The evening brought The Bride alive, and I couldn’t tell if it was the atmosphere, the alcohol, the vittles, or the illuminating company. In fact, I hadn’t seen her that activated since Duran Duran geezered into Austin in 2005.
Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher, they of Lenoir, created Vixen’s Wedding as an homage to Goa, India, a former colony of Portugal and current hotspot for European ravers and a genre of techno (for example, go listen to Talamasca’s “Raj Against the Machine”). Located on the groundfloor of the plane-deceiving ARRIVE hotel, there’s no deception in the restaurant where a pleasant decor and a varied menu awaits.
We both agreed to try the tasting menu ($75 a head) paired with chef-selected wines ($45 a head), a great way to sample the menu and simply lean back and relax. As is generally the case, if one person at the table goes with the tasting menu, all must. If you ask, you can split the wine pairing between two people.
Given its Goaness, drinks and food have an Iberian/Indian slant to them. The Frozen Mango Lassi (cachaça, vodka, mango, yogurt, coconut, and lime; $8HH) was cool and creamy with a stripe of spice adding a spark to each satisfying sip. The Bride, a complete gin-head, raved about the Frógroni (gin, aperol, lillet, elderflower liqueur, sweet vermouth, and grapefruit; $8HH) and quickly hatched plans to stay in the hotel sometime in the near future to further explore the cocktail menu without driving home.
The tasting menu consisted of nine courses with six of the courses paired with a wine or liquor. The courses opened with a beet tartare (with papadom, mango, and curry leaf; beet, not beef!), a sourdough naan (with chai spiced apple butter and ginger raita), an amberjack crudo (with passionfruit, chai pecan, and rio star grapefruit), and cauliflower (with grilled sourdough and glazed mussels). Of these dishes, the revelation came with the naan, a puffy-crispy cloud of goodness (and a must order). Our waiter rushed over and gently warned us that the naan needed to last the meal. The crudo was as gorgeous as it was delicious, a salacious soup of cool grandeur.
After a mango granita cleared our palates, we enjoyed main courses of pan-seared fish (with Goan fish curry, rainbow chard, and winter squash), roast duck (with thali, tamarind glazed carrot, and carrot top cafreal), and grilled lamb (with mustard green saag, charred paneer espuma, and jus). All was tasty, but the duck with carrot top cafreal was unreal, the flavors and scents of a French farmyard on your tongue. The duck was also paired with the most interesting drink of the evening: a cashew liquor from Goa, India that cleared the sinuses. Finally, for dessert, we had the purple sweet potato mousse (with tea, blueberry, paneer, and honey), an architecturally delicious schmear across the plate paired with a muscat.
The corner location is bright and cheery and the decor adorable. There’s inside and outside seating and a clear view of the activity on 6th Street. There were a few misses. Our mixed bevs came out after the first two courses and to compete with the paired wines. And my first plate had a sizable chip in it, odd since we were the first through the door. But ultimately, these stumbles were minor compared with the overall gloriousness of being invited to Vixen’s Wedding.
web&where: interwebs; 1813 east sixth street, (737) 242-7555
what’s the deal? high-end Goan (Portugese/Indian); table service
overall: **** (food****; drink****; atmosphere****; service***; instagrammability****)
– 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]
each $ = $10; cost is based on a typical dinner entrée and appetizer (no drinks)
beet tartare, papadom, mango, curry leaf
amberjack crudo, passionfruit, chai pecan, rio star grapefruit
paired with Ameztoi ‘Rubentis’ Txakolina, Txakoli, Spain 2021
Frógroni (gin, aperol, lillet, elderflower liqueur, sweet vermouth, and grapefruit)
Frozen Mango Lassi (cachaça, vodka, mango, yogurt, coconut, and lime)
sourdough naan, chai spiced apple butter, ginger raita
cauliflower, grilled sourdough, glazed mussels
paired with Seehof ‘Elektrisch’ Riesling Kabinett, Rheinhessen, Germany 2021
green mango granita
pan seared fish, goan fish curry, rainbow chard, winter squash squash
paired with Weixelbaum ‘Reid Gaisberg’ Grüner Vetliner, Kamptal, Austria 2020
roast duck thali, chef’s selection of seasonal chutneys
paired with Kafi Feni Cashew Liquor, 40% ABV, Goa, India
grilled lamb, mustard green saag, charred paneer espuma, jus paired with
Frédéric & Daniel Brunier ‘Mégaphone’ Ventoux, Provence, France 2020
purple sweet potato mousse, tea, blueberry, paneer, honey paired with Domaine de Durban Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, Rhone Valley, France 2017