Best of both worlds

Foxy new restaurant leaps into downtown Austin with Southern-Italian fare

Foxy new eatery leaps into downtown Austin with Southern-Italian fare

La Volpe pasta
The cuisine uses Southern flavors in traditonal Italian dishes. Photo by The Velox Standard
La Volpe dining room
The dining room of La Volpe is decorated in rich jewel tones. Photo by The Velox Standard
La Volpe bar
The bar mimics a library with vintage objects scattered among the bottles. Photo by The Velox Standard
La Volpe detail
This piece of artwork is a cross-cultural pun. Photo by The Velox Standard
La Volpe pasta
La Volpe dining room
La Volpe bar
La Volpe detail

A foxy new restaurant is coming to downtown Austin. Steve and Heather Potts — owners of local mainstay Cedar Door Patio Bar & Grill — will open La Volpe, an upscale eatery that combines elements of Southern and Italian cuisine, on September 21.

La Volpe (Italian for "fox") offers a menu of creative dishes that don’t take its inspiration too literally. Instead, the dishes blend traditional Mediterranean entrees with Southern vegetables and flavors. Highlights include a ribeye with Texas Cabernet compound butter, charred okra with smoked tomatoes and mustard greens puree, and chicken liver mousse with house fried focaccia and pickled carrot.

“We have a very talented team and everyone was ready to expand on their culinary expertise,” said Steve in a release. “This is a great opportunity to show what we could do from a different perspective.”

The sly team includes executive chef Will Eason, who comes naturally to La Volpe’s unique blend of cuisines. A longtime fixture in Austin kitchens, he got his start under Robert Pearse, an acclaimed Greensboro, North Carolina chef who trained in Italy.

Pastry chef Amanda Neber is similarly inspired for her desserts. Classic panna cotta is made with charred corn and dressed with cinnamon cornbread croutons and tiramisu skips the coffee in favor of sweet tea.

The full bar — serving craft beer, cocktails, and Texas and Italian wines — is meant to be playful, starting with the decor from C-Boys Heart & Soul designer Jennifer Long. Whimsical touches like vintage ties are mounted on velvet inscribed with “legare uno su" ("tie one on") and the position of the lighting fixtures is meant to mimic a fox’s face.

Elsewhere, Long uses dark jewel tones, abstract paintings, and an Italian teardrop chandelier to fill the dining room with glamor. The vibe extends to the courtyard, which is lined with olive trees.

Although the feel of La Volpe is very different than the casual Cedar Door, the Potts won’t have to travel far to keep an eye on both restaurants. The address at 201 Brazos St., Building B is right next door, a location sure to come in handy when the Potts introduce brunch in the upcoming weeks.