One Fort Worth restaurant got the nod from Texas Monthly in the magazine's annual assessment of the state's best new restaurants. Titled "The Best New Restaurants in Texas for 2020," the list ranks 10 establishments as well as honorable mentions.
The No. 1 restaurant on the list is Comedor, an elevated Mexican restaurant in Austin. Food editor Pat Sharpe raves, comparing it to James Beard Award-winner Hugo Ortega's three Mexican restaurants as well as Pujol, the Mexico City restaurant ranked 12th in the world.
The only Fort Worth restaurant to make the cut: Gemelle, the Italian restaurant from celebrity chef Tim Love, which comes in at No. 9.
Three Dallas restaurants also make the list: Homewood, Salaryman, and Khao Noodle Shop, the small East Dallas eatery which Bon Appétit named the second-best new restaurant in the country in 2019. Two Dallas restaurants earn honorable mentions: Ka-Tip Thai Street Food and Beverley's.
About Gemelle, Sharpe says, "Tim Love is nothing if not a Texas chef. At his flagship Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, in Fort Worth, he’s built a reputation on the likes of wagyu ribeyes and smoked venison short ribs. But he’s always had a thing for Italian food. So when a suburban restaurant space became available, he jumped at the chance to try something new. ... Start with an appetizer like the terrific celery root carpaccio. For serious sustenance, turn to super-cheesy, rectangular Detroit-style pizzas (Tim’s wife, Emilie, is from Michigan). Inevitably, some hallmark Love touches show up on the menu, notably the cannellini bean–jalapeño pesto ravioli with rabbit-rattlesnake sausage. Once a Texas chef, always a Texas chef."
To be eligible for the list, establishments must have opened between December 1, 2018 and December 1, 2019, and it must be a restaurant's first Texas location.
Houston has three entries, all ranking in the top five: Squable, Davis St. at Hermann Park, and MAD. Two Houston restaurants also earn honorable mentions: One Fifth Gulf Coast and Rosie Cannonball.
Savor, the restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America, provides San Antonio with its lone entry in the top 10, but both Evo and Kindling Texas Kitchen (in the suburb of Cibolo) earn honorable mentions for the Alamo City.
Sharpe notes that this year's list has an international feel with eateries that take their inspiration from places such as Italy, Japan, Goa, and Spain. She finds another tie that binds most of her choices.
"I've noticed a trend that has been growing since the craft cocktail movement began a couple of decades ago; restaurants are becoming more like bars," Sharpe writes. "That is, more casual and (sigh) noisier than ever."