I think of Austin restaurants in three waves, the 0th wave when we first moved here in 1991, the 1st wave of chef’d up newbies, and the 2nd (tidal) wave of restaurants du jour. Foreign & domestic are 1st wavers, back when it was actually possible to eat at all the good restaurants in town (hard to make the loop without one [or a dozen] closing these days or going broke…).
Maybe more accurately, f & d are 1.5 wavers with the old and reliable name and location and new management (and chefs) behind the counter. Regardless, the transition is seamless, and f &d are slinging up the good stuff just as they did before. Pitching themselves as nose to tail and farm to table (and chef owned), there’s a lot of pride in the place and the food.
We visited last week and thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Intrigued by a tempranillo rose, our waiter told us it was a pet’nat: an early-style proto-sparkling. Food-wise, we passed on the nose-to-tail tasting menu featuring veal sweetbread, pork head ragu, blood bottarga, seared lamb heart, and foie gras mousse and went with heirloom tomatoes, barley, and pork, all delicious. Service and space are cozy and comfortable.
– meh [think twice]
* OK [it’ll get the job done]
** good [solid neighborhood joint]
*** damn good [we’ll definitely be back]
**** yippity-yikes that was amazeballs [fantastic; one of the best]
***** holy sh!t [transcendental; best of the best]
what others say:
Texas Monthly: **