May 26, 2017
May 22, 2017
By Tom Thornton | October 18, 2016 | Food & Drink
Austin’s newest, hottest restaurants feature the talents of local culinary all-stars.
Pastries and Pinot: a walk-up-breakfast-counter-and-wine bar-in-one at June’s.
How you know them: Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman’s empire of Austin faves includes Perla’s, Elizabeth Street Cafe, and Jeffrey’s. Master Sommelier and McGuire Moorman beverage director June Rodil, after whom this newest eaterie is named, has worked at Qui, Congress, and Uchi.
Ambience: The jukebox full of classic rock and modern hip-hop fills the open bistro-style space; the walk-up counter serves pastries in the morning and pours wine in the afternoon. Dishes like snapper carpaccio, matzo ball caldo, and lamb merguez with couscous are designed to pair with wine, but Rodil says, “June’s is a wine bar above everything else—dropping in for drinks is encouraged.”
Must-try dish: Bone marrow Bolognaise, inspired by Rodil’s wine trip to Italy’s Piedmont region. The riff on Bolognaise, says Moorman, “goes light on the tomato and is simmered for six hours with a hefty amount of wagyu marrow bones.” 1722 S. Congress Ave., 512-416-1722
Not missing a beat: The Jungle Drums cocktail, a sensual mix of Golden Spice Falernum, hibiscus seltzer, and Jamaican rum seasoning, is offered in the main restaurant and bar. Boiler Nine’s other two bars feature their own, distinct menus.
How you know them: Executive chef Jason Stude served as the chef de cuisine at Second Bar + Kitchen (and won Food Network’s Chopped). Sommelier Paula Rester is back with La Corsha Group after working at Danny Meyer’s Maialino in New York City. Bar manager Jason Stevens of Bar Congress is a co-founder of Bad Dog Bar Craft, a producer of bitters.
Ambience: The massive 10,000-square-foot, four-story industrial structure, part of the former Seaholm Power Plant, includes the restaurant on the main floor and mezzanine. Rounding it out are The Deck Nine Observatory Bar on the fourth floor patio and the subterranean Boiler Room, which serves old-school classics next to the original boiler.
Must-try dish: Confit fried chicken thigh with chicken liver mousse. Stude’s goal here was to treat chicken with the “care of more upscale duck confit.” The finished dish has “a chicken-and-waffle feeling,” says Stude, which led him to finish the plate with mezcal honey. 800 W. Cesar Chavez St., 512-220-9990
Ciao, fall! L’Oca D’Oro serves beautiful Italian-inspired dishes like black pepper tagliatelle carbonara and squash soup.
How you know them: Chef and co-owner Fiore Tedesco’s résumé includes the Gramercy Tavern and Roberta’s in New York and Franklin Barbecue in Austin. Adam Orman, who worked as a sommelier and manager in San Francisco and New York, partnered with Tedesco on the original L’Oca D’Oro supper clubs at Franklin.
Ambience: Mueller and Windsor Park residents have their new neighborhood classic. The 120-seat room with its potted hanging gardens of herbs and greenery under vaulted ceilings projects a timeless European dining-hall ethos, providing the perfect backdrop for authentic pastas, bright seasonal vegetables, and Italian country cookery.
Must-try dish: Fried rabbit with grilled corn and pickles, a favorite from the duo’s original supper club. The rabbit is marinated in house-made crème fraîche and herbs, then poached, breaded, fried, and topped with a spicy honey. 1900 Simond Ave., 737-212-1876
PhotograPhy by alexandra Valenti (June’s)