There's so much happening in the Austin restaurant scene — in addition