Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Esquire magazine names Austin restaurant in list of best new restaurants in America

Matthew Odam
Austin 360
The live fire cooking at Hestia in downtown Austin drew the attention of Esquire magazine.

Austin live fire restaurant Hestia suffered from some bad timing. The fine dining restaurant had been open only about three months when the coronavirus pandemic disrupted restaurant life in America. 

I had just given the restaurant from chefs Kevin Fink and Tavel Brisol-Joseph a glowing review, calling it the city's most ambitious restaurant and granting it a 9/10 rating, when restaurants in Texas were forced to close. In fact, my February 27, 2020, review of the restaurant was the last formal review I've written for the American-Statesman. (Those will return in the new year.)

So, despite having opened in 2019, it makes some sense that the restaurant would still be landing on best new restaurant lists. (It didn't make my recent list of best new restaurants, as my list was confined to restaurants that opened after the pandemic began, but it would have if the parameters had been broader.)

Esquire magazine this week announced its 40 best new restaurants in the country, and Hestia was the lone representative. The magazine's editors, which commandeered this year's list after the April 2021 departure of the magazine's food and drink's editor, Jeff Gordinier, praised the restaurant for its subtle and intense use of fire, the power of which touches everything from fish to dessert. 

The list also includes Houston restaurants March and Degust and chef Tiffany Derry's Roots Southern Table in Dallas. Derry is the chef behind Roots Chicken Shak inside H-E-B Mueller. 

RELATED

Hestia, new live fire restaurant from Emmer & Rye, is Austin's most ambitious restaurant

The 20 Best New Restaurants in Central Texas to open since the pandemic began