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Chronicle Critic Alison Cook Unveils Top 100 Restaurants for 2014

Have you been to these restaurants? What did you think?

Triniti.
Triniti.

Houston Chronicle's Alison Cook revealed her highly anticipated annual Top 100 Restaurants last evening. Receiving top honors for a third year in a row, Justin Yu's Oxheart. The Pass, Underbelly, Indika and MF Sushi, were among the other top ten mainstays from last year. 

What's most surprising, the addition of four new restaurants to Cook's top ten, all which opened this year: Killen's Barbecue, Common Bond Cafe & Bakery, Caracol and Coltivare (also among Bon Appetite's 50 Best New Restaurants in America). Further debunking the myth that the coveted top ten include fine dining restaurant, the Montrose crepêrie stand, Melange Creperie, graduated from its 15th spot last year to the 10th slot, rounding out the top ten for 2014.

The list concludes with a mix of beloved and prestigious restaurants that landed a spot of Cook's list, like Hugo's,Triniti, Mala Sichuan Bistro and The Breakfast Klub. Houston Chronicle also published a break down of the rankings, noting the debut of eight restaurants that have been open for less than a year: Pax Americana, Fielding's Wood Grill, Andes Cafe, 60 Degrees Mastercrafted, Heights General Store at Harold's, Bosta Wine & Coffee and Xin Jiang BBQ. 

Cook explained the selections for this year's list aren't "necessarily Houston's fanciest restaurants, nor the most expensive, nor the ones most worthy of multiple stars in some fading fine-dining universe where napery and carpeting and luxury ingredients mattered intensely." This is evident in her picks, where mom-and-pop eateries share the same spotlight as the more expensive chef-driven restaurants. 

Cook goes on to say that she "revisited the great majority of the restaurants that made last year's list, with a heavy emphasis on 2013's top performers. Some restaurants dropped out of contention on the basis of those revisits, while others moved down in the ranks or were shouldered aside by worthy newcomers." Most noticeably Uchi which from No. 3 to No. 32. Also BlacksmithLucille'sDanton's Gulf Coast Seafood Kitchen and Crawfish & Noodles; favorites of Cook's last year but missed the mark this year. 

Today's Houston Chronicle will have a paperback edition of Cook's Top 100 in today's paper, available at newsstands for $2.50. Next month, the book will be available at H-E-B, Wal-Mart and Walgreens for $4.95.
—Jakeisha Wilmore

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