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Too New to Review, Yet Deemed Worth Trying

Some restaurants that opened near our press date deserve mention, even if we couldn’t fully evaluate them for the Best New Restaurants list. Here are a sample:

At Square Root chef Phillip Lopez is taking the modernist cuisine he cooks at his Warehouse District spot Root to another level. There are 16 seats at a long bar around an open kitchen, and depending on when you dine you’re either getting eight to nine or 12 to 15 small courses, with wine and cocktail pairings available. It is innovative and ambitious cuisine, and we’re betting locals will take to it.

Michael Brewer’s casual restaurant The Sammich is another innovator that takes the humble sandwich as a launchpad for seriously creative and delicious food. Start with french fries cooked in duck fat or tuna dip made with house-smoked fish, and then move on to sandwiches filled with tempura-fried lobster knuckles and spicy mango cream, or duck confit with brie and foie gras mayonnaise.

Carrollton Market opened this year in the space that housed Riverbend standout One, and chef Jason Goodenough’s menu is already gaining fans. The food is inspired by home-style Southern cooking but dishes are pulled off with the aplomb you’d expect from a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. To wit: New Orleans-style cassoulet replaces white beans with red, and features local smoked sausage as well as duck confit and pork belly.

New Orleans native Cara Benson’s breakfast and bakery spot Toast replaced Laurel Bakery earlier this year, giving the chef-owner a second restaurant in addition to Tartine. The menu at the breakfast-lunch spot features baked goods, crêpes and sandwiches, but the highlight may be the abelskivers, a Danish dish that’s a cross between a pancake and a doughnut, and which at Toast come with things like lemon curd, maple syrup or chocolate sauce. They are light, fluffy and reason enough to visit the place.

– R.P.

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by Carrollton Market

R.P.