Eberly, the highly anticipated South Lamar restaurant and bar from former co-owners of Stubb's, John Scott and Eddy Patterson, officially opened on Saturday, October 15.
Named after Angelina Eberly, who stood up to Sam Houston and his Texas Rangers in 1846 to help preserve Austin as the capital of Texas, Eberly occupies 15,000 square feet described as “a thoughtful collection of dining, drinking, and thinking spaces.” At first glance, the industrial building formerly occupied by a print shop looks stark, but walking in reveals a stunning space full of warmth and charm.
A collaboration between Michael Dickson of Icon Design Build and Mickie Spencer, the impossibly beautiful Eberly sports a mixture of old and new styles. The front part of the building houses an ample dining room where art nouveau mingles with midcentury modern design. At the back is a welcoming lounge, modeled after the lobby of a grand hotel, which is home to the historic Cedar Tavern bar of New York City fame. The spaces are connected through a Victorian study, inspired by the glass conservatories at Kew Gardens, which has an adjacent sunny patio on one side and backs to the open kitchen on the other.
We positively love the gender-neutral bathroom with single occupancy design that includes floor-to-ceiling doors in peacock blue and “vacancy” light fixtures outside each stall. Soon to open is a rooftop terrace overlooking downtown. If we had one complaint it would be that all tables for two are set up on a banquette, which leaves no privacy for intimate dining in such a romantic space.
Helmed by executive chef Jim Tripi and executive pastry chef Natalie Gazaui, Eberly features contemporary American cuisine, while Cedar Tavern offers a full menu of classic tavern food like Scotch eggs, fish and chips, and a burger with duck fat fries. High-end touches like charcuterie, raw oysters, and caviar keep the NYC vibe alive.
Tripi has nearly 30 years of culinary experience in hotels and restaurants in New York; Chicago; San Antonio; New Jersey; Dallas; and Austin, where he was part of the opening team at the flagship Whole Foods. Gazaui served as the pastry chef for McGuire Moorman Hospitality for five years before joining the Eberly team.
The menu at Eberly is familiar yet creative, subject to change daily depending on seasonality and availability of ingredients. We sampled the wood-roasted East Coast oysters topped with spinach, cream, pork belly, Parmesan, and olive oil-preserved tomato; a crudo of snapper (was that lightly salt-cured?) in a tangy green apple and serrano aguachile with a garnish of fish chicharrón; fork-tender braised short ribs with caramelized onion reduction atop apple-celery root fondue with crunchy broccolini; and a delightful potato galette that was creamy and crispy, topped with lightly dressed baby arugula.
Dessert is not to be missed. After much deliberation, we chose Natalie’s Basque Cake, Gazaui’s nod to her heritage, and were absolutely wowed by the presentation and flavor combinations. Crunchy honeycomb, quince paste, dainty scoops of pear poached in Txakolí, and Manchego cheese ice cream played the perfect accompaniment to the moist almond pastry.
Beverage selections include classic and signature cocktails, as well as an ample wine list and beer on tap. Although prices are dear, the beauty and serene vibe of the space make it worth a visit. We foresee a bright future for this innovative gathering spot.