It was a good day for Houston restaurants Tuesday.
Oxheart, the tiny restaurant with a huge national reputation, and Underbelly, the brash locavore restaurant that the owners call a culinary story of Houston, both found themselves on the semi-final list for Best New Restaurant for the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards.
Oxheart, helmed by husband and wife team chef Justin Yu and baker Karen Man, also was among food writer Alan Richman’s picks for the 12 outstanding restaurants of 2013 in GQ magazine, also announced this week.
The Beard House spread the love around among Houston restaurants. Anvil Bar & Refuge was listed among the Outstanding Bar Program contenders.
And the Best Chef: Southwest category found Hugo's Hugo Ortega and Underbelly's Chris Shepherd making the preliminary cut. Tyson Cole, who won Best Chef: Southwest in 2011, is up for Outstanding Chef for his work at Uchi Austin and Uchi Houston.
For Ortega, it’s another at bat for the Beard Awards are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals working in North America: last year he was Houston’s sole representative as a finalist for Best Chef: Southwest.
Levi Goode of Goode Company Restaurants was named a semi-finalist for Outstanding Restaurateur.
Find the complete list of semifinalists here.
The finalists will be announced on March 18 and the restaurant awards will be held in New York on May 6.