Austin Restaurants Make Bon Appétit's Top 50
Dai Due and Gardner impress national critics
By Virginia B. Wood,
12:15PM, Wed. Aug. 5, 2015
Bon Appétit restaurant critics Andrew Knowlton and Julia Kramer reveal the names of the Hot 10 New Restaurants around the country every year, choosing the winners from a list of 50 nominees. Once again this year, Bon Appétit recognized Austin restaurants on the preliminary list.
Restaurant editor Knowlton and associate restaurant editor Kramer took on the task of identifying the places where "the truly original, innovative, and unexpected cooking is taking place right now," according to the announcement of the Top 50 list. The Hot 10 list will be announced on August 18.
Last year, Knowlton shocked many readers by choosing an Austin Thai food trailer as one of the Hot 10 Restaurants – the only mobile eatery to receive such a designation. Just like Austin critics, Knowlton was a big fan of chef Thai Changthong's fiery, traditional renditions of Thai street food at Thai-Kun.
Knowlton and Kramer obviously invested some time eating in Austin again this year, because both Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club (2406 Manor Rd) and Gardner (1914 E. Sixth) made their Top 50 list. Congratulations to Dai Due's Jesse Griffiths as well as Gardner's Andrew Wiseheart and Ben Edgerton for the well-deserved accolades that keep Austin restaurants in the national conversation.
Knowlton and Kramer were suitably impressed with the Scandinavian influence at Gardner, remarking on the "stunningly designed interior" and noting that "each dish was a practical study of an ingredient." They suggested that readers enjoy drinks and inspired appetizers on the attractive patio during happy hour.
At meat-centric Dai Due, the critics enjoyed watching the butchers "break down massive primal cuts of meat" in the butcher shop while they ate breakfast and commented on the locavore focus of the operation, recommending readers try the biscuits with venison gravy, a grilled beef rib with sauerkraut and potato dumplings, or the half roast chicken.