by societytexas | Dec 28, 2022 | 2023 January February, Savor
We’re all frequenting restaurants again with great fervor, and there are plenty of new, beautiful spaces to try, according to our savvy eatery devotees, Rob Giardinelli (Austin, Houston and San Antonio and Houston) and Cynthia Smoot (Dallas).
Located inside the Origin Hotel Austin in Mueller, Blue Lacy is an all-day eatery that offers a new take on American classics. Top items on the menu include Chicken N’ Waffle Kabobs, avocado toast bruschetta, and pecan pie. The pet-friendly space even has menu offerings served in dog bowls for your favorite four-legged friends so they can enjoy them too. At BlueLacyAustin.com.
The new 7th Floor of the Fairmont Hotel, Room 725, Champagne & Caviar, is the perfect place for a first date or popping the question. The menu features a wide selection of caviar, including a vegan option, and other light bitessuch as Foie Gras, Lobster Claws, and Jamin Iberico. Order champagne by the bottle, by the glass, or as a flight to find your perfect pairing. At Fairmont-Austin.com/Room725.
Laurel, located in the new Hotel Viata in Westlake, is Italian with a Texas twist by utilizing ingredients from the Texas Hill Country. The curated menu features something for everyone, with the Impossible Meatballs, gnocchi, Chicken Osso Bucco, and Mediterranean Risotto being must-trys. Cap off the dinner by cozying up to the bar for a nightcap or a glass of wine al fresco on the terrace. At ViataAustin.com.
STK Steakhouse recently opened on McKinney Avenue in Uptown, in the former Perry’s Steakhouse location. They promise vibe dining at its finest, with premium dry-aged steak, world-famous cocktails, and music from renowned DJs. For high-end steak aficionados, STK has three Japanese Wagyu options, a variety of oysters, pastas, and various sides. At STKSteakhouse.com.
Escondido boasts the largest patio in Preston Hollow and a menu that features family-friendly Tex-Mex classic favorites such as nachos, tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas. Enjoy 12 varieties of margaritas, Mexican-inspired cocktails, select Mexican beers, and a small yet curated wine menu. At EscondidoDallas.com.
The keyword at OAK’D BBQ is elevated. The Wagyu and prime beef are the standards, alongside ribs, brisket, smoked turkey and chicken, and a wide variety of side dishes. An in-house pastry chef creates homemade desserts, ice cream, and biscuits. Look for the second OAK’D location in the old Chamberlain’s Seafood space on Beltline Rd. in Addison this February. At OakdBBQ.com.
Newly opened in Rice Village, Navy Blue offers modern American seafood featuring such culinary delights as Blackened Red Snapper with Ahi Amarillo, Linguini Vongole, and Swordfish Au Poivre with Green Peppercorn sauce. The 110-seat dining room includes organic elements, such as a series of long tables separated by white oak partition spines, creating an elegant yet warm dining experience. At NavyBlueRestaurant.com.
Gatsby’s Prime Seafood is the latest restaurant by the team behind Gatsby’s Prime Steakhouse. The menu features ocean-based dishes that are brought in fresh daily with the New Bedford Scallops, Sea Bass, and an awe-inspiring Seafood Tower among the most popular. Pair any of these with wine from the global yet curated wine list or enjoy a pre-Prohibition style cocktail. At GatsbySeafood.com.
The hottest new night space in Texas is Benjamin Berg’s latest concept, Emilia’s Havana. Inspired by the 1950’s Havana club scene, this reservation-only, 50-seat lounge offers two 2-hour seatings (8:00 PM and 10:30 PM) on Wednesday through Saturday nights. Each seating features bottle service, an elevated wine list, and yummy post-dinner bites with elegant bossa nova music playing in the background. The house DJ spins on Friday and Saturday nights from 12:30 AM-2:00 AM, so you can dance the night away in style. Reservations available at EmiliasHavana.com.
