The Austin foodie scene is hot, hot, hot – just like our summer!
Here are some of the newest restaurant offerings to check out around town:
This new restaurant at Austin’s iconic, long beloved Green Pastures recently started serving weekend brunch. Curated by Executive Chef Joshua Thomas, Mattie’s brunch will continue the tradition of serving Southern-inspired cuisine while using rustic, farm-fresh produce and ingredients. Guests can sip on a glass of the classic 1965 Milk Punch or a refreshing Green Pastures Julep as they enjoy the company of the legendary peacocks that roam the property.
Do not miss the Brioche Bun, with candied pecans and peaches. This absolutely scrumptious dish was being served for the first time last Saturday when I enjoyed brunch at Mattie’s out on the patio, with its beautiful huge oak trees.
As an Eastside resident, this has long been one of my favorite places to enjoy weekend brunch or a margarita. They are one of the few spots that serves a canteloup margarita, with fresh pureed melon. It’s pretty awesome.
El Chile also has a bunch of new items on the menu, including A La Carte Tacos, a decadent beef and jack-stuffed Picadillo Relleno, Queso Verde made with nopalitos and pico, and two new vegetarian options: Rancheras Enchiladas and Empanadas de Comal.
This creative, fun spot in downtown’s exciting Seaholm Power Plant district has revamped lunch, dinner and brunch menus. The place is multi-level, from its speakeasy-feel basement bar to the upper open deck with amazing downtown and river views. Each level has its own menu (with some crossover). Working closely with local farmers, Executive Chef Jason Stude (a Chopped Champion) is introducing several spring and summer inspired dishes across all menus.
Highlights from the new lunch menu include Layered Avocado Hummus with cilantro, lime, pumpkin seed, dried cherry tomato, cucumber and sesame cracker; Goat Cheese + Zucchini Sandwich with roasted red pepper, eggplant, basil and mint pesto; and Cucumber Tabbouleh with bulgur, yogurt, mint, dill, red onion and parsley.
Dinner updates include Maplebrook Farms Burrata with heirloom tomato Pomodoro, balsamic, basil and levain; and Garden Kaffir Lime Mussels consisting of seared scallops, shrimp, coconut-lime broth, shaved mushroom, basil. For brunch, try the Cured + Smoked Salmon Benedict with everything biscuit, cream cheese, asparagus and sauce choron.
In addition to the outstanding new lineup, the multi-level concept will feature an oyster happy hour every Thursday at all levels featuring a half dozen Irish Point oysters for $14 or a whole dozen for $26.
This group of restaurants from Shawn Cirkiel has added a fun thing this summer: a Beverage Series of classes. This is a unique, year-long series with each course focusing on educating consumers about spirits trends, unique ingredients and cocktail creation. Attendees will gain an in-depth understanding of the complexities of each spirit, from its origins to subtleties in flavors.
I attended the latest class, which was all about gin at Bullfight. Over two flights of three different gins each, while Advanced Sommelier Nathan Prater taught us about the history of the drink, subtleties between various makes, and great cocktail recipes. Bullfight also served small bites (delicious!) during the event.
The final summer class will take place at Parkside in August, focusing on the sweet spirit of rum (date to be announced). Attendees will learn about the various styles of rum produced while discussing their respective histories. Hors d’oeuvres will be served for guests to enjoy throughout the seminar. Future classes will also include:
- October – Mezcal class at Parkside
- November – Scotch class at Olive & June
Tickets are $32.50 per person, and information can be found at parksideprojects.com.