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This week in food: Bon Appetit loves Arro, Bess goes local & Jester King gets fruity

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Bess Bistro dessert
Bess Bistro's new dessert dish. Courtesy of Bess Bistro / Facebook
Jester King fruit beer
Jester King is going fruity with new beer releases in March. Courtesy of Jester King
arro dining room
Arro scores a nod from Bon Appetit. Photo by Adrienne Breaux
Bess Bistro dessert
Jester King fruit beer
arro dining room

This week in Austin food, we saw a heaping of new spring menus and drinks, plus more national recognition.

Bon Appetit loves Arro's French style
Arro
received impressive recognition from Bon Appetit's Andrew Knowlton in the culinary magazine's March issue. The self-proclaimed "foodist" highlights the restaurant's mastery of French fare, along with three other national culinary heavy weights. "Classic French is back, thanks to a new wave of spots like Le Diplomate in D.C., Lafayette in New York, Arro in Austin, and The Good King Tavern in Philly," he says. "I, for one, say, 'It’s good to see you again, mon ami.' After all, is there anything in the world better than steak frites and a glass of Burgundy?" No, Andrew, there isn't.

New drinks and dishes from drink.well
According to drink.well’s Facebook page, the restaurant has a few new dishes rolling out this week from Executive Chef Travis Bennett, including tender Austin Beerworks Pale Ale-steamed mussels, a spring veggie roulade and a Scotch egg that will supposedly "blow your mind." CultureMap may be testing that theory this weekend.

TRACE embraces spring
Downtown's TRACE is embracing a new happy hour menu this spring. The restaurant's warm-weather menu will feature new highlights like the "Patio Pitcher of Adult Lemonade," lemonade infused with a variety of seasonal ingredients, as well as $4 Texas beers and discounted wine bottles. Dishes to look forward to include coconut curry mussels, crispy crab cakes, a mini goat merguez sandwich and an assortment of desserts from Pastry Chef Angel Begaye, including bacon brittle and caramel pound cake, and a fried candy bar. Bring on spring!

Fruit beer?
Jester King will soon release three new barrel-aged fruit ales: Cerveza de Tempranillo, Biere de Merlot and Montmorency vs Balaton. The Tempranillo is prepared with re-fermented California wine grapes to bring the boozy concoction to life, while the Biere utilizes local Texas Merlot wine grapes. The Montmorency, on the other hand, is made with Michigan sour cherries and a blend of two different sour-aged beers.

According to Jester King's website, "500 ml bottles of Montmorency vs Balaton and Cerveza de Termpranillo will be released at Jester King Brewery over the course of three weekends: March 7 - 9, Match 14 - 16 and March 21 - 23." Customers who want to reserve beers can submit requests on the Jester King website beginning Monday, March 3 at noon. Check out the Jester King website for more details.

Bess looks and tastes local
Austin has become a devotee of local-friendly ingredients over the years, and Bess Bistro is responding appropriately. The famed downtown restaurant is slowly transitioning its renowned menu and space to create a more intimate, Austin-esque dining experience. Culinary Director Justin Raiford and Chef de Cuisine Roman Murphy have crafted an assortment of new dishes including grilled skin-on salmon, pan-seared Creekstone filet, sauteed escargot and bone-in pork chop. The restaurant has also orchestrated a slew of interior changes, such as hand-blown glass chandeliers, new artwork, white tablecloths, new dishes and an array of other improvements.

Barley Swine hosts weekend beer dinner
Barley Swine is hosting an exciting beer dinner collaboration this Sunday, March 2 at 6 pm with TWO Restaurant’s Executive Chef Tom Van Lente. The Chicago chef will work alongside Barley Swine’s Kyle McKinney to cook a succulent seven-course dinner that features beer pairings from Adelbert's Brewery. The just-released menu includes rabbit terrine, pork belly, popcorn fish, Wagyu brisket, goat ribs, whey panna cotta and barley cake. The intimate beer dinner costs $95 a head, and there are 32 seats available. Email info@barleyswine.com if you want to ready to reserve a spot.

Lamar Union confirms new projects
Eater Austin posted a stellar guide to the upcoming Lamar Union's array of restaurant projects. While we already knew about the new Alamo Drafthouse project, Eater confirms the Daily Juice, Cafe Medici, J. Blacks, an untitled David Garrido project, Cantine (a new project from the owners of Asti and Fino), VOX Table and Shake Shack are set to make a stake in the new development.

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