The New York Times on Monday published its list of the “50 best restaurants in America,” and two Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants are in the lineup.
The North Texas spots on the list are Sister, an “Italian-ish” restaurant on Lower Greenville that opened in 2021, and Smoke’N Ash B.B.Q., a Texas barbecue and Ethiopian fusion restaurant in Arlington that opened in 2018. Only one other Texas restaurant made the cut — Canje in Austin.
Sister was called out for its “Grandma’s house, but make it fashion” decor and dishes like its charred eggplant dip and clams vongole, which delivers a “funky depth” from the addition of white soy and hijiki. The Times dubbed it a “worthy successor” to The Grape, a neighborhood bistro that operated in the same space for 47 years before closing in 2019.
At Smoke’N Ash B.B.Q. in Arlington, Ethiopian flavors are melded with Texas barbecue to create what owners Fasicka and Patrick Hicks call Tex-Ethiopian. Initially the restaurant opened as a classic Texas barbecue joint, but a year later they added dishes from Fasicka’s native Ethiopia. People began to order the Ethiopian and barbecue dishes together, and that’s when the Hicks decided to create a separate Tex-Ethiopian menu with smoked meats cooked with berbere, and sambusas stuffed with smoked brisket.
While other national restaurant lists like the recently published one from Bon Appetit look for newly opened restaurants to feature, the Times list searches for restaurants “doing their best work years in.” No Dallas restaurants were on last year’s list.
CORRECTION, 3:30 p.m., Sept. 21, 2022: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that no North Texas restaurants were featured on The New York Times best restaurant list of 2021. No Dallas restaurants were featured, but Roots Southern Table in Farmers Branch was on the list.