As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, bloggers, and readers. This time, people share their favorite newcomers of 2012. Readers, please add your thoughts to the comments.
More of our friends named Uchi as Houston's top newcomer than any other restaurant [Gary R Wise]
Teresa Byrne-Dodge, My Table magazine publisher: There's no getting around the importance of The Pass & Provisions. It's brilliant and fun and delicious, a true milestone in Houston's culinary growth. I also really enjoyed Etoile, the new French spot in Uptown Park, as well as the usual suspects: Oxheart, Underbelly, Uchi, L'Olivier, Artisans and Triniti (which I think actually opened last December).
Amber Ambrose, former Eater Houston editor, freelance food writer: Uchi, The Pass & Provisions
Katherine Whaley, KHOU Anchor and reporter: Uchi. 1252 Tapas Galleria location -- you win me over when there's a great happy hour on an outdoor patio that's not situated in a parking lot. Katsuya is a fun, "scene-y" addition to Houston's restaurant landscape, but I'd still choose Kata Robata down the road any day for sushi. Honorable mention goes to Alma. It's great to see such culinary talent branching out into the Energy Corridor.
Tyler Horne, Urban Harvest Market Manager: Uchi
Joshua Justice, Eating Our Words contributor: Obvious list makers choices aside: Cuchara, Hay Merchant
Albert Nurick, H-Town Chow Down: Oxheart, Uchi, Corkscrew BBQ, Underbelly, The Pass & Provisions
Sarah Tressler, freelance writer and writing instructor: Uchi, Uchi, Uchi
Rachel Brill, Eater Houston contributor: Uchi, Provisions, Underbelly
Danny Vara, Southbound Food co-host: Oxheart, The Pass & Provisions, Uchi, Underbelly
Catherine Martin, Arbitrary Criticism: For me all new food trucks are the top newcomers. I didn't really get on the bandwagon until recently, but man am I into them. The Waffle Bus for one opened this year and I love their fryders, so delicious!
Lauren Barrash, founder and president of The Wave: Triniti, Mia's Table
Zerin Dube, Speed:Sport:Life editor: Underbelly, Oxheart
Phaedra Cook, My Table magazine contributor: The Pass (the second half of The Pass & Provisions) utterly blew my mind. People seem to really appreciate Uchi and the Eatsie Boys café is even better than I expected (and that's saying a lot). I love the space and the food and beverage offerings at Mongoose vs Cobra as well... although my last cocktails there left something to be desired. I'm super-comfortable and happy at Underbelly. It just feels like home to me.
Steph Stradley, Texans blogger: Uchi, Underbelly, Need to go out more.
Misha Govshteyn, food enthusiast: Oxheart, The Pass & Provisions
Eric Sandler, Eater Houston editor: Other than the big four (Oxheart, Underbelly, Uchi and The Pass & Provisions), I'm intrigued by Etoile and MF Sushi, because both restaurants feature chefs who moved to Houston to take advantage of our robust economy. Hopefully, the trend continues, and we continue to see an influx of talent.