Restaurant Claudine’s recently opened in an incredibly chic, fully renovated classic bungalow in Government Hill, serving delectable Modern Southern cuisine, making it the ideal space for a romantic dinner. Must-try items include Corn Bread with Smoked Wallflower Butter, Heirloom Salad with Seed and Pistachio Crumble, Shrimp Gumbo, and Short Ribs. At RestaurantClaudine.com
Located inside the Hotel Valencia, Naranja Tequila and Mezcal Bar features the only tequila bar on San Antonio’s Riverwalk. Naranja also features a small plates menu, including Mexican Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas and Queso Fundido that perfectly complement their robust tequila offerings. The bar and lounge also feature live music from the Naranja Latin Jazz band for additional ambiance. At HotelValencia-Riverwalk.com.
Mariposa, located inside the Neiman Marcus store at La Cantera, is the perfect place to have an elegant post-shopping meal. The menu offers a great mix of salads, sandwiches, and classic fare, all of which pair well with a curated wine list. Make sure to start any meal with one of their delicious popovers, which you can also have delivered to your home if you crave one. At NeimanMarcus.com.
by societytexas | Oct 30, 2022 | 2022 November December, Savor
With everyone back to loving the in-person dining experience, there are plenty of new, beautiful venues to try, as well as favorites to try again, according to our savvy eatery devotees, Rob Giardinelli (Austin, Houston, and San Antonio) and Cynthia Smoot (Dallas).
The team behind Austin’s popular restaurant Suerte has opened its latest concept at the site of the former Eastside Cafe. Este offers a delectable array of fresh seafood offerings through their close relationships with premier fishmongers, coastal Mexican cuisine, and charcoal cooking.
Second Bar + Kitchen has recently opened its latest location in the East Austin Hotel. With its delectable array of Modern American cuisine paired perfectly with the craft cocktail menu, the restaurant also features a patio perfect for a Texas-sized brunch al fresco.
San Francisco-based Marufuku Ramen has recently opened its second-ever Texas location. A highlight of the menu is the Hakata-style Tonkotsu ramen featuring milky and unami-rich broth and ultra-thin artisanal noodles that perfectly complement the broth and Cha-shu made from specially curated pork. Additionally, it features a variety of mini-sized rice bowls, izakaya-style appetizers, premium beer, and sake.
Known for its Chicago-inspired, classic American cuisine, D.L. Mack’s recently opened its second location in Preston Hollow. Mack’s blends the approachable, all-occasion feel of its sister concept, Hudson House, with its own distinctly unique Chicago-inspired backdrop. The menu features classic American cuisine by way of carefully sourced purveyors with an emphasis on house-made ingredients.
Dea, an upscale Italian spot serving steaks, fish, and homemade pasta is the latest concept from famed restaurateurs Lynae Fearing and Tracy Rathbun. Dea translates to goddess in Italian and the food is indeed heavenly. Diners will experience a transformed space, which draws aesthetic inspiration from the Italian coast. Don’t miss the very Insta-worthy flower goddess mural outside painted by Dallas artist Alli K.
When The Ivy Tavern opened, it quickly became a neighborhood staple for cocktails, craft beer, and tasty bar fare. It boasts one of the best patios in Dallas, dotted with gorgeous shade trees strung with lights, table and community bar seating, and a fireplace. With an elevated stage for live music and DJs, and a variety of entertaining games such as large Jenga blocks, Connect 4, pool, and darts, one can pick your pleasure.
Ciel, named after the French word for sky, is the latest creation of Executive Chef Joseph Geiskopf, whose résumé includes stints at iconic Napa Valley-based establishments, French Laundry and Vespertine. Located at the axis of Uptown and River Oaks, the creative, sustainable menu features a fusion of French and Japanese cuisines.
Mexico City-based Ojo de Agua recently opened its first Texas location. The vibrant and holistic menu features scrumptious breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Must-try items include lobster grilled cheese, acai bowl, and avocado truffle toast. Pair it with one of Ojo de Agua’s wine-based fruit cocktails or a mimosa mixed with a variety of juice options.
Combining the very best of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine, Pacha Nikkei recently opened its first Nikkei concept restaurant. The seafood-focused menu features multiple ceviche options including a delectable lobster ceviche, Pulop a la Parrilla. The menu also includes Nikkei sushi rolls, which add Peruvian and South American flavors to the Japanese classic. Pair with an array of Japanese and Peruvian spirits.
