Kyōten Sushiko opens next week


Austin’s sushi landscape is about to welcome a new/old face. Chet Otto Phan will open his Kyōten Sushiko next Wedneday at the Mueller development.

The restaurant will initially only serve omakase-style dinners (chef’s tasting menu of a couple dozen dishes)  for $150. There will be 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. seatings Wednesday-Sunday. Reservations will go live on Kyoten’s site Sunday at 11 p.m. Reservations require a $75 deposit but can be canceled or changed with 48 hours of dinner.

The restaurant is an extension of Phan’s popular and now-shuttered East Sixth Street sushi trailer of the same name.

Phan will serve boxed sushi and offer sit-down lunch service and take-out similar to the trailer after the first couple of months.

From the archives: Sushi chef practices passion, precision at unexpected location

Nordstrom at Domain Northside announces restaurant concept


Nordstrom is not just a retail store, it is an upscale experience, from well-appointed bathrooms to upmarket restaurants. It was recently announced that Nordstrom will be opening at Domain Northside on September 30. That store will feature contemporary American bistro Bazille. The restaurant will seat 115 inside, and offer an outdoor patio that can hold almost 50. The menu will include items like berry and fig salad, ginger-crusted ahi tuna salad and grilled shrimp with asparagus risotto. Bazille will also feature a full bar to help ease that shopping stress.


Now open: Big Vinny’s BBQ comes to South Austin            

BIg Vinny's BBQ. (Credit: Big VInny's BBQ on Facebook)
BIg Vinny’s BBQ. (Credit: Big VInny’s BBQ on Facebook)

Big Vinny’s BBQ  (it’s not quite a trailer, not a sit-down restaurant) is open at 4809 S. Congress Ave. at the Jurassic car wash. Big Vinny’s is open Friday-Sunday from 11 a.m. until sold out o’clock. The menu features brisket, spare ribs, baby back ribs and sausage, along with a handful of sides, Frito pie and a chopped beef sandwich.


Fourth of July food and drink events in Austin


Cool cocktail bar Backbeat (1300 S. Lamar Blvd.) celebrates the holiday with a shrimp boil. Backbeat will be serving cocktail and beer specials all day, featuring libations from Friends & Allies Brewing, Old Forester Bourbon and Brooklyn Gin. Advance tickets are $20 and $25 at the door. The party runs from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., and with their rooftop deck, you may even be able to catch a glimpse of the fireworks over Lady Bird Lake. (

Campus-area restaurant Texas French Bread (2900 Rio Grande St.) will serve Real Ale beers for $1 Friday-Sunday. (

What could be more American than slamming corndogs and Budweiser? The Black Sheep Lodge (2108 S. Lamar Blvd.) hosts a corndog eating contest accompanied by Budwesier specials on the Fourth. Entry costs $20, with the winner waddling home with $250. Contest starts at 2 p.m. Sign up by emailing or just show up and gawk. (

Just steps away from Lady Bird Lake, the Bonnneville will celebrate the Fourth of July with a happy hour from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., followed by a night of food and drink specials like lobster rolls, fried New England clams and blueberry tarts with vanilla ice cream, in addition to several drink specials. Festivities run until 11 p.m. (

Dine at the Radisson (111 E. Cesar Chavez St.) is running happy hour from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday and Monday, with specials like an $8 lamb burger and $4 red-white-and-blue margaritas. (

Geraldine’s at the Hotel Van Zandt will hold its first Red, White and Blues party on Sunday (July 3). The night will feature music from Jackie Venson and “patriotic bites” like fried chicken and strawberry shortcake. For reservations, visit or call 512-476-4755.

In an event that would make Cool Hand Luke proud, Haymaker (2310 Manor Road) will hold a pickled egg-eating competition on the Fourth. Entry costs $20, with the winner walking away with $250. Interested gluttons or fearless broke people can email to participate. Contest starts at 4 p.m. (

Mighty Fine is teaming up with Blue Bell Ice Cream to create a red, white and blue milkshakes on the Fourth of July. The special shakes mark the return of the partnership of the two Texas-based brands following Blue Bell’s publicity and public health crisis. Mighty Fine will be giving the shakes away for free from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Fourth. (

Both locations of sports-friendly restaurant-bar the Park (in South Austin at 4024 S. Lamar Blvd. and up north at 11601 Domain Drive) will serve a July 4th Burger (bacon, cheese, onions rings and barbecue sauce) for $4 all day. The restaurants will supplement that food offer with a slew of drink specials like $5 frozen mojitos and $2.50 domestic beer bottles and drafts. (

Tex-Mex burger joint El Sapo (1900 Manor Road) from the El Chile family will be serving Frito pies and build-your-own hot dogs, along with drinks specials on Mexican beer, margaritas and tequila from noon to 3 p.m. They’ll also serve red, white and blue snow cones. (

