When I reviewed my dining experiences for the past year, turns out several of them happened in the same place: Josh Ozersky's big carnivore's celebration, Meatopia, held at the Pearl in San Antonio the first weekend in November. Here are all my picks, in no particular order.
1) Rabbit Broth from Qui's Rabbit 7 Ways This intense, restorative elixir was the highlight of the Qui media opening party.
2) Green Chile pork at Micheladas Cafe y Cantina With tasty, toothsome Mexican dishes like this, the location has to be the reason this place isn't busier.
3) Habanero & Coriander Pickles at Searsucker The salty and subtle heat of these addictive bites kept me nibbling long after my cardiologist would have said, "Stop."
4) Brioche Toasts with Bone Marrow Custard from Say LaV at La Dolce Vita The ladies from LaV put out memorable bites at events all year to introduce their upcoming restaurant to Austin diners. I'm sold; now, when do they open?
5) Lobster & Peach salad at Jeffrey's This marvelous midsummer delight was the highlight of my first meal at the newly refurbished Jeffrey's.
6) Lobster Bisque at Arro A luxurious soup with chunks of sweet lobster meat was a big part of what made my first meal a bull's-eye at this new French bistro.
7) Meatopia, pt. 1 – Sizzling Sisig by Paul Qui This ultra-tangy pulled pork dish accented with vinegar and rice wine was a salute to Qui's Filipino heritage.
8) Meatopia, pt. 2 – Charcoal-grilled chicken with pixie chili paste by Rene Ortiz If the chicken at Ortiz's newest restaurants is going to be this good, he'll do fine.
9) Meatopia, pt. 3 – Fire-roasted whole lamb in the Riojan style by Jordan Mackey of Las Ramblas in San Antonio Perfect bites of lamb with an array of Spanish sauces and condiments for customizing – a plate that made the trip worthwhile.
10) Meatopia, pt. 4 – Sausage-stuffed Diamond H Quail by Jesse Perez of Arcade Midtown Kitchen in San Antonio Well-seasoned and perfectly cooked, these little birds could have been the best quail dish I've ever tasted.
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