11 Wine Stars in the Lone Star State

Texas does wine in a big way at these Restaurant Award–winning dining darlings
11 Wine Stars in the Lone Star State
Terri Glanger Pappas Bros., with Restaurant Award winners in Dallas (pictured) and Houston, knows how to pair beef and wine.
Feb 28, 2019

Updated: Feb. 28, 2019

Texas offers a bounty of excellent dining options, from a well-known steak house in a recently opened Houston hotel to a self-serve wine spot in Lubbock to a cozy Italian gem in Austin. These 11 Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners from around the state go well beyond the grill and griddle—though there's plenty here for steak lovers, too—with worldly wine lists to satisfy a full slate of tastes.

For more options to please your palate around the world, see our more than 3,500 Restaurant Award–winning restaurants, including our 91 Grand Award recipients worldwide that hold our highest honor.

Do you have a favorite you’d like to see on this list? Send your recommendations to restaurantawards@mshanken.com. We want to hear from you!


Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

Three locations in Dallas, Texas, and Houston, Texas
Telephone Dallas: (214) 366-2000; Houston: (713) 780-7352; Downtown Houston: (713) 658-1995
Website www.pappasbros.com
Open Dinner, Monday to Saturday
Grand Award (Houston and Dallas), Best of Award of Excellence (Downtown Houston)

Jack Thompson
The dining room at Pappas Bros. offers Texas-style elegance.

With two Grand Award–winning wine lists clocking in at more than 4,100 selections, Texas chain Pappas Bros. Steakhouse proves that everything is indeed bigger in Texas. The Houston location’s list, managed by wine director Steven McDonald, earned its first Grand Award in 2010, while the Dallas outpost’s list, run by wine director Barbara Werley, earned the accolade the following year. Both programs offer heavy hitters from California, Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhône, Piedmont, Australia, Spain, Tuscany, Germany and Austria to pair with the chain’s signature steaks, which are dry-aged in-house for at least 28 days to develop a slightly nutty flavor while remaining juicy and tender. The newest addition to the family, the downtown Houston location earned its first Best of Award of Excellence in 2016. Each Pappas Bros. location hosts more than a dozen wine tastings and wine dinners a year, each focused on a particular wine style, wine region or winery.


Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood

219 E. Houston St., San Antonio, Texas
Telephone (210) 472-2600
Website www.bohanans.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Jason Risner
Bohanan’s Prime Steaks & Seafood pairs a classic wine list with a variety of grilled meats.

In downtown San Antonio, Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood sits just a block from the River Walk. Located in a historic storefront dating back to the 1800s, the restaurant adds to its Old World charm with preserved pinewood floors, antique lighting and a selection of cigars. Chef and owner Mark Bohanan’s menu features classic steak-house fare, while the wine list, curated by wine director Jenny Rabb, highlights wines from California, France and Italy. With 630 labels, the program has earned a Best of Award of Excellence every year since 2006.


Caracol

2200 Post Oak Blvd., Houston, Texas
Telephone (713) 622-9996
Website www.caracol.net
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Shannon O'Hara
The menu at Caracol includes wood-roasted Gulf oysters with chipotle butter.

In uptown Houston, just a short drive from NRG Stadium, you’ll find Best of Award of Excellence winner Caracol. There, restaurateur Tracy Vaught and chef Hugo Ortega provide a culinary tour of coastal Mexico, showcasing seafood from the Pacific, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico alongside chicken chile relleno, wood-roasted ribs and a cheeseburger with chorizo, avocado and black beans. Wine director Sean Beck’s 390-selection list provides plenty in the way of fish-friendly crisp whites and light-bodied reds, with strengths in California, France, Italy and Germany. Those who prefer spirits can choose from a large selection of tequilas and mezcals. Vaught and Oretga are also the team behind Best of Award of Excellence winner Backstreet Cafe and Award of Excellence winners Hugo's and Xochi, all located in Houston.