Ladino is a new Mediterranean restaurant located in the Pearl. They use a wood fire oven to make delectable Middle Eastern and Balkan dishes featuring freshly made pita, coal charred eggplant dip, Jerusalem mix, and meat dumplings in yogurt. They also offer a fresh take on Agristada, which is a Sephardic fish in a lemon and egg sauce.
The Pearl’s newest pizza place is so hot it’s retro cool. A nod to the heyday of neighborhood pizza joints, WonderSlice pizza offers all the classics one seeks when enjoying the ultimate comfort food. The menu includes classic and specialty pizzas, homemade subs, salads, soft serve ice cream, and of course, pizza by the slice for those on the go.
Pharm Table in Southtown is an Apothecary Kitchen that features globally inspired locally sourced food, botanical cocktails, and a highly curated 27-bottle wine list. New to the menu is “Wine Wednesdays” a tasting that pairs small bites with approachable wines around a specific theme such as female winemakers, a varietal, or a specific region.
by societytexas | Aug 31, 2022 | 2022 September October, Savor
With everyone returning to restaurants like never before, there are a plethora of new, beautiful ones to try, as well as favorites to try again, according to our savvy eatery devotees, Rob Giardinelli (Austin), Cynthia Smoot (Dallas), Rob Giardinelli (Houston) and Alexandra del Lago (San Antonio).
Located in Westlake, Neighborhood Vintner offers over 1,000 wine bottles for retail purchases at varying price points, along with wines available in the store by the glass, all of which pair exquisitely with their charcuterie menu. The locale is perfect for meeting a friend after work, as the first stop on a night out, or to obtain a last-minute host gift en route to a dinner party.
Dean’s Italian Steakhouse is a classic American steakhouse with Italian expression that has recently opened its first Texas location. Located downtown on the ground floor of the JW Marriott Austin, Dean’s offers the best cuts of steak, market fresh seafood, and house-made pasta…and a killer happy hour menu to boot.
Brought to Austin by Tex-Mex restaurant company Trudy’s, Trudy’s Del Mar recently opened in the former South Congress Café location. It offers a nod to its iconic predecessor by continuing its beloved brunch menu while serving unique and exciting seafood dishes inspired by traditional recipes from Mexican Coastal living.
Known for its take on Pan-Asian cuisine and craft cocktails, Alice recently launched new menu offerings. The refreshed menu by Ashkan Moeinearaghi, their executive chef, offers memorable dishes centered around sushi, sashimi, and nigiri plates.
Located inside the Hilton Anatole, SĒR Steak + Spirits is a contemporary American steakhouse with unparalleled views of the Dallas skyline. They have reopened with a new executive chef, a globally- inspired menu, and a dining experience that ignites the senses.
Running September 30–October 23, this year’s State Fair of Texas is themed Treats Of Texas and there’s no tastier treat than a Fletcher’s Original Corny Dog slathered in mustard. Get your Fletcher’s fix at one of seven stands scattered throughout the fairgrounds. Can’t make the Fair this year? They ship nationally through Goldbelly.
A hit since it opened for happy hour and dinner service this spring, The Warwick recently added lunch to its stellar dining repertoire. The New American fare, with a Southern Twist lunch menu, features culinary classics such as Shrimp Po’ Boy and Cajun pasta, as well as a delectable Cobb salad.
Recently opened in Rice Village, Hamsa is a Modern Israeli restaurant featuring elevated classics from the Middle East. Shared plates are recommended, and the space also features a six-person chef’s table, called Yalla Yalla, where culinary connoisseurs can sample a curation of the chef’s top selections. At HamsaHTX.com.
Opening its first location in Houston, California-based Daddy’s Chicken Shack offers a wide range of scrumptious chicken offerings that are a fusion of American South and Southeastern Asian flavors. The menu also features breakfast and vegan offerings so the whole family can enjoy.
