GQ critic Alan Richman has released his list of the 25 Best Restaurants in America, 2014, and East Austin's Qui lands the number one spot. Richman calls Qui "the most fascinating new restaurant in America" and calls chef Paul Qui "fearless" and "confident." On the food:
Most unusual and daring are dishes from the Philippines, where Qui was born. These include dinuguan, a pork-blood stew containing mushrooms, meat, and potato gnocchi. The pork blood didn't shock me, but the gnocchi did—do they really make pillowy pasta in the Philippines? His Ode to Michel Bras pays homage to the famous foraging French chef and is one of the best vegetable dishes of the year, a compilation of fresh and pickled products such as cucumbers, radishes, black-fennel fronds, wood sorrel, roasted garlic, and onion jam, all suspended in a cool turnip-dashi puree. (The shocking price: $9.)Other East Austin hotspot La Barbecue comes in at number 13 on the list. Richman says the new-school barbecue trailer holds up to the classics; check out his full take below.
The barbecue is some of the best ever, as good as barbecue gets, maybe better if you're talking brisket and beef sausage, the foundations of Texas barbecue.That sausage, much like a knoblewurst and probably German in origin, is smoky, coarse, chewy, spicy and meaty, so good I nearly skipped the brisket, I was so full. That would have been heartbreaking. The brisket is so exquisite you can ask for it lean, usually a mistake, and it will come out soft and savory, not even close to dry. Get a slice on the fatty side and you'll be asking yourself if this might be the greatest beef you ever ate.· GQ's 25 Best Restaurants in America, 2014 [GQ]
· All Awards Season Coverage [EATX]