Revival Market

As far as food celebrities go in Houston, Top Chef: Just Desserts season two contestant Rebecca Masson is definitely one of our most famous. But her fame isn't just of the TV kind. People familiar with her desserts become devoted fans of everything, from her French-style macarons to her famous fluffer nutters. Her cupcakes at Revival Market, however, definitely take the cake in terms of most delicious cupcake bite ever. The infamous "Veruca Salt" — salted-caramel butter-cream topping with delicious devil's food cake — is decadent, moist, gooey and mouthwateringly good. Other quirky, fun cupcake flavors like Strawberry Quik, red hot red velvet, birthday cake, Irish car bomb and more are also must-haves, but it's the Veruca Salt cupcake that readily inspires rapturous adoration.

Da Marco
Photo by Houston Press staff

Gourmet once called chef Marco Wiles's flagship restaurant, Da Marco, "as close to Italy as you can get without leaving Texas," and this still holds true. Part of that is due to Wiles's insistence on flying in the best Italian ingredients on a weekly basis such as fresh Mediterranean seafood and items for its separate cheese menu — yes, Da Marco has its own cheese menu. And part of that is due to Wiles's deep knowledge of Italian cuisine made modern, seen in dishes such as branzino carpaccio with pine nuts and foie gras or simple, house-made ravioli with ricotta and shaved truffles.

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