Sugar Factory American Brasserie, the eatery known for its over-the-top dishes and treats, has opened its second Texas location in downtown San Antonio. The world-famous, family-friendly, high-energy celebration destination has been designed to give guests an interactive experience filled with memorable moments.
The much-anticipated Carriqui at the Pearl aims to honor its past and usher in the next chapter with the very best offerings that create a space for joyful gathering. Named after the green jay of South Texas, it features fresh seafood from the Gulf, Rio Grande-inspired botana platters, pit-cooked barbacoa and brisket, a masa program, and a robust cocktail and beverage program.
Located at the Pearl, Full Goods Diner serves scratch-made, seasonally-driven food for breakfast and lunch. In addition, it serves comforting and familiar everyday food to connect the restaurant to its central and South Texas roots of Mexican and American fare. The design also embodies the warm and welcoming environment with rich wooden accents, plenty of natural light, and a greenhouse-style entry.
by societytexas | Jun 29, 2022 | 2022 July August, Savor
With everyone returning to restaurants en masse, there are a plethora of new, beautiful ones to try, as well as favorites to try again, according to our savvy eatery devotees, Rob Giardinelli (Austin), Cynthia Smoot (Dallas), Jake Gaines (Houston) and Alexandra del Lago (San Antonio).
Maie Day is the newest dining establishment in the always happening South Congress Hotel. A classic chophouse with plenty of seafood and salad offerings means there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy as well as indoor and outdoor seating.
This new restaurant located downton, Diner Bar, offers an Austin vibe meets Southern style cuisine with the highlight being a delectable oyster bar. Also, not to be missed are their delicious vodka flights…perfect to start…or end your meal.
The popular Ft. Worth eatery, Salsa Limó
n, has opened it’s first location outside of DFW on the northern edge of UT Campus. Offering fresh, fast casual Mexican food, it is the perfect stop for UT alumns and those visiting their children on the UT campus.
Recently opened in Uptown’s West Village, Fiatto is a casual chef-driven American-Italian restaurant featuring a menu rooted in seasonality. Enjoy a menu of Italian favorites where almost everything is made from scratch including breads, pastas, mozzarella, burrata, all sauces and stocks.
Back on the menu at Truluck’s
after an extended absence is the delicious Lobster Mac and Cheese side dish served with chunks of Maine lobster and pasta in a gooey cheese sauce topped with fresh herbs and toasted breadcrumbs. Available without the lobster as well, but why?
In the Design District you’ll find The Mexican offering discerning diners an upscale, authentic Northern Mexican-inspired cuisine. The Mexican spares no details with an eclectic tequila wall and tasting table, an eccentric cigar lounge equipped with state-of-the-art ventilation, and multi-level, and picturesque outdoor patios.
The much-anticipated modern Italian chophouse, Marmo, is in the stylish new Montrose Collective mixed-use development in the heart of Houston. The menu puts steaks into the spotlight with an array of premium hand-cuts from local, domestic, and international purveyors. The 22-page wine list primarily focuses on Italian varietals by the glass and a cellar’s collection with back vintage gems.
Opened in June, Postino La Centerra provides a unique dining addition to the upscale shopping district, featuring a spacious 3900-square-foot mid-century modern, open-air layout. It includes rollaway glass walls and an expansive patio to indulge in a menu chock-full of shareables, with a selection of beer and the menu’s 30-plus wines.
Citizen, the 6,000-square-foot space located in a mid-century modern space will soon morph into a sophisticated bar and glossy lounge destined to draw power players, celebrities, pro athletes, business moguls, media titans and social stars in equal measure.
Inspired by the open-air markets in Rome, Arrosta at the Pearl is a cafe that brings the seasoned flavors of Italian street food to Texas for the first time. Experience the bohemian charm, fiery attitude and Italian-style rotisserie café and bakery.
Located at the Hotel Emma, Ladino is the new eatery brought by the folks at Emmer & Rye in Austin, who created the wildly successful TLV. When it opens this summer, Ladino will pay homage to the creator’s Sephardic roots with a menu centered around the charcoal grill, which plays a lead role in the Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines.
