Urban Outfitters opened two new restaurant concepts connected to it renovated Space 24 Twenty on the Drag (2420 Guadalupe St.). The lifestyle operation recently purchased famed Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri’s demi empire (excluding his flagship Vetri), which includes Pizzeria Vetri. The Pizzeria Vetri across from the University of Texas campus is the first non-Philadelphia location of the pizzeria. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (For more on Urban Outfitters purchase of Vetri’s restaurants, check this piece from Philadelphia Magazine.)
The other Urban-related food venture is Symon’s Burger Joint from Ohio chef Michael Symon. The walk-up, counter-service restaurant serves about a half-dozen burgers, hot links, fries and milkshakes. It is open Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Alexis Chong is the new chef de cuisine at Ned Elliott’s Foreign & Domestic. She previously served as the executive chef at Sway in South Austin, before leaving this spring. Earlier this year Chong was one of 100 nominees for Food & Wine’s People’s Choice Best New Chef.
Elliott, who praised the talented Chong as a great leader and teacher, said his North Loop restaurant will be moving toward a more French point of view in the coming months. Diners can expect the return of several F&D classics like venison heart tartare and crispy beef tongue, two dishes that helped put the restaurant on the map.
East Side King will close its location at the Hole in the Wall on December 19. The bar’s owner, Will Tanner, said ESK did not want to pay the increased rent after he negotiated his new five-year least recently. Tanner is in discussions with several potential new tenants and hopes to have a decision made in the next few weeks. East Side King, which co-founders chefs Paul Qui and Motoyasu Utsunomiya opened at Hole in the Wall in December 2012, operates food trucks at the Liberty (1618 E. Sixth St.) and Whisler’s bars (1816 E. Sixth St.), brick-and-mortar locations at 310 E. Sixth St. and 2310 S. Lamar Blvd. and a third truck coming soon to Steampunk Saloon at 700 W. Sixth St.
Travelers looking for an alternative to traditional airport fare now have a fresh alternative. Locally owned Austin favorite JuiceLand is now serving all 15 of its cold-pressed juices at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The bottled juices, which range in price from $6-$9, are available for purchase at the Austin Java spot across from Gate 10.
Wildly popular P. Terry’s opened its first East Austin location last week. The restaurant, which offers outdoor seating and a double drive-thru, is located at 1800 E. Oltorf St. between Parker Lane and Burleson Road. The restaurant is open Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m., Saturday form 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. The location is the 12th from the business that opened in 2006.
Otto Phan’s ambitions have outgrown his small trailer at 1211 E. Sixth St. The chef will open Kyōten Sushiko at 4600 Mueller Blvd. next year. The restaurant, a brick-and-mortar expansion of his exceptional food trailer, will be a dual concept.
Kyōten Sushiko will offer counter seating, a few tables seats and take-out service of a menu featuring the rolls, bowls and boxed sushi (fish on compressed rice in rectangular form) from the trailer, but the centerpiece of the restaurant will be a small dining room with a rotating omakase menu. That rotating menu, which will cost $150 per person (tax and service included), will feature about 20 bites served by Phan.
The omakase, which will be served to a maximum of eight people at each seating, will be mostly comprised of fish, though Phan said he will occasionally serve high-end items like A5 wagyu beef and foie gras. The chef has lofty goals for the small restaurant he plans to open in the first quarter of next year.
“When it opens, it will be one of the best sushi restaurants in the country,” Phan said recently. “My goal is to be the best sushi restaurant in the world.”
It may sound like a brazen statement, but Phan, who has worked at world-renowned Nobu and Bar Masa in New York City and Uchi in Austin, brings a perfectionist’s zeal to his craft.
“Sushi is a discipline, not a cuisine,” said the chef, whose chirashi bowl of raw fish, outstanding rice and soft egg is one of my favorite dishes in town.
Phan points to three key tenants that frame his ethos when it comes to sushi: purity, harmony and balance. The chef, who uses a variety of techniques to prepare fish, such as curing, marinating and smoking it with hay, says he looks at a fish when he gets it and asks it what it needs.
“Don’t give it more than what it needs,” he adds.
While the sushi at Kyōten Sushiko will be traditional on paper, Phan says it is not what you’d find in New York or Tokyo.
“It will be clearly my own,” Phan said.
