Cedar Door owners opening Italian-Southern restaurant downtown Friday

Two of the most popular dining trends over the past several years in Austin have been Southern and Italian cuisines. Soon you can get a taste of both under one roof. Longtime Cedar Door owners Steve and Heather Potts will open La Volpe Friday at 201 Brazos St. B, next door to their downtown bar. The restaurant helmed by executive chef Will Eason intends to “blend traditional Italian with ultra-fresh ingredients and Southern flavors.”

Ravioli at La Volpe, which opens Friday. (Credit: The Velox Standard)

Eason got his start in cooking at Revival Grill in Greensboro, North Carolina and eventually made his way to Italian-inspired Second Bar + Kitchen before going to work at the Cedar Door in 2014.

His menu includes fried baby artichokes with shaved fennel and limoncello crema, charred okra with smoked tomato and mustard green purée, white truffle lasagne with porcini mushrooms, ribeye with Texas cabernet compound butter; and a grilled pork chop.

Pastry chef Amanda Neber, a veteran of Olive & June and Foreign & Domestic, has created a menu that includes charred corn panna cotta with cinnamon cornbread croutons; and sweet tea tiramisù.

The bar at La Volpe (meaning “fox” in Italian) features Italian and Texas wines, craft beers, and handcrafted cocktails infused with fresh herbs and spices.

La Volpe is located at 201 Brazos St. Building B. Dinner will be served Tuesday-Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with Sunday brunch planned in the coming weeks.

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Juliet Ristorante on Barton Springs Road closing; will shift gears and reopen

Lasagna al forno at Juliet Ristorante. (Laura Skelding AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Italian stunner Juliet Ristorante will close  after service Sunday and undergo several weeks of revamping. The restaurant intends to reopen in late June as Juliet Italian Kitchen, with more of an emphasis on family-style service and Italian-American classics, or “red-sauce dishes” as the style of cooking is often described. There will be changes to the space, as well as the menu.

The high design of Juliet, its most noteworthy feature, will apparently give way to a more approachable atmosphere, as the restaurant appears desirous to attract a different audience.

“It will feature menu, service and atmosphere developments that better serve both families and our neighborhood,” owner Dan Wilkins said in a release.

Executive chef Jacob Weaver will stay on board with Juliet, which is bringing in Austin-based Design Hound (Dai Due, L’Oca d’Oro) to reimagine the space.

“We will maintain a strong emphasis on quality and handmade products including our own pastas, cheeses, breads and desserts while delivering a more comfortable, predictable and nostalgic menu that we hope Austin will soon fall in love with,” Weaver said.

The restaurant opened about two years ago in a space that has seen several Italian restaurants pass through in the past decade, including Romeo’s and Umami Mia Pizzeria.

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From the archives (2015 review): Juliet is a beauty, but the packaging is misleading