The Funky Door Bistro & Wine Room

6801 Milwaukee Ave., Lubbock, Texas
Telephone (806) 687-0505
Website www.thefunkydoor.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

The Funky Door Bistro & Wine Room
Enjoy extensive by-the-glass options at the Funky Door Bistro & Wine Room.

Combining an eclectic menu with a Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list, the Funky Door Bistro & Wine Room is a culinary go-to spot with a twist: 1,295 wine selections, 40 of which are available to guests for self-serve pours out of Enomatic wine dispensers in 1.5-, 3- and 6-ounce servings. Lovers of Californian, French and Italian styles will particularly appreciate wine director Carrie Britton’s list, while the menu from chefs Wade Price and Betsy Wilson offers something for everyone, from fondue to flatbreads to steaks.


Grace

777 Main St., Fort Worth, Texas
Telephone (817) 877-3388
Website www.gracefortworth.com
Open Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

After having your fill of the shops, galleries, gardens and entertainment options in downtown Fort Worth’s Sundance Square district, treat yourself to an evening at Grace. This elegant dinner destination offers a 900-selection, Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list particularly strong in choices from California, France and Italy. When it comes to cuisine, choose between chef Blaine Staniford’s seven-course tasting menu, with optional wine pairings, and à la carte dishes like crispy fried oysters, lamb belly dumplings and bacon-wrapped filet of beef stuffed with cheddar and mushrooms.


Jeffrey’s

1204 W. Lynn St., Austin, Texas
Telephone (512) 477-5584
Website www.jeffreysofaustin.com
Open Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Matt Harrington
Jeffrey’s blends the best of a steak house and a neighborhood French bistro.

Jeffrey’s has been a staple of Austin’s historic Clarksville neighborhood for decades. V.P. of operations June Rodil and assistant wine director Patrick Olds work together to manage the Best of Award of Excellence–winning list, which is strongest in California, France (especially Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne), and Italy, with more than two dozen large-format bottles. The 650 selections complement chef Mark McCain’s French-American cuisine. McCain’s lively menu includes dishes such as hamachi carpaccio, shellfish risotto and duck breast au poivre, along with a section devoted to aged beef cuts. Along with Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman, Rodil also owns Award of Excellence winner June's All Day in Austin.


The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro

2406 N. Main St., Fort Worth, Texas
Telephone (817) 740-8810
Website www.thelonesomedoveforthworth.com
Open Lunch and dinner, Monday to Saturday
Best of Award of Excellence

The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro
The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro’s Fort Worth location offers a peek at the 2,000-bottle inventory.

Fort Worth’s historic Stockyards District is home to the Best of Award of Excellence–winning flagship location of the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, which has two other Restaurant Award winners in Austin and Knoxville, Tenn. At its original outpost, the concept from chef Tim Love focuses on innovative American steak-house cuisine and New World wines. Wine director David Boltz’s list offers an impressive array of California labels, with benchmark producers like Caymus and Far Niente. Pair your selection with distinct specialties like rabbit-rattlesnake sausage and antelope tacos.


Mastro’s Steakhouse at the Post Oak Hotel

1650 West Loop S., Houston, Texas
Telephone (713) 993-2500
Website www.mastrosrestaurants.com/locations/tx/houston
Open Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Mastro’s Steakhouse at the Post Oak Hotel
The largest wine list of all Mastro’s Steakhouse locations is inside the recently opened Post Oak Hotel.

Mastro's Steakhouse has 10 Restaurant Award–winning locations across the country. The chain is also part of Tilman Fertitta's Landry’s restaurant group, which includes more than 200 Restaurant Award winners between concepts such as the Oceanaire Seafood Room, Morton's, The Steakhouse and Strip House. So it’s no surprise that Mastro’s delivers serious wine programs, especially at the Post Oak Hotel (also owned by Fertitta). The Best of Award of Excellence winner burst onto the Houston market in March 2018 with an ambitious wine list of 3,100 labels managed by wine director Shaun Prevatt. France is the list’s biggest strength, with standouts in Burgundy and Bordeaux, but the selections also shine in California and Italy (particularly Piedmont and Tuscany). Chef Michael Colbert complements the classically focused wine collection with the brand’s signature steak-house menu.