The University of Texas graduate who grew up in Houston intends to open the omakase portion of Kyōten Sushiko first (initially with one nightly seating) before opening the more casual dine-in and take-out aspects of the restaurant, which will be located a stone’s throw from the forthcoming Alamo Drafthouse at the Mueller development.
Phan will close the sushi trailer in late January.
Artisan hot dog purveyors and whiskey slingers Frank is partnering with Project Loop, Go Greene Auto and HEB to raise money this Thanksgiving for Safe Place. The Warehouse District restaurant is building Thanksgiving lunch plates for the non-profit and asking for $10 donations, the price of an individual meal.
The restaurant is also putting out the word that Safe Place is in need of other items such as shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotion, razors, combs, bay items and gift cards to grocery stores. For more information, or to donate to the Thanksgiving project, visit Frank’s website.
Longtime Austin chef Raymond Tatum has moved his comfort-food-with-an-Asian-twist trailer, Three Little Pigs, from the now-shuttered East End Wines to the Aristocrat Lounge (6507 Burnet Rd.) Fitting that a chef with such a long and colorful history in the Austin restaurant scene (including Jeffrey’s and Backstage Steakhouse) would open on the lot of the former Poodle Dog Lounge. Three Little Pigs is open Tuesday-Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Looking for a new dining experience this Thanksgiving? Here are some spots in and around Austin offering holiday specials. Asterisk is for take-out options; plus sign indicates critic’s pick.
24 Diner. 600 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-472-5400, 24diner.com. The restaurant will offer a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, including brined and roasted turkey breast, turkey leg confit, Beeler’s house-cured ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Starting at 10:30 a.m. Thursday while supplies last. $29. No reservations.
+Apis Restaurant and Apiary. 23526 Texas 71 West, Spicewood. 512-436-8918, apisrestaurant.com. Will serve a special Thanksgiving three-course dinner menu. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday. $65 per person; children 6 and younger, $20. Reservation recommended.
*Café No Sé. 1603 S. Congress Ave. 512-942-2061, cafenoseaustin.com. Buy homemade pies for the holiday. Orders must be placed by Sunday for pickup Monday-Wednesday. $20-$24.
Capital Grille. 117 W. Fourth St. 512-322-2005, thecapitalgrille.com. The steakhouse serves Thanksgiving (turkey, green beans and mashed potatoes) from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. $36 for adults, $15 for children.
+Carillon. 1900 University Ave. 512-404-3655, thecarillonrestaurant.com. The fine dining restaurant on the University of Texas campus will serve Thanksgiving meals at 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The wide-ranging menu includes cold seafood, an omelet buffet, a carving station and more. $65 and up for adults, $19.95 for kids 6-12, free for kids 5 and younger.
*+Dai Due. 2406 Manor Road. 512-524-0688, daidue.com. The shop will offer a to-go Thanksgiving dinner, including turducken sausage, pork rib roasts, stuffed pork loin, Parker House rolls and sweets. Pre-order through Sunday. Individual items, $8-$24.
Estância Churrascaria. 10000 Research Blvd. 512-345-5600, estanciachurrascaria.com. The restaurant will open its doors on Thanksgiving. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday. $49.95, per person; $24.95 for the salad bar only.
Finn & Porter. 500 E. Fourth St. 512-493-5900, finnandporteraustin.com. The downtown Hilton’s restaurant serves a three-course dinner with roasted turkey at the centerpiece of the prix-fixe menu. $45 for adults, $20 for children.
*+Fresa’s. 915 N. Lamar, 512-428-5077, fresaschicken.com. Offering a traditional Thanksgiving to-go menu, including roasted turkey, chorizo cornbread stuffing, turkey pan gravy, citrus-serrano cranberry sauce and numerous sides. Place orders by Friday. Turkey meal, $260; individual items, $8-$45.
*+Garbo’s. 14735 Bratton Lane. 512-350-9814, garboslobsteratx.com. The restaurant will offer special Thanksgiving to-go lobster dinners, including two pound whole live lobsters, two cups clam chowder, fish dip with crackers and two Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. $150.
+Goodall’s Kitchen & Bar. 1900 Rio Grande St. 512-495-1800, goodallaskitchen.com. The restaurant at the Hotel Ella serves a Thanksgiving brunch from noon to 8 p.m. $68 for adults, $25 for children.
