No Va - Next Food Network Star finalist Brad Sorenson (formerly of Asti Trattoria) is the chef of this new spot on Rainey Street. Since it just opened last week, we haven't had a chance to stop in yet, but it is on the list. Viewing the menu, it seems to have a New American leaning. I'm torn between the Pork and Polenta or the Corn Gnocchi. Definitely want the fried to order Blueberry Donut Holes with Lavender Frosting for dessert. Designer Joel Mozersky did the renovation of the modern two story space and outdoor patio.
Odd Duck - Bryce Gilmore is bringing his original trailer back to life on S. Lamar in a full scale proper restaurant. This is the second brick-and-mortar for Gilmore, who describes his new restaurant in Austin Monthly. "It will be similar to Barley Swine in that there will be a big open kitchen and the menu will be small plates. But there will also be large, family-style meats, so people will have options. We also want to capture the feeling of the trailer, so there will be lots of seating outside. It’ll be casual, fun and not too serious." Can't wait.
Noble Sandwiches, Burnet Road - This will be the second location of one of the best (if not the best) sandwich shops in town. Can't wait to trot down the street to have their Smoked Duck Pastrami sandwich rather than shlepping over to far Northwest Austin.
Lucy's Fried Chicken, Burnet Road - Burnet Road is officially on fire (I refuse to call it Low Burn as it has been coined). Not only is Noble Sandwich coming, but we now have Lucy's Fried Chicken. Originating in South Austin, Lucy's is finally bringing its premium fried chicken to midtown.
Olamaie - This modern Southern fine dining spot is located on San Antonio St. in the house once occupied by Sagra. Co-executive chefs Michael Fojtasek & Grae Nonas have worked in a variety of high-end kitchens including LA's Son of a Gun, Austin's Lenoir and Fino among others. We couldn't make any of the pop-up dinners that happened over the summer, but we are hoping to secure a spot for their September 29 pop-up at Asti. I really want to try their Smokey Hen of the Woods over braised peanuts and field peas.
La V - This French and Mediterranean inspired restaurant is slated to open on E. 7th St., close to Taboka and Wu Wu Sushi. There has been lots of positive buzz on their food truck, Say laV, that is parked behind Volstead Lounge and Hotel Vegas. We plan to check our their food truck offerings in advance of the opening of la V. Allison Jenkins is the chef that puts forth a changing menu focusing on local, seasonal, fresh ingredients. “BLT” slider (pork belly, tomato jam & arugula) caught my eye.
Pleasant Storage Room - Overproof punch and handcrafted rum cocktail bar serving island street food and ceviche is the Facebook description of this W. 4th St. bar and restaurant. Paul Hardgrove, formerly of East Side Showroom and Trace, is the head chef of this kitchen. Looks like a fine addition to downtown.
Mastman's Deli - A real Kosher deli in Austin, Texas sounds a bit like an oxymoron, but you never know. The original Mastman's is from Buffalo, New York and was in operation since World War II until recently. The Austin Mastman's is located on W. 6th and has been under construction since March, due to open around October.
Haymaker - Regionally inspired comfort sandwiches, craft beer and poutine is the description from the website of this joint soon to open on Manor Road from the group behind Black Sheep Lodge. Not sure I get the Easy Tigeresqe icon on their Facebook page, but the concept sounds novel. Did I mention the Chicago-style Italian beef?
And in 2014...
Dai Due - Husband and wife team Jesse Griffths and Tamara Mayfield will soon be opening a brick-and-mortar of their famous mobile kitchen found at various farmers' markets. According to Virginia Wood of The Austin Chronicle, "By day, the butcher shop and cafe will provide locally sourced meats, condiments, and prepared foods in addition to hot breakfast and lunch menu items like the ones fans line up for at the Downtown and Mueller farmers' markets every weekend. At night, chef de cuisine Andrew MacArthur will present a daily fixed menu based on pastured meats, freshwater fish, and Gulf seafood cooked over wood-fired grills, and enhanced by the best seasonal local produce and prepared foods Central Texas has to offer." This has been a long time coming and I think we will be one of the first in line when it opens on Manor Road in early 2014.
Ophelia Blue - This is the newest concept from the Rainey Street queen, Bridget Dunlap, but it will be an addition to her restaurant realm in East Austin. Mettle just opened this summer, so I am guessing we won't see Ophelia Blue come to fruition until summer 2014 at the earliest, but we will keep you posted. Slated to open on E. 6th Street, the menu is said to be Italian with a focus on Sardinian/Sicilian regions.