Will fare from a Top Chef or a French-inspired eatery reign supreme as Austin's best new restaurant?
After three weeks of voting, CultureMap's 2013 New Restaurant Challenge has reached the final match-up: Paul Qui's iconic East Side King goes head-to-head against Sarah McIntosh's peaceful épicerie.
The final four came down to the wire, but East Side King beat Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden with 51 percent of the vote, while épicerie received 54 percent of the votes to overcome Ramen Tatsu-ya.
East Side King's first brick and mortar location opened at the end of 2012, bringing a new era of near campus dining to its Hole in the Wall abode:
UT alumni may find it hard to believe that today's students are passing up Kerbey queso for squid ink curry ramen, but the times they are a-changin'. The dish is a knockout, coming out pitch black and with a flavor to match. Earthy, thick and packed with deep flavors, it's a surefire winter staple that will warm you up as it fills you up.
A French-Louisiana inspired restaurant and grocery, épicerie established its Rosedale home in late December.
In addition to featuring a mouthwatering selection of soups, salads, snacks and entrées, épicerie boasts a selection of nearly 60 cheeses, a dozen charcuterie meats, a handful of pastries and an impressive selection of artisan products, such as sweet honey, gourmet jams, American sea salt, fine wines, handmade soaps and a number of other gourmet goods.
Voting for the final round is open through Sunday, March 31 (you can vote for your favorite once a day). The winner will be announced at the 2013 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards on April 11 and will receive the people's choice Tastemaker Award for New Restaurant.
The CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, benefiting the Austin Food and Wine Alliance, promises to be festive and delicious with plenty of drinks and decadent treats from the best in Austin's culinary and cocktail scene. Tickets are on sale now.