Here's what happened this week in the world of Austin fare:
Group behind Arro announces new project — The Elm Restaurant Group has announced they have a new, unnamed project in the works. The brand behind 24 Diner, Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden and Arro will debut an Italian restaurant later this year on 123 West Sixth Street in the former Bar Louie spot. Executive chef Andrew Curren will lead the kitchen. According to a press release, Curren’s study abroad experience in Tuscany during college served as the source of inspiration behind the downtown restaurant. “I have wanted to create my own version of my experiences in both Italy and New York for quite some time," he says in the release. "I plan to merge the pizzeria lunch culture with the rustic and seasonal traditions of Italian trattorias in a super approachable, authentic and warm restaurant."
Downton Abbey in Austin — Nearly everyone has developed an affection toward British period piece Downton Abbey, and Goodall’s Kitchen & Bar has taken notice. The Rio Grande Street restaurant will begin featuring Downton Abbey viewing parties every Sunday starting at 8 pm, complete with happy hour wines by the glass, beers on tap and a selection of 50 percent off bar menu items. What’s more, patrons who show up in Downton Abbey-inspired costumes will receive one free drink. Hey, any excuse for a free drink, right? For more information, visit Goodall’s Kitchen & Bar.
Let’s scream for gelato — According to Eater Austin, new gelateria Dolce Neve opens today, January 10. The new South First Street locale is handing out one free scoop to all its customers from 5 pm to 10 pm. Well, what are you waiting for? Grab a spoon!
Uchiko aids injured server — Uchiko will co-host a family-style fundraising dinner with Swift’s Attic next Sunday, January 19, at 7 pm to benefit Uchiko server Leah Ortiz. Last summer, Ortiz and her boyfriend were involved in a motorcycle accident, resulting in severe injuries and a stack of medical bills totaling nearly $140,000. (Both Ortiz and her boyfriend were uninsured at the time.) The benefit dinner costs $100 per person, with all the proceeds going directly to Ortiz. Chefs from Barley Swine, Congress, Swift’s Attic, Uchi, Uchiko and Second Street Bar + Kitchen will contribute to the menu.
Famous chickens — Memphis transplant Gus’ World Famous Fried Chicken opened to poultry-hungry patrons on Sunday, January 5, on San Jacinto Boulevard. This is the second out-of-state location for the famed chicken shack. Is the chicken really world famous? Try it out and let us know.
Citrus craze — If you've been craving citrus lately, you're in luck: Central Market is featuring a fruit-inspired “Citrusational” January 15 - 28 at all Austin locations. In addition to hosting an assortment of tangy citrus from the four corners of the world, the store will offer classes on citrus cocktails, cooking with citrus and more. For more information, visit the Central Market website.
Brewery expansion — Beloved Independence Brewing Co. celebrates its 10th anniversary later this month and honors the exciting milestone with a significant expansion of its brewing facilities. Independence is adding a whopping 10,000 square feet to the current space, in addition to a plethora of updates and improvements. New brewery tours will commence on February 7 and continue every Friday at 4 pm and 6 pm.
Hops & Grain releases new IPA — In other beer-related news, Hops & Grain will debut a new can in its lineup this month. The Greenhouse IPA can went through 18 different revisions over a two-year period, with owner Josh Hare eventually settling on a canned IPA that features a “hefty, lasting foam head and just a hint of malt flavor to balance out the generous hopping.” Moreover, the beer features different hop varieties each month, thus creating a unique aroma and flavor every cycle. “We are very excited to finally release an IPA in a can,” Hare said in a press release.
Cocktails for a cause — drink.well owner/bartender Jessica Sanders is featuring a competition fundraiser this Sunday, January 12, for Speed Rack, an organization that celebrates talented female bartenders across the country and donates all its proceeds to breast cancer research, education and prevention. The event menu will present more than seventy Speed Rock-inspired drinks, with Sanders donating all of her tips plus a $1 for every cocktail sold to Speed Rack. Sanders hopes to make all of the cocktails on the menu at least once in preparation for an upcoming Austin Speed Rack competition. For more information, visit the Facebook event.