One of Austin's favorite fine dining havens has snagged another winning title — this time on behalf of the entire state of Texas.
In a recent article, Business Insider ranked the best restaurants in each state and named Uchi the top spot in Texas. Although it's not your typical Texas fare, Uchi's elegant take on Japanese cuisine stands out for its innovation and freshness.
"No, the top restaurant in Texas is not a barbecue joint. It is Uchi, a contemporary Japanese restaurant that combines fresh seafood from around the world with local ingredients," says Business Insider.
In addition to looking at reviews and recommendations from experts and locals alike, Business Insider considered recent nationwide rankings. In 2014, Business Insider named Uchi the No. 20 best restaurant in the country, while the The Daily Meal recently placed it at No. 49 out of the top 101 U.S. restaurants.
The news site also took into account the number of James Beard nominations and awards held by chefs at each spot. In 2011, owner/chef Tyson Cole claimed the title of Best Chef: Southwest. Paul Qui, who worked at Uchi and Uchiko at the time, snagged the same award just one year later. Not to be outdone, former Uchi chef Philip Speer received a nomination last year for Outstanding Pastry Chef.
Not only has Uchi spawned some of the best chefs in Austin, its success has allowed the group to branch out in the form of the equally delicious Uchiko and the more relaxed St. Philip Pizza Parlor + Bakeshop here in town.
Uchi's reign as the top restaurant in Texas should be counted as a win for two other cities, too. The famed Austin eatery has already taken root in Houston and will open a location in Dallas later this year.