Getting a reservation at Dai Due is already a difficult task, but it’s about to become Herculean. The Austin hotspot was just named one of the 10 Best New Restaurants in America by Bon Appetit.
Dai Due cracks an elite list that’s dominated by California restaurants. Four of food critic Andrew Knowlton‘s Top 10 come from the Golden State. Dai Due’s commitment to fresh ingredients (it’s partly a butcher shop) and chef Jesse Griffiths‘ excellence with chicken in particular gets singled out by Bon Appetit.
The Austin restaurant is ranked No. 6 in the country overall, ahead of such acclaimed standouts as San Francisco’s Rintaro and Seattle’s Manolin. Dai Due also fits into Knowlton’s preference for restaurants that other chefs love.
“I’m looking for restaurants that have somebody behind it that are passionate and not kind of ‘concept-y.’ I like quirky restaurants. I like small independent ones,” Knowlton said in a CBS This Morning appearance promoting the release of the new list.
In a city where being weird is celebrated on T-shirts, Griffiths’ hunter-gatherer ways and attention to detail still set him apart. Dai Due started as a rotating supper club dinner series before finally opening in a brick-and-mortar spot in 2014.
From those humble beginnings to one of the Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America . . . that’s quite a journey.
Three other Texas restaurants made Bon Appetit‘s Top 50 — Austin’s Gardner and Dallas’ Luscher’s Red Hots and Small Brewpub — but could not survive the cut to Knowlton’s Hot 10. It’s hard to be one of the ultimate chosen ones.