Food & Drink

The Renaissance Hotel's new resto

When you're starting fresh, it's best to overhaul everything -- otherwise NBA announcers would have to say things like "Your 2011 Miami Heat! Oh, and Yakhouba Diawara". Adding meat & heat to the Renaissance's $3 million renovation: Asador, open to the public Feb 28th.

As cavernous as the ballroom in The Shining, Asador's an open-kitchen, Brazilian walnut-floored, Latin-kissed bistro and tequileria, showcasing 100+ varieties in a floor-to-ceiling display, quaff-able at the concrete-topped bar or in the maple-walled "Library Lounge" (La Bibliotequila?). Accomplished with liberal use of deliciously primitive open-mesquite flames, the "farm-to-fire" menu starts with snacks like sticks of Tamarind Quail and Beef Fat French Fries before ramping up with two categories of mains: Market, featuring stuff like Winter Pear Salad (w/ Waco spicy pecans, local bleu cheese) and the Lamb Asador (roasted mutton sandwich on a grilled rustic roll); Large Plates include two chops, the Free Range Veal and the Niman Ranch Pork, with red pepper chutney and white corn grits -- whose quicker cooking time might mean Ralph Macchio is a murderer. To get you pleasantly destroyed, there's microbrew action (Dale's Pale, Rogue Dead Guy, Dogfish Midas Touch, 7 Texans...), plus the aforementioned agave spirits (from Sotol to 1921), served solo or in margs flavored with the likes of pineapple, pomegranate, and spicy elderflower, aka, what you hope will convince Orrin Hatch to have sex with you

To help you get on The Biggest Loser, Asador's also doing desserts: Lone-Starry numbers running from Date & Pecan Coffee Cake to the Texas Pecan Caramel Bar -- though if you really want to go nuts, hand $12,000,000 to Jermaine O'Neal!