South America, to offer guests a unique spin on the contemporary steakhouse experience.
INTO THE WOODLANDS
The Woodlands Resort is often ranked one of the best resorts in the country. Always a favorite, it has been reinvigorated with significant enhancements from The Weston and Hilton’s Curio Collection of hotels and restaurants. Try the new Back Table Kitchen and Bar for a memorable experience.
Battalion, a favorite destination in San Antonio, was once the home of the city’s Firehouse #7. Now, it has been transformed into an Italian restaurant where fresh homemade pasta is made daily. Both the dinner and cocktails served in the vintage firehouse décor are delectable.
Here’s a modern tribute to South Texas cuisine on the historic San Antonio River Walk. With its delectable Mexican flavors, you can’t go wrong inside or on the luxe veranda with the gorgeous view.
SEE YOU AT THE PEARL
Botika, in The Pearl, continues to be as popular as ever. While enjoying the dining interior, or al fresco, both are ideal for the sushi Asian fusion fare. Plus, it’s popular for both day and night outings for business…or pleasure.