Kettle & Brine blends beauty and functionality in its new kitchen-and-home store downtown. Plus, Stephanie McClenny celebrates five years of Confituras, Austin restaurants celebrate the holidays, and Owl's Brew teaches how to make a Manhattan Owl.
Kettle & Brine, which opened in October in Old West Austin, offers artisanal kitchen, home, and pantry accoutrements that are both smart and stylish. Owner Tarica Navarro—an interior designer by trade—handpicked makers near (local Foxwares ceramics, for example) and far (Japanese brass wares from luxe Futugami) to fill her airy boutique. Outfitted much like an inviting home, Kettle & Brine also offers made-to-order statement pieces, like a steel-and-live-edge slab dining table from Austin woodshop KKDW. “A product is part of a dialogue between host and guest,” Navarro explains. “It communicates something about the event, and its function is not purely utility or one-dimensional.… It fosters a connection between people.” 908-C W. 12th St., 512-375-4239
Austinite Stephanie McClenny is on a mission to preserve food from local farms. Celebrating the five year anniversary of her jam business, Confituras, the entrepreneur is building a community kitchen after a successful grassroots fundraiser this fall. The kitchen, set to debut next spring, will offer a space for other like-minded food artisans, in addition to a retail and coffee shop where patrons can indulge in jam and biscuits. “The community kitchen we are building is intended to be for the food community, by the food community,” McClenny says.
From east to west, Austin is ready to celebrate the season. Popular East Austin establishment Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile (3235 E. Cesar Chavez St., 512-366-5808) invites patrons to get in the holiday spirit on December 3 for a lively party—complete with hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, and a tree-lighting ceremony on the restaurant’s expansive bluff overlooking the river. The adjacent mercantile will carry special holiday ornaments to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. Meanwhile in Westlake, the new and luxurious Hotel Granduca Austin (320 S. Capital of Texas Hwy., 512-306-6400) is planning a festive tree-lighting in its courtyard on December 1, featuring carolers, Santa, complimentary passed hors d’oeuvres, and more. Holiday traditions continue on December 19 when the hotel’s Visconti Ristorante presents a Nutcracker-themed menu for a Sugar Plum Brunch.”
Words like “floral,” “smooth,” and “smoky” might evoke thoughts of gin, bourbon, and whiskey, but those same notes could also apply to tea—perhaps the reason that tea and spirits blend so seamlessly in cocktails, a trend made simpler with Owl’s Brew, fresh-brewed and bottled teas crafted specifically for mixing. And a recently expanded Texas footprint brings the bottles to H-E-B, Williams-Sonoma, and West Elm, just in time for your at-home holiday parties.