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Pax Americana

Though no longer brand-spanking-new, Houston's recent crop of New American restaurants continues to impress with fresh and innovative food that captivates us, meal after meal.

Pax Americana

Halfway through a recent meal at chef Adam Dorris’s inviting Montrose bistro, a friend remarked in awe: “I had no idea food could be this exciting.” Indeed, it fascinates, with bottarga, buckwheat and blackberry vinegar salads and bowls of Chinese nine-spiced brisket prompting the kinds of conversations that typically might be reserved for the restaurant’s ever-rotating display of modern masterpieces by the likes of Warhol.

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Crystal dumplings at Oxheart

Oxheart

Houston’s most recent James Beard Award winner shuns pretension (chef-owner Justin Yu's medal is draped around a giant lucky cat) in favor of fun, five-course dinners that encourage interaction between eaters and makers.

Benjy's

The original benjy’s in Rice Village was a pioneer for the New American scene when it opened 21 years ago, and it’s only refined those farm-to-fork offerings in the years since.

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Bistro Menil

Bistro Menil

While not wholly the equal of the Menil Collection’s artwork next door, chef Greg Martin’s elevated museum café fare still merits favorable comparisons.

The Pass & Provisions

No matter the New American experience you’re seeking—secret supper–style dining in chic, monochromatic surrounds, or obscure sour ales and pizzas topped with house-made charcuterie, enjoyed while bellied up to a bustling bar—you’ll find it here.

Monarch Bistro

A brunch on the plush patio overlooking Hermann Park—of, say, orange-and-cinnamon buttered-brioche French toast, or short-rib-and-chorizo chili with grits and eggs—will have you reconsidering hotel restaurant dining.

Triniti

The dining room’s slick Scandinavian design provides a striking contrast against chef Ryan Hildebrand’s boisterous dishes, bursting with flavor and color. The must-order? The famous Foie Gras Breakfast, for dinner.

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