As with all great dinners, we started with a few cocktails. A friend and I had Rhu-tang Clan which is Reyka vodka, lemon, Art in the Age Rhubarb (a tea liqueur), tangerine tincture and honey. This drink had unusual, yet balanced flavors that married well with each other, so much so that we had more than one round. My husband couldn't resist the "beer and a shot of bourbon" combo. In addition to the house cocktail list with clever names, there is a wine list and an extensive whiskey and bourbon menu curated by Beverage Director Travis Tober. Our personable server guided us through the menu, helping us locate the gluten-free items, and those that could be made so. The dishes are shareable small plates and we thought about ordering the popular Smoked Hamachi Pipettes since one of our friends at table had a nostalgic moment associated with his days in chemistry class (bites are served in what looked like mini-test tubes), but when we learned that there was soy in the mix (not part of my gluten-free diet) we passed. Instead we focused on other items like Albacore Tuna Tartar with grated horseradish, crumbled egg, capers, chili oil, avocado espuma and potato lavash. This was served under a glass cloche that revealed a smoky interior; once the cloche was lifted, the smoke curled away and dissipated. The very dramatic presentation (which reminded me of Uchiko's Jar Jar Duck) made us ooh and ah, but the taste is what kept our attention. Delicate textures with a subtle extra hit from the horseradish and chili oil. Although I did not try the Chickpea Fritters with tomato marmalade and Parmesan snow (not a gluten-free item), I was told it had great flavor, but it was deemed "a bit mushy".
I thoroughly enjoyed a special of the evening, Bacon + Eggs which included a Labranza farm fried duck egg, grilled pork belly, grilled rapini, smoked marcona almonds, bortagga and romesco sauce. This was one of the highlights of the meal for me. The pork belly was crispy but tender without excess fat, the egg was rich and perfectly cooked and the remaining items just added to the layers of umami. I also really liked the King Trumpet Mushroom Pappardella with grilled sweet corn, fava beans, roasted tomato and sherry reduction. I am a sucker for anything with mushrooms, but this was special since the mushroom was used to create the pappardella. The crispy butternut squash with yogurt, tamarind glaze and allspice dust had a slightly exotic African feel and was considered a hit. Two of the larger sized plates were both winners. The Akaushi Shortrib with potato churros (the gluten-free version of their usual churros) and hunter sauce was tender, juicy and full of bold seasonings. The Texas Drunken Chicken with charred green beans, blistered pear tomato and beer au jus was tender and had mellow flavors.
For dessert we tried the Chocolate + Chili which is a chocolate semifreddo, Pedro Ximenez pearls, chocolate soil, guajillo chili and almond tuile. The first bite took us by surprise as there is definitely chili involved, but we devoured the dense, rich chocolate once our taste buds adjusted. I think my favorite might have been the Figs + Cream which is goat cheese panna cotta, balsamic orange fig, ping peppercorn honey, candied walnuts and basil microgreens. It was delicate, subtle and all the ingredients were well matched. VOX sources their food from local/regional farms and ranches, and utilized much of Austin's local talent in building their space. It is a perfect spot to eat before catching a movie at Alamo Drafthouse right across the driveway. They also have a private dining room for special occasions. The free valet parking is recommended, especially on the weekends since the garage can get pretty crazy. In addition to $35 prix fixe Monday menus that change each week, VOX Table offers Saturday and Sunday brunch, happy hour at their bar top 5:00-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, and lunch is rumored to be coming in the future.