December Issue: Best New Restaurants in Dallas

What a difference a year makes. Last year we struggled to find ten great new restaurants. This year, Teresa Gubbins and I had to slash and burn our way through a jungle of start ups. We tossed a few tomatoes at each other when  picking the Restaurant of the Year. The final two were Lucia and Mesa. If I hadn’t had several service issues with Lucia, the outcome may have been different. And truth be told, I yearn for the oxtails in hoja santa sauce at Mesa on a daily basis.

Check out the list and Kevin Marple’s exquisite food photography and tell us what you think.


  • Saw Teresa last night and thanked her in person for recommending Mesa for my 27th anniversary this Summer. Mesa was a total treat. I loved the fact the owner’s son waited on us very ably. I had the oxtail in hoja santa and it was memorable. Great job,

  • Twinwillow

    Love the list this year. Some are my very favorite go to restaurants.

  • Darren

    This is the best list I’ve seen in a couple years! You hit every mark with your choices!

  • foodbevlaw

    I’m disappointed that Marquee Grill didn’t make the list. I had many more exceptional meals there in 2011 than anywhere else.

  • acrow

    Agreed regarding Marquee Grill. Everything I’ve had there is excellent (albeit expensive).

  • The Janitor

    So who else of note didn’t make the list? And who else was new this year and probably never will make a best list?

  • MrsD

    I don’t think Marquee is more than style. The good is expensive and rather boring.

  • lk

    Great list! I love Mesa, everything I’ve had there is absolutely delicious.

  • BlogGer

    Marquee is not a great restaurant. Geat job NN and TG. Perhaps you should get Leslie Brenner to throw tomatoes with you next year. Really enjoyed reading this and will go to Mesa. Thanks.

  • Craig

    I love almost ALL of Nancy’s articles (frankly, it’s why I buy DMagazine) but I honestly don’t “get” this list. Lucia is hands down a fantastic find, Mesa too. But Malai? I have been on three occasions and it was average at best. I only went to ‘The Table’ at Commisary – it was a joke. Princi Italia was also only “lukewarm” on my visit. Speaking to the comments about Marquee, I was there on my birthday last month, and found it to be one of the best dining experiences I have had in Dallas. Chef Wilcox was working the dining room (my wife and her friends even got pictures) and Jason Kosmos was behind the bar, and even took time to explain the differences of several new gins he had recently brought in. Anyway, just my two cents…

  • Bobby Ewing

    Congrats on this list…which is never easy, I am sure. There are always surprises at the “high” end, especially. What strikes me are the number of places owned/managed by good-hearted, hard working people who have opened restaurants that contain a lot of themselves–from Mesa to Wild Salsa to Il Cane Rosso to Company Cafe and others. The personal investment is obvious and appreciated.

  • Bill

    Really think that Meso Maya should have made the list.

  • Tinkerbell

    What about Komali? They opened late last winter/spring. No love for them?