A certain order of Parker House rolls with Parmesan Mornay sauce get a lot of love in Patricia Sharpe’s account of the Best New Restaurants 2020, according to Texas Monthly, which hit online today. And we are speaking, of course, about Matt McCallister’s Homewood in Oak Lawn, No. 4 on her list of 10.
Love also goes to Justin Holt’s decidedly rich, lip-smacking paitan ramen and itty-bitty, fabulously finicky, binchotan charcoal-grilled izakaya chicken bits at Salaryman (No. 6), which Sharp hails as a latter-day izakaya. And—obviously—big ups go to Donny Sirisavath’s inimitable and now almost mythical boat noodle soup at Khao Noodle Shop (No. 8).
That’s it for Dallas (honorable mentions go to Ka-Tip Thai Street Food and the eclectic American bistro Beverley’s). Otherwise, the Fort Worth portion of her list consists of Gemelle (No. 9), which represents smoked-meat and adventurous game maverick chef Tim Love’s foray into the Italian food that he’s been developing at ephemeral, pop-up yearly events.
Last year’s Dallas winners Macellaio, Petra and the Beast, and Tulum were joined by runners-up The Charles, Billy Can Can, and Fachini.
Sharpe makes a point that chefs are specializing increasingly on a single focus for their brick-and-mortars and “restaurants are becoming more and more like bars,” which is to say casual. Looking at our Dallas lineup with the two-year parallax, it’s also patently clear that the past year has been more diverse, more democratic. We’ve got more exquisite counter-order street food than luxe pasta, as I noted in our own feature of the city’s best new restaurants.
Austin has elevated Mexican that elicited comments from Sharpe about time marked by “Before Comedor (BC) and After Comedor (AC).” Okay. Houston has the party tricks of a restaurant inspired by Ferran Adrià. We’ve got the boat noodles—and the Parmesan Mornay. And a dining scene that’s getting gutsier (both literally and figuratively) by the day.