December D Magazine: Best New Restaurants 2012

From Worst to Almost First: When Francesco Farris opened Zio Cecio, a Sardinian-Italian restaurant, it was a mess. Now it’s a fine tuned, sophisticated restaurant with lovely food and service.

What a banner year for new, creative restaurant concepts in North Texas. Octopus emerged as the “it” dish from the sea. Fried chicken replaced gourmet burgers, and fancy hot dogs pushed gringo tacos back to the street. Champagne and locally brewed craft beer now quench our thirst. As we went to press, fine dining was sneaking back into the scene. Three high-profile chefs—Matt McCallister, Stephan Pyles, John Tesar—were still  working on their  hyper-focused restaurants. In the meantime, grab a shot of Fernet Branca and open wide for a marrow luge.

The top ten are Oak, Off-Site Kitchen, Boulevardier, Driftwood, Mr. Mesero, Urban Rio, Sissy’s Southern Kitchen, Woodshed, Mi Dia, and the long shot, Zio Cecio. I left some mighty fine restaurants on the cutting room floor. It was a great year. Looking forward to an even better 2013.  Here’s the story. Read it and eat.