Reverse the curse

New all-day cafe and gourmet grocery rolls dice on troubled Lamar Union space

New all-day cafe and grocery rolls dice on troubled Lamar Union space

Artista Rosso french fries
Artista Rosso's is heading to Lamar Union. Artista Rosso/Instagram

A new gourmet market and cafe is trying its hand at the troubled Lamar Union development. On August 1, the team behind popular coffeeshops Barley Bean opened Artista Rosso at 1100 S. Lamar Blvd. #1105.

The restaurant/market is the latest newcomer to move into the South Austin space, which has seen a slate of restaurant closings including Vox Table, Cantine, and El Burro. Artista Rosso takes over the unit formerly occupied by Delicious, a similar concept from Live Oak Market owner Raj Singh.

Artista Rosso provides a little something for everybody. Neighborhood residents will find a quick place to shop for artisan cheese, beer and wine, and other items, while those who want an evening on the town can hang out in the full-service restaurant.

“We’ve wanted to create something like this for a while now,” said CEO Mohit Mehra in a release. “The Austin cultural scene is booming and with similar concepts popping up in hot markets like L.A. and New York, we felt now was the perfect time to introduce the idea to the Austin market.”  

On the sit-down side, chef Jennifer Coffman keeps the breakfast and lunch menus simple with breakfast tacos, sandwiches, and simple chia bowls, reserving more decadent dishes like garden hash and blueberry cream cheese pancakes for the weekend brunch.

Dinner switches over to hearty, Italian-inspired small plates and entrees including burrata served with heirloom tomatoes, fried polenta with a mushroom cream sauce and crispy pancetta, pork meatballs in marinara, and a selection of pastas ranging from a rich pappardelle Bolognese to a lighter fusilli dressed in either sun-dried tomato or classic basil pesto.

Coffman got her start at Barley Bean as a baker, and shows off her skills in a full-service bakery that features Nutella crepes, focaccia bread, croissants, and pumpkin bread. Her recent training with global food manufacturer MEC3 resulted in a full gelato bar with flavors ranging from mango sorbet to salted butter caramel.

If all that sounds good, then mark September 8 on the calendar. For the grand opening celebration, the team has lined up giveaways, samples, and discounts. And you might want to get there early; the first 100 people through the door get 15 percent off groceries for the entire month.