Texas Monthly's roundup of the top ten restaurants of 2014 includes two hot Austin newcomers: refined Southern Olamaie and hyper-local Texan cuisine at Odd Duck. Olamaie earned a spot on the list with its mix of tradition and playfulness:
But more often they kick tradition to the side of the road and go on a creative binge, as with the smoked wahoo, which they turn into a dynamite dip with the aid of Alabama's luscious mayo-based white barbecue sauce; it comes gilded with an elegant smoky eggplant puree, further jazzed with a crazy watermelon-radish-and-celery-leaf chowchow. At Olamaie what's old is new, and how.
Odd Duck, meanwhile, is fine dining in a "comfort food guise":
It's tempting to make a meal of small plates at the Duck, but for a full-table treat, order the massive grilled "Porkerhouse Chop." Tender as a Sunday ham in its savory puddle of mustard-seed sauce, the monster will be delivered to your party standing regally on edge. Expect heads to turn, including yours.
French food and wine mecca LaV also earns an honorable mention. Other honorees include Knife in Dallas, Caracol in Houston, and Starfish in San Antonio, with the DFW area cleaning up with four spots on the list and the most honorable mentions as well.