Bon Appétit has released its list of America's 50 best new restaurants, and for the second year in a row two local restaurants are on the list.
Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appétit writes of FT33:
While the food scenes in Austin and Houston continue to gather buzz, chefs like Matt McCallister are out to make sure Dallas gets cred right alongside them. His contemporary cooking (duck breast with pickled celery root; grouper with charred local potatoes) is nothing if not precise--no surprise, given that the guy worked at Alinea and Daniel. The Design District space that houses FT33 is easy on the eyes, but the attention's on the plate.
Staging at Alinea and Daniel are certainly impressive, but let's don't forget that McCallister's big break came from Stephan Pyles, where he earned and learned his marks as a chef.
For Tesar's new spot Spoon, Knowlton writes:
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A magazine once labeled Spoon's John Tesar "the most hated chef in Dallas." We're willing to look past that when the food's this good. With Tesar, landlocked Dallas gets an ode to the ocean in his fiercely original seafood dishes, and the mod white-and-black space leaves you feeling like you're dining in a (stylish) aquarium.
The list of nominees includes three spots in Austin: Jeffrey's and Josephine House in Austin with a "roving Martini cart"; Ramen Tatsu-Ya in a strip mall on Research Blvd; and the Thai spot, Sway, on First Street.
Houston has one restaurant on the list: The Pass and Provisions, which has two chefs and two restaurants serving from one kitchen. Knowlton writes "bucatini made with nori on the high-style Pass side and lunchtime meatball subs on the more easygoing Provisions side."
Not a bad showing for a state that just a few years ago would have been painted with nothing but melted cheese and thick steaks (not that there's anything wrong with either of those delicious things).