Trio at the Four Seasons will host a dinner buffet on the Fourth that precedes the fireworks just steps from the hotel’s back lawn. The meal, which costs $75 for adults and $27 for children, will include tomato-watermelon salad, chilled shrimp, spiced lamb rack and banana cream pie. (

South Austin newcomer Venezia Gelato (1701 S. Lamar Blvd.) gets into the Independence Day spirit with American-flag-themed gelato bars they’re calling Mr. Rings. The treat, which sells for $4.50, features cotton candy, strawberry and vanilla gelati. (

The swanky W Hotel Austin (200 Lavaca St.) throws a pool party from noon to sundown, with drink specials and food served poolside while a group of DJs spin records. Entry is $20 and free for hotel guests. (

Owner of Chinatown opens Asian street-food restaurant


Ronald Cheng is an industrious man. The man who founded Chinatown in the early 1980s currently has three locations (MoPac, downtown and Westlake) of that restaurant and recently opened Street, an Asian street-food restaurant below his original Chinatown off MoPac in the old Musashino space (3407 Greystone Drive). The restaurant, inspired by Cheng’s travels to Asia and Southeast Asia, serves dishes like shumai, teriyaki chicken and fried pork chops, as well as sushi. Street is open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner, with dinner only on Saturday.



New ramen bar opens at Domain Northside Thursday

Jinya Ramen Bar (Credit:
Jinya Ramen Bar (Credit:

Rock Rose is in full bloom. About a week after Chinese sandwich shop General Tso’Boy opened, Jinya Ramen Bar will open at 3210 Esperanza Crossing at Domain Northside’s Rock Rose District. The California-based restaurant, which specialized in Tonkotsu-style broth, also serves spicy chicken ramen and vegetable ramen, all made with Fuji water. The menu also includes small plates like caramelized cauliflower, crispy kale lollipops, and fried balls of octopus called Takoyaki. Jinya Ramen Bar will be open daily for lunch and dinner, with late-nights hour (until 2 a.m.) Thursday-Saturday.


Watch: Restaurant review of Chicon in East Austin

Ben Edgerton and chef Andrew Wiseheart closed their fine dining, veggie-centric Gardner earlier this year. But they didn’t walk away from the restaurant. They revamped the menu and design to create the more casual Chicon, a refined take on comfort food that feels akin to their original restaurant, Contigo. Chicon is located at 1914 E. Sixth St.

Striped bass at Chicon. (Credit: Ricardo B. Brazziell AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Striped bass at Chicon. (Credit: Ricardo B. Brazziell AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Pierce Brosnan of ‘James Bond’ fame has barbecue lunch in Lockhart

Black's BBQ in Lockhart. (Credit: Matthew Odam)
Black’s BBQ in Lockhart. (Credit: Matthew Odam)

“Remington Steele” hoss, Pierce Brosnan, dipped into the Central Texas barbecue scene today when he stopped by Black’s BBQ in Lockhart for lunch. The moment was captured by Black’s and disseminated on the restaurant’s Instagram page. The actor, who also played some British spy, is likely in the area to shoot the AMC television series “The Son.” Brosnan will portray Eli, the patriarch of an oil and ranching family, in the story based on Austinite Phillip Meyer’s epic novel of the same name.

Related: Read Charles Ealy’s 2013 interview with the author and alumnus of the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas here.

Related: Matthew Odam’s tour of Texas barbecue from earlier this year | Matthew Odam’s Top 10 barbecue spots in Austin from 2014

Verts giving away free kebaps on Saturday

A Verts doner kebap. (Credit: Jay Janner AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
A Verts doner kebap. (Credit: Jay Janner AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Verts has exploded since it opened its first location five years ago. The fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant now has more than 30 locations across Texas, is expanding to the East Coast this fall and hired former Alamo Drafthouse and Fino chef Jason Donoho to oversee culinary operations.

To celebrate its fifth anniversary, Verts will give away one free, full-size entrée to each guest from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at all Austin, San Antonio, and San Marcos locations. Additionally, the first 25 guests at each location get a bag full of Verts swag.




Is America’s best restaurant in Austin? NY Post says ‘maybe’

Lamb Tartare, Green Cherry Tomato and Charred Fennel Oil at Emmer & Rye on Thursday, February 11, 2016. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Lamb Tartare, Green Cherry Tomato and Charred Fennel Oil at Emmer & Rye on Thursday, February 11, 2016. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Never one to shy away from hyperbole, the NY Post recently published an article that claims Emmer & Rye may be the best restaurant in America. Post writer Hana Alberts raved about chef Kevin Fink’s Rainey Street palace of preservation and heritage grains in a blurby article praising the restaurant’s service, described as “straight-talking (what you’d expect in Texas) meets classy and efficient” and the restaurant’s “locally sourced, innovative small plates.” It has been a big year for Fink and the restaurant. Earlier this year the chef was named one of the Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine magazine.

Read the full piece here.