Café Central

109 N. Oregon St., El Paso, Texas
Telephone (915) 545-2233
Website www.cafecentral.com
Open Lunch and dinner, Monday to Saturday
Award of Excellence

Café Central
At Café Central, you'll find American fare and the largest Restaurant Award–winning wine list in El Paso.

Café Central opened in 1918 in Juarez, Mexico, moved closer to the border following Prohibition, and eventually settled in downtown El Paso. Today, the Award of Excellence winner, with its 1,210-selection wine list and extensive art collection, makes for a stylish dining spot for enophiles. Overseen by sommelier Phillip Bocutto, the moderately priced list focuses on California and France. In the kitchen, chef Aldo Mora designs dishes such as octopus carpaccio, maple-leaf duck breast and tomahawk pork chop with pineapple mole.


Olive & June

3411 Glenview Ave., Austin, Texas
Telephone (512) 467-9898
Website www.oliveandjune-austin.com
Open Dinner, daily
Award of Excellence

You'll find an Award of Excellence–winning wine list and comforting Italian cuisine at Olive & June.

For Italian wine and dining in Old West Austin, head to Olive & June. Shaded by a 200-year-old oak tree, the three-level restaurant provides both indoor and outdoor dining spaces, making for a magical dinner setting. On chef Brian Moses' menu, choose from a variety of handmade pastas, sharable plates like arancini and pork meatballs, and hearty meat dishes such as lamb confit and New York strip. When it comes to the beverage menu, wine director Joseph Rendon’s 100-selection, moderately priced list shows strength in Italian bottles. A variety of amari and grappa is also available.


Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille

700 Baybrook Mall Drive, Friendswood, Texas
Telephone (281) 286-8800
Website www.perrysrestaurants.com
Open Lunch, Friday; dinner, daily
Award of Excellence

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille serves an elegant take on chateaubriand with three sauces.

With 14 Award of Excellence–winning locations in Alabama, Colorado, Illinois and Texas, Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille means business when it comes to pairing steak with wine. Prime beef offerings are a fixture of the menu, as are classics such as bacon-wrapped scallops, seared snapper and steamed lobster tail. The flagship location moved from Clear Lake to Friendswood, which lies between Houston and Galveston, in 2016, and has earned an Award of Excellence each year since 2008. All 14 locations’ lists are managed by wine director Susi Zivanovic and offer 215 selections, with picks from California and around the world.


Keep up with the latest restaurant news from our award winners: Subscribe to our free Private Guide to Dining newsletter, and follow us on Twitter at @WSRestoAwards and Instagram at @WSRestaurantAwards.

Dining Out Restaurant Awards Restaurants

You Might Also Like

Restaurant Spotlight: Restaurant Halling-Stuene

Restaurant Spotlight: Restaurant Halling-Stuene

Authentic Norwegian cuisine and well-selected wines

May 9, 2019
11 Wine-Centric Canadian Restaurants

11 Wine-Centric Canadian Restaurants

Old World classics meet exciting local labels on these standout wine lists

Apr 25, 2019
Restaurant Spotlight: Acre

Restaurant Spotlight: Acre

An Alabama gem that celebrates the community it serves

Apr 25, 2019
Restaurant Spotlight: The Restaurant at Cavas Wine Lodge

Restaurant Spotlight: The Restaurant at Cavas Wine Lodge

Accessible luxury in a world-renowned wine region

Apr 11, 2019
Restaurant Spotlight: Third Coast

Restaurant Spotlight: Third Coast

Modern Houston dining with a heartwarming mission

Mar 28, 2019
10 Spectacular Wine Restaurants in Philadelphia

10 Spectacular Wine Restaurants in Philadelphia

Wine-loving dining destinations in the City of Brotherly Love

Mar 14, 2019
WineRatings+

WineRatings+

Xvalues

Xvalues

Restaurant Search

Restaurant Search