Grilled oysters at Caracol

Image: Kate LeSueur

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Texas Monthly recognized a bevy of Houston restaurants in its annual roundup of "Where to Eat Now 2015," regarded as the magazine's list of the top 10 restaurants of the previous year. Nor should it surprise you to see that food editor Patricia Sharpe selected Caracol, Coltivare, and Pax Americana as her three top Houston spots this year.

Along with Killen's Barbecue and the now-somewhat-defunct MF Sushi, these three restaurants were our own picks for "The 5 Very Best New Restaurants of 2014." In fact, the only surprise—to us—is that Killen's didn't make TM's cut as well. Then again, for a publication that boasts the world's only barbecue editor—the esteemed Daniel Vaughn—perhaps that's only because barbecue, for Texas Monthly, resides in a class of its own.

Caracol topped Sharpe's statewide list, which also featured picks in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Fort Worth, with Sharpe stating emphatically that the modern Mexican seafood restarurant was her "choice for restaurant of the year" thanks to its "creative indigenous cuisine." Pax Americana, though still young, was praised for as "a New American venue that already stands out from the crowd." Meanwhile, Sharpe noted of Coltivare's infamously langorous wait that "you would have thought the people in line were waiting to get into a Beyoncé concert."

Elsewhere in town, the brand-new BCN Taste & Tradition merited an honorable mention, with Sharpe praising its "new takes on Spanish classics." We couldn't agree more.

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