Over the course of 2018, more than twenty correspondents helped Texas Monthly cover the state’s expansive restaurant scene by eating hundreds of meals at restaurants across the state. They dined at the newest joints and revisited mainstays. They dined at white-tablecloth establishments and squeezed into vinyl booths at casual lunch spots. You can find the results of their culinary labors at our Dining Guide online and in each new issue. While food critic Patricia Sharpe finalizes her choices for the Top 10 New Restaurants of 2018, to be revealed in our March issue, we present some of the favorite dishes our Dining Guide contributors enjoyed this year. Some menus change with the season, of course, so not all of these picks are available year-round. (Looking for barbecue? That’s its own category here at TM. Look for Daniel Vaughn’s “Best Bites” next week.)

There are smoked salmon dishes, and then there’s Mary’s, a new dish on the menu at this iconic steakhouse. The gingerly smoked fish seasoned with cracked black pepper is thickly sliced and served over a caper cream sauce garnished with pickled shaved red onions and fennel. A stack of grilled crostini comes along for the sweet ride. 1200 McKinney St.