Chef-driven diners exploded onto the scene in 2012, and since then two—Au Cheval and Little Goat Diner—have made this annual list. And now One Off Hospitality Group (Violet Hour, Big Star) has opened the most authentic-looking and endearing of them all.
Dennis Bernard (Publican) re-creates Tex-Mex specialties, serving dishes both heavy (thick-sliced smoked brisket in a jumbo flour tortilla) and not (bright citrus-marinated seafood seviche) to a mellow, tatted crowd. Wherever One Off partner Paul Kahan is involved, meaty dishes rule, and the chicken-fried chicken—two pieces of boneless bird jacketed in buttermilk breading and smothered in chorizo gravy, plus sweet peas and pearl onions—easily justifies cheating on Big Star’s tacos once in a while.
￼ORDER THIS: Uptown shakedown cocktail ($9), sikil p’aak (pumpkin seed dip) and crackers ($7), chicken- fried chicken ($15), Atlantic Beach pie ($6)