Highlights from our July 2021 issue – Texas Monthly
Texas monthly adds and updates approximately sixty restaurant listings to our Dining Guide each month. Space is limited in the print issue, but the full searchable guide to the best of Texan cuisine is right at your fingertips online!
Below are some highlights of the new restaurants reviewed in our July 2021 issue. Click ‘More Info’ for more details on each restaurant:
The crowd is young, the rooftop views are breathtaking, and the food lives up to the hype at this modern Italian restaurant from the mind of Chicago super-chef Danny Grant. Veteran Dallas chef Eric Dryer runs the kitchen, making wood-grilled entrees and pasta that will appeal to everyone. Try that: Fried cacio e pepe results in croquette-like donuts with a crispy breadcrumb crust and a peppery, béchamel-style, succulent, and cheese filling. A rich and flavorful short-rib bolognese coats casarecce pasta, topped with hazelnuts and creamy ricotta. The seared salmon was exceptional, the tender fillet topped with pistachio gremolata and ancient citrus supremes, resting in an ethereal broth. Pro tip: Pulsating club music is louder on the south side; the north side offers the best views, from the 49th floor of the National. Business casual or better required.
italian | | $$$ | More information
Café Leonelli is the first of two new restaurants to welcome Michelin-starred chefs in the Kinder building of the Museum of Fine Arts. Top New York chef’s hat Jonathan Benno is the talent behind the menu at this laid-back counter-service venue with all-day dining and a spectacular baking program. The striking modern interior seats 100 and the patio seats 50. Try that: For breakfast, consider Italian pastries galore (sfogliatelle; a bacon, egg, and cheese cornetto), all delicious interpretations from the ever popular Leonelli Bakery in New York City. Later in the day, a hearty ribollita soup with kale, country bread croutons, potatoes and cabbage pairs well with a charcuterie sandwich or one of the creatively flavored focaccia. Executed with authority are the beef meatballs on polenta with marinara and Parmigiano Reggiano and the roasted salmon with lemon, capers and Swiss chard. Only the marinated shrimp with cannellini beans, olives and sundried tomatoes disappointed, suffering from too much salt and oil and not enough acid. Pro tip: If you are picking up a takeout order, expect a parking fee of $ 10.
italian | | $$ | More information
This small, family-owned bakery-café near TCU scores big points for its cute French pastries and cute birthday cakes. Sandwiches and salads delight lunch diners, and a limited brunch menu is offered on weekends. But it is the Indian specialties on Thursday nights that attract the most attention. Try that: Every Thursday brings a new fixed price menu; the full dinner costs $ 40 for two and $ 70 for four. The best bets so far are the chicken biryani, with chunks of whole bird in a spicy tomato curry mixed with rice, cilantro and fried onions, and the butter chicken curry served with chewy basmati. Naan and vegetable samosas are on the menu, as is the mango chutney. The dessert is at the choice of the pastry chef; fingers crossed for the chocolate cookies. Pro tip: Go next to Put a Cork in It and ask for specially chosen wines to go with Thursday dinners.
Bakery | | $$ | More information
From the doorman to the DJ booth, this chic and beautifully designed restaurant in the downtown Littlefield Building looks more like Miami than Austin (or Greece), but that’s not a bad thing. Order this to take away: The grand (and pricey) menu features dishes like the shrimp casserole, which is way better than the name suggests: a rusty red garlic sauce bursting with shrimp and sausage, with toast on the side. The lamb skewers are well done, with pickled red onions and a drizzle of mint yogurt. Lounge of fresh whole fish on top of a bed of ice near the kitchen; we shared a whole fagri (red porgy) simply grilled and served with lemon and a handful of capers and caper berries. Pro tip: As the evening progresses, the volume of the music approaches the levels of the Mykonos beach club.
Seafood | | $$$$ | More information
Patty Scalisi moved to McAllen from Chicago and brought a delicious slice of the Windy City. Its deep dish is the real deal, with a two-inch crusted rocking sauce, cheese, and your choice of toppings. Try that: Any of the pizzas. The dough is homemade and tossed by hand (and also offered in a thin, crispy style). We also loved the Italian beef sandwich, with thinly sliced meat on a crisp Italian Gonnella roll with peppers and a side of gravy. Pro tip: Bring a bottle of wine.
Our reviews are written by reviewers who live in the cities and regions they cover. They remain anonymous to ensure that they do not receive any special treatment. The magazine pays for all meals and does not accept any advertising or other consideration in exchange for a registration. Comments? Write U.S.