Austin Monthly's food critic Joléne M. Bouchon shared her picks for Austin’s best new restaurants that opened in the past year. This includes nationally recognized Emmer & Rye and the locally loved Thai trailer Dee Dee. The annual list highlights restaurants opened within the past year, judged on taste, technique, atmosphere, service, value, and general contribution to the city’s dining scene. While text for the piece isn’t available yet, the publication shared the unranked list of nine places, saturated with Asian and Italian spots:
- Central Standard
- Dee Dee
- Emmer & Rye
- Kyōten Sushiko
- L’Oca d’Oro
- Wu Chow
Texas Monthly’s Pat Sharp added to the city’s praise for the dishes at L’Oca d’Oro, Mueller’s contemporary Italian summer addition, though warned of some hearty helpings best for sharing and a noisy dining room. After wisely pointing out to "just ignore the apostrophes and say ‘Loca Doro,’" Sharp shared her edible discoveries:
I hit the jackpot with a fantastic roasted butternut salad: the seductive curls of thin-sliced, subtly smoky squash had been drizzled with a squash-and-orange-juice reduction and sided by meaty roasted pecans. In some mysterious alchemy, the flavors conjured prosciutto and melon.
For dessert, the olive oil cake won her over, calling it "beautifully moist" with "silky lemon curd and chunky, salty pecan brittle." She declared: "I couldn’t think of a single thing I would change." As for the noise dinner room? She’s sticking to dining at the bar.
Chronicle’s Brandon Watson dished on June’s All Day, which opened quietly on South Congress Avenue in late July. Billed as a neighborhood joint, Watson found plenty to cheer about including cocktails, matzo ball caldo, and couscous that "is the kind of thing you want to steal for your home cooking."
However, based on some dishes that didn’t reach their promise and what he called the "art-directed" dining experience, Watson doesn’t see June’s becoming a go-to residential spot:
All that is to say I liked the restaurant, would meet someone for happy hour and have a grand time, would even recommend it to out-of-town guests. But even if I lived nearby, I'm not sure if I would make it a neighborhood haunt.
Overall, Stude’s dishes are the right mix of approachable and elevated: familiar foods, well executed with enough creativity to come across as fresh but never fussy or precious.
While there were some disappointments (chiefly the charred squid dish), complaints were kept at a minimal. Everything else, from the service, the decor, and menus, both food and cocktails, "are worth returning for."
Statesman chimed in with its round-up of the 20 best places to drink organized by type by experience (e.g. beer, wine, cocktails, patio, music). The curated beer list kicked off with The Draught House Pub & Brewery, a longtime Central Austin stand-by and covers as far north as Pflugerville where it singled out The Growler Bar. Wanting wine? The Stateman’s picks included soon-to-expand Aviary Wine & Kitchen on South Lamar Boulevard. King Bee Lounge on East 12th Street earned accolades for it’s "simple yet tasty cocktails." Kitty Cohen’s on Webberville Road was spotlighted for patio, "kitschy-cute beach house" vibe and $7 to $10 cocktails and $7 rosé. And the feature draws attention to The Townsend’s live music program in addition to its cocktails.
THE BLOGS — Fed Man Walking tried the B9 burger at Boiler Nine Bar + Grill, The Austinot stopped by South Austin’s G’s Dynamite Deli, Dine With Shayda got a sugar high at Sugarfina, and Sushi in the ATX checked out Café Blue’s newly opened second location.
- Introducing "Austin Monthly's" Best New Restaurants of 2016 [Austin Monthly]
- Review: Golden Age [Texas Monthly]
- Review: June's All Day [Chronicle]
- Restaurant Review: Boiler Nine Bar + Grill [Austin Monthly]
- Pick Your Poison: 20 of Austin’s Best Places to Grab a Drink [Statesman]