A fine dining restaurant that cross-pollinates Asian and Texan influences and distils them onto plates like taco of sea eel, scrambled eggs, trout roe and kale has been named the best new American restaurant of 2014 by GQ magazine.
In the March issue of GQ magazine, influential food writer Alan Richman pronounced Austin’s Restaurant Qui one of the best new 25 restaurants of 2014, calling chef Paul Qui (pictured above) the “most fearless chef in America,” as well as the most confident.
“Qui’s talent is prodigious, and his food is filled with both subtle shadings and sheer sensationalism,” Richman writes, pointing to inventive and bold flavour pairings like Filipino dinuguan, a pork-blood stew with mushrooms and meat, with potato gnocchi.
In homage to Texas, locally raised Wagyu rib-eye and dry-aged cote de boeuf are also on the menu, while beef tartare is spiced with kimchi.
Rounding out the top three spots are Trois Mec in Los Angeles, described as a “little piece of Paris in an LA strip mall,” and a Japanese seafood restaurant in Portland, Oregon called Roe.
Here are the top 12 of 25 outstanding restaurants, according to Richman:
1. Qui (Austin, TX) “Tasty Texan and uplifted Asian cooking on the other side of Austin”
2. Trois Mec (Los Angeles, CA) “A little piece of Paris in an L.A. strip mall”
3. Roe (Portland, OR) “A mostly seafood Japanese gem, hiding in plain sight behind another mostly seafood spot”
4. Carbone (New York, NY) “The Little Italy–style joint you dreamed of discovering, right down to the veal parm”
5. King + Duke (Atlanta, GA) “Where there’s smoke, there’s grilling, as all-American as a slab of swordfish”
6. Husk (Nashville, TN) “Pork, oysters, grits, bourbon – all the best of southern cooking, elevated to a new level”
7. Gunshow (Atlanta, GA) “They come bearing food, one cook after another – nobody can resist so much charm”
8. Orsa & Winston (Los Angeles, CA) “Everything imaginable – plus Uruguayan rice”
9. Dover (Brooklyn, NY) “The re-invigoration of fine dining for a new kind of customer”
10. Nico Osteria (Chicago, IL) “Sometimes all you want is Italian food, exactly what you love”
11. Sir and Star at The Olema (Olema, CA) “A coastal bounty of old-fashioned taste”
12. Bar Sajor (Seattle, WA) “Laid-back but sophisticated – a damn good place for a romantic night”