Located at the entrance of the arts districts Southtown and King William, with Hola’s romantic patio offering the best view of the city’s landmark Tower of the Americas, this Mexican cuisine destination uses only the freshest ingredients on an ever-changing menu.
by societytexas | May 1, 2022 | 2022 May June, Savor
Here, there, and everywhere, the state’s eateries are bustling again like never before. Leave it to our editors Lance Avery Morgan (Austin), Cynthia Smoot (Dallas), Jake Gaines (Houston), and Alexandra del Lago (San Antonio), to recommend the cuisine and beverage hot spots to capture your fancy.
At Wax Myrtle’s, the restaurant and bar in the new Thompson Hotel downtown, is the hip, poolside place to be served up Mediterranean appetizers and entrees. Just a block from Lady Bird Lake, it promises to be the in place to be seen this summer.
An immersive experience that transports travelers to an island paradise? Count us in to enjoy this Disneyesque Pirates of the Caribbean-vibe venue that dishes out creative interpretations of Tiki drinks alongside a food menu that blends Polynesian and Japanese influences.
Escape the ordinary and celebrate the historical German culture of Central Texas at Koko’s Bavarian on Austin’s East Side. The brewery is an oasis of beer and brats housed in an old warehouse building featuring a 400-seat outdoor Biergarten. Some of the specialties include house-made sausages and schnitzels, as well as Belgian-style fries.
Recently opened at The Star in Frisco, Lombardi Cucina Italiana is the latest concept from restaurateur Alberto Lombardi. It has the feel of an alfresco villa in Italy surrounded by olive trees, Italian marble, and Venetian chandeliers. The menu celebrates authentic Italian cuisine with a modern touch that is produced daily in an open-style pasta laboratorio.
Toussaint Brasserie is an approachably chic French-inspired restaurant and bar located in what was the historic Tower Petroleum Building (now the Renaissance Saint Elm Dallas Downtown Hotel). The brasserie serves as a relaxing dining destination serving a menu rooted in French and Asian flavors. At ToussaintDallas.com.
Rodeo Bar is a modern Texas tavern adjacent to the Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas. Guests enjoy a classic Texas-vibe paired with original 80s neon beer bar lights, vintage rodeo posters, and original rodeo memorabilia while noshing on burgers, chips and queso, and sandwiches. The basement’s Back Room offers billiards, darts, and you can get your groove on under a disco ball or relax on comfy sofas while listening to music from the jukebox.
Golfstrømmen at POST HTX Food Market shows Texas what Nordic cuisine is all about. Chef Christopher Haatuft, dubbed the punk chef godfather of Neo-Fjordic cuisine, brings not only a fresh seafood menu with his Nordic bent but will also sell fresh Gulf seafood.
The Old Hollywood vibe, reinforced by a vintage backdrop in this 1930 Spanish-Mediterranean-style bar, makes the new Clarkwood the happening spot to be. Its thoughtfully curated black and white seating vignettes include banquettes, tables, and lounge areas that add to the relaxed glam.
The new Insta-worthy Garden Oaks eatery is an all-day café that features extremely healthy fare like sandwiches, salads, coffee drinks, and more. We love the beet and goat cheese toast, as well as strawberry and creme fraiche as part of their garden-fresh menu selections.
At the La Cantera Resort & Spa, the award-winning destination set atop the highest elevation point in San Antonio, you’ll find its restaurant, Signature. Led by San Antonio local John Carpenter as executive chef, the team includes Executive Sous Chef Jaime Torres and Pastry Chef Stéphane Leopoldo. They provide a wide selection of contemporary interpretations of classic dishes.
The English translation of nonna is grandmother. However, it has a deeper meaning that evokes images of matriarchs passing down generations of recipes and hosting big gatherings to bring the family together. Here, at Nonna in the Fairmount Hotel, you’ll find savory, comfort food dishes perfect for anyone to love.
Inspired by Italy’s impossibly beautiful Amalfi Coast, Allora brings a bright taste of Italian seafood and pasta to the city. Discover this intimate spot at the Pearl and experience the fresh flavors and scenic spaces while reveling in San Antonio’s modern coastal restaurant and bar.