Almost half of Texas Monthly’s annual ten best new restaurants list, released today, are Austin restaurants. There is neighborhood cafe Launderette, northern Italian Juniper, small plates Vox Table, and locally-obsessed Emmer & Rye. Executive editor and food writer Patricia Sharpe described Launderette:
"Modern Mediterranean" is a good label for 41-year-old chef-owner Rene Ortiz’s menu, with over-the-top flavors mellowed by creamy cheeses and yogurts. His toasts are a legend in their own time: think crusty bread slathered with French feta, capers, and golden raisins.
She then said of Juniper’s Italian theme:
Chef-partner Nicholas Yanes and chef Kyle Barker take classic Italian notions and run with them. They turn ricotta into a kind of smoked-cheese porridge and pair it with bacon-y lamb and roasted heirloom carrots.
Both Vox Table and Emmer & Rye also made the list for the former’s techniques, as seen with the creation of squid-ink cracklings that taste just like pork, but still "light as a cloud and midnight-black," and the latter’s pure hearted approach to absolute freshness. Bullfight, Fukumoto, Italic, and Monger's were all honorable mentions.