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Theodore Rex Is One of the Country’s Best New Restaurants

Eater critic Bill Addison raves about chef Justin Yu’s casual eatery

Chef Justin Yu poses with his Paris-Brest dessert
Kirsten Gilliam
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

Bill Addison, Eater’s national critic, has been roaming the country in search of America’s finest restaurants, and Houston’s own Theodore Rex is among the best 38.

The critic’s annual list of the country’s best new restaurants dropped this morning, and Addison has high praise for the restaurant that replaced Oxheart. Even though he was skeptical that any restaurant could make lightning strike twice in the space at 1302 Nance, Addison was won over by the restaurant’s more casual, always seasonal approach.

Check out what Addison had to say about Theodore Rex below:

Oxheart’s tasting menu format is gone, but wonderfully the more casual T. Rex — located in the same snug, quirky Warehouse District space — showcases Yu cooking at the exact same level of exuberance and ingenuity. The signature starter is tomato toast, a layering of fresh and cooked flavors that flings umami thunderbolts with each bite. From there, look to the Texas seasons — to dishes like cauliflower braised in Bordelaise sauce and smeared with a roasted kale sauce in the mild winter, and pickled cantaloupe in cold melon broth with sorrel and peppers to cool summer’s swelter. Let sommelier Bridget Paliwoda nudge you toward the natural wines she favors; they fill out a meal’s timbre like one of Rachmaninoff’s wilder harmonies.

Theodore Rex marks Houston’s second consecutive appearance on Addison’s Best New Restaurants list. In 2017, Hugo Ortega’s restaurant Xochi made the list, with Addison raving about its Oaxacan cuisine. The only other Texas restaurants to make Addison’s list are Austin hotspot Suerte and San Antonio’s Carnitas Lonja.

Head to Theodore Rex to celebrate Yu’s latest accomplishment with a slab of tomato toast.

Theodore Rex

1302 Nance Street, , TX 77002 (832) 830-8592 Visit Website