Here's what happened recently in the world of Austin fare:
Walter departs Mettle — Sources close to Mettle have confirmed that pastry chef Finney Walter has left Bridget Dunlap's East Austin bistro and chef Andrew Francisco will be taking over the pastry menu. No word yet on where Walter (and his much-lauded desserts) will end up, but with his Michelin-starred background, we're sure it will be impressive.
Say laV — Eater Austin has published a stellar plywood report/photo shoot of the upcoming Mediterranean-French restaurant laV. And if you’re looking for work in the hospitality industry, laV managing partner/sommelier Vilma Mazaite says the restaurant is actively hiring. “With the opening coming up, we are racing to get things finished, which includes hiring a handful of front of the house staff to join our amazing team. We're looking for passionate and charismatic people who are eager to learn, collaborate and start the new year off at laV," Mazaite said.
Plenty of time next week for resolutions and veggie virtue. But for today: Llano, Tex.---and Cooper's bbq. #meatybliss— Frank Bruni (@FrankBruni) December 27, 2013
Should specify: I mean the côte du boeuf at Austin's qui. Wow. Also: qui just FEELS right, thru & thru. Inventive but not strained.— Frank Bruni (@FrankBruni) December 29, 2013
National spotlight — Zagat published its list of the 25 most anticipated national restaurant openings of 2014, and one soon-to-open Austin project received snaps. The publication honored Uchi's unexpected new project St. Philip alongside 24 other restaurants, including Coltivare in Houston. According to Zagat, “St. Philip will feature pizza, sandwiches, seasonal shared plates and baked goods for dine-in or takeout. Philip Speer … says the restaurant is named not after himself, but after the patron saint of pastry chefs and bakers.”
Titaya’s near reopening — According to the Austin American-Statesman’s Matthew Odam, Thai food favorite Titaya’s is planning to reopen near the end of January. In other words, your long-awaited Pad Thai cravings will soon be satisfied.
Get your bird — Hear ye, hear ye all you chicken fiends. Lucy’s Fried Chicken is rolling out a new brunch menu. Both locations will now feature brunch on Sundays 10 am - 3 pm. A few of the Austin-inspired dishes include the Dandy Resurrected (Lucy’s Fries, Texas red chili, cotija cheese, cheddar cheese, jalapenos and two sunny side up eggs) and Lumberjack Hash (flannel hash, corned beef, two over easy eggs and English mustard), among other amazing edibles. Moreover, Lucy’s on Burnet Road will begin featuring Blue Plate Specials this Sunday, January 5. Except to see a myriad of offerings, including three new sandwiches and fried chicken specials.
Whole Foods opens — Whole Foods Market has announced that its Domain location is set to open on January 15. In preparation for all the organic madness, the Austin grocer is hosting a preview party on Monday, January 13, 5 pm - 8 pm. The celebratory event allows customers to meet with local vendors and preview some of the features encompassing the brand new store. Proceeds from the event will benefit Whole Foods’ local nonprofit partners Citizen Generation and KUT/KUTX. To purchase tickets, please visit this link.
Wendy’s says farewell — While some burger chains are flocking to Austin, famous chain Wendy’s is selling out. CultureMap’s John Egan reports that two years after its 30-store purchase, Wendy’s is selling its restaurants to new franchise Haza Foods. For more information regarding the surprising sale, view the story on CultureMap.
Qui bash — If you thought you had fun ringing in 2014, think again, because Paul Qui and his crew definitely had more fun than you. The East Austin restaurant posted pictures from its end-of-year shindig on the Qui Facebook page. Peruse through the photos if you like, but spoiler alert: expect to see unicorn heads, big ass bottles of champagne, orange fur coats and Paul Qui in lumberjack plaid. You’re welcome.