Salad bistro Vinaigrette to open in former Treehouse Italian Grill space on South Congress

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One of the salads served at Vinny, a bistro with two locations in New Mexico that will open in Austin later this year. Photo from Vinaigrette.

Been wondering what’s going to open in the former Treehouse Italian Grill on South Congress?

You’re not the only one.

The lush space at the south end of one of Austin’s most popular tourist destinations — shaded, no less, by an oak tree that is estimated to be 500 years old — has been vacant for several years, but we received word today of a new eatery called Vinaigrette, Vinny for short, that will open later this year.

The “farm-to-table salad bistro” from New Mexico-based chef/owner Erin Wade is slated to open in September, according to a rep for the restaurant at 2201 College Ave.

Wade has two other Vinny restaurants, one in Albuquerque and another in Santa Fe, near a 10-acre farm in Nambe that produces the majority of the Santa Fe’s location’s ingredients during peak season. Wade is looking at farms in the Bastrop area for a similar approach here.

One of the salads served at Vinny, a bistro with two locations in New Mexico that will open in Austin later this year. Photo from Vinaigrette.

One of the salads served at Vinny, a bistro with two locations in New Mexico that will open in Austin later this year. Photo from Vinaigrette.

From the release:

“Vinny Santa Fe and Albuquerque have a distinct Vinaigrette style, but one that reflects the historic charm of their individual locations. Similarly, I think Vinaigrette Austin will be a unique expression of its neighborhood; the building has a residential feel with an Eichler-esque mid-century form that we wanted to preserve and showcase in a contemporary way,” said Wade. “The property and bones of this space are amazing. I was immediately drawn to the shape of the existing building with its incredible beams and quirky roofline. And the tree… it’s unbelievably beautiful and will make for a magical outdoor space.”

Like its Santa Fe and Albuquerque predecessors, Vinaigrette’s Austin menu will include playful farm-to-table lunch and dinner salads such as “All Kale Caesar!” (chopped green kale, Marcona almonds, parmesan, anchovies, lemon-anchovy vinaigrette), “Eat Your Peas” (sweet peas, shredded manchego, sautéed mushrooms, bacon shards, baby greens) and “La Pepita” (chopped kale, pulled chicken, cojija, avocado and black bean with chilied pepitas and cumin lemon vinaigrette). The menu also features salad pairings such as grilled, marinated pork tenderloin, seared Diver scallops, or grilled baby artichokes, as well as sides and snacks like Erin’s Mac & Cheese, Fried Kale Fritters or Sweet Beet Fries. Wade will also offer refreshing pressed juice-based cocktails, alongside a thoughtful and sustainable wine and beer selection.


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