Hoover’s Cooking. 2002 Manor Road. 512-479-5006, hooverscooking.com. The restaurant will offer a to-go Thanksgiving dinner, including a whole jerk turkey, various sides and desserts. Order can be placed through Saturday. Individual items, $6-$66.
Hyde Park Bar & Grill. 4206 Duval St. 512-458-3168; 4521 West Gate Blvd. 512-899-2700, hpbng.com. The Austin stalwart is serving its 21st annual Thanksgiving meal, which includes oven-roasted turkey breast, cornbread stuffing, giblet gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry relish, and more, as well as a vegetarian meal. Service at both restaurants runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. $20.95 regular, $14.95 vegetarian, $12.95 for children under 10.
Louisiana Longhorn Café. 200 E. Main St., Round Rock. 512-248-2900, llcafe.com. The Round Rock restaurant serves its regular menu and a Thanksgiving lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Thanksgiving platter include smoked turkey breast, cornbread dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and sweet potato and pecan casserole. $17.95 for adults, $7.95 for children.
*Lucy’s Fried Chicken. 5408 Burnet Road. 512-514-0664, lucysfriedchicken.com. The restaurant will offer 18- to 21-pound turduckens, cornbread chorizo stuffing and gravy. Orders can be placed through Tuesday. $125.
Max’s Wine Dive. 207 San Jacinto Blvd. Suite 200. 512-904-0111. maxswinedive.com. The restaurant will have to-go offerings, including including home-style mashed potatoes, pumpkin polenta and smoked apple-cornbread stuffing, and desserts. Orders can be placed through Monday. Prices vary.
Moonshine. 303 Red River St. 512-236-9599, moonshinegril.com. The comfort food specialists will serve a Thanksgiving brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that is first-come, first-served. $26 per person.
+Prelog’s. 360 Nueces St. 512-350-2895, prelogs.com. Austrian chef Florian Prelog puts a European spin on Thanksgiving with a menu that includes confit trout, in addition to staples like stuffed turkey breast and sweet potato soup. $49 per person.
Sullivan’s Steakhouse. 300 Colorado St. Suite 200. 512-495-6504, sullivanssteakhouse.com. A special Thanksgiving menu, including shrimp and lobster bisque, hand-carved roasted turkey breast, sweet potato casserole and shaved Brussels sprouts with smoked bacon. Noon to 8 p.m. Thursday. $39.
Threadgill’s. 301 W. Riverside Drive, 512-472-9304; 6416 N. Lamar Blvd, 512-451-5440; threadgills.com. The restaurant will offer a special Thanksgiving menu; plus, catering options are available. Prices vary.
Trace at the W Austin. 200 Lavaca St., 542-3660, traceaustin.com. A prix fixe three-course Thanksgiving meal. $55 per person.
*+Walton’s Fancy and Staple. 609 W. Sixth St. 512-391-9966, waltonsfancyandstaple.com. The bakery and deli is selling holiday feasts and pies for pickup. Menu options include thyme-rubbed airline turkey breast with house-made turkey gravy ($89.99 serves five to eight, or $150 to serve 12 to 15) and herb-crusted prime beef tenderloin with port demi ($150 serves 10 to 12) and family-style sides ($29) that serve 12 to 15 people. Walton’s will also sell a variety of pies. All orders must be placed by Friday at noon.
Austin’s Italian explosion will continue unabashed next year, as New Waterloo (the company behind La Condesa, Sway and the South Congress Hotel) will open two Italian restaurants in the Arnold (1617 E. Sixth St.). The mixed-use development will be home to 350 apartments, business offices (including C3 and Live Nation), and retail.
The upscale Gatto Nero will be the flagship restaurant of the property, cooking regional Italian and Italian-American cuisine and offering a full-service bar and lounge. The restaurant’s more casual sister, Enoteca Gattino, will be an Italian deli and wine bar.
The restaurants are slated to open in the spring. New Waterloo recently oversaw the opening of Café No Se at the South Congress Hotel and will open Central Standard and the Paul Qui-helmed Otoko there in the coming months. Sway will also open a location at the Domain and one in the old Thai Kitchen building on Bee Caves Road in West Lake Hills next year.
Correction: This post was updated to clarify the new openings of New Waterloo next year.