It’s stupid to watch every restaurant and bar open in Texas. But follow the most worthy? Yeoman’s work and we are proud of it. As such, we present Table Stakes, a rundown of the five must-see spots that have opened their doors wide over the past month.
As spring turns into summer, we are entering what is known as the best food season. Sure, you’ll have a few poolside picnics, but homemade food alone won’t make a living—or rather, you won’t want to. So it’s good that there are many new restaurants worth visiting. The latest shipment to Texas includes Michelin-starred Asian cuisine, an Italian comeback story, and a food truck serving game at the Sotol distillery. Come on, introduce yourself.
Professional snowboarder turned Michelin star chef Akira Back has restaurants all over the world, from Los Angeles to Paris to Dubai. He now has one just north of Dallas in The Colony’s Grandscape development, which has restaurants, entertainment and shopping. Baek’s menu focuses on contemporary Japanese cuisine with Korean and American influences and includes dishes such as his signature tuna “pizza” with umami aioli, micro shiso and white truffle oil, miso black cod with sake foam, and A5 wagyu beef. . If you’re up for an adventure, try Nazo 9, an omakase-style mystery box filled with an assortment of the chef’s favorite sushi and sashimi.
5765 Grandscape Boulevard, The Colony (map)
The Hai Hospitality empire stretches from Oochi and Loro to several Oochi sister concepts, including Uchiba in Dallas and beloved Uchiko in Austin. The latter has expanded into Houston, and behind its freshly opened doors you’ll find a dining room leaning on clean lines and wood, with a menu that features smoke and charcoal. There is a yakitori grill that burns Texas oak and Japanese binchotan charcoal, and various smoking and salting methods are used for hot and cold dishes. So you can still snack on sushi and rolls, but now you’ll be complementing them with grilled sea bass and pork belly, bonfire-roasted lobster, and hot, rock-roasted wagyu beef.
1801 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 110, Houston (map)
The area comes to Texas from Northern California. It is known for sharing plates paired with wine and whiskey, which seems reasonable. The new Addison location is run by chef Aaron Stoudenmyer, who has worked everywhere from Abacus, Jasper’s and Lover’s Seafood to Fredericksburg’s luxurious Boot Ranch. The kitchen prepares crispy pumpkin florets and seasoned street corn, as well as cold cuts, lamb meatballs and pizza. If you’re really hungry, you can keep the hamburger or Cuban sandwich for yourself. But you should probably let someone help you eat the creamed s’more. Either way, order one of the 10 seasonal cocktails, two dozen wines on tap, or one of the many whiskeys – the list is full of bourbon and other American styles, but also includes bottles from Scotland, Ireland and Japan.
5100 Belt Line Road No. 544, Addison (map)
Chef Jesse Griffiths of Austin’s Dai Due knows how to handle game, and is a proponent of controlling the state’s invasive feral pig population by cooking and eating them. Now he’s opened a food truck at the Texas Hill Country Desert Door distillery called Lo Salvaje, which brings a Mexican twist to game. Get wild boar guisada tacos, tinga duck tacos, antelope bacon burger and sweet potato toast with wild boar, chorizo, asadero cheese, escabeche, guacamole and salsa. All this is sure to make you thirsty, so it’s good that you are in a distillery where you can drink sotols and cocktails.
211 Darden Hill Road, Driftwood (map)
Dolce Riviera closed over two years ago – so it’s been almost 800 days since they served their last plate of pre-pandemic pasta. Now they’re back, with a revamped dining room that echoes the Italian Riviera, a revamped menu, a new bar called The Parlor, and a revamped patio with a coastal vibe and a giant lemon tree. The menu is full of seafood (branchino, salmon, whole boiled lobster) and a dozen pastas, including cacio e pepe, pappardelle with cocoa, cracklings, peas and black truffle, and tagliatelle with cuttlefish ink and rock prawns. During the week, The Parlor opens early for takeaway breakfast and lunch, and at night it transforms into a cozy cocktail and wine lounge.
2950 N Harwood Street #115, Dallas (map)
This article was published in InsideHook Texas Newsletter. Register now to learn more about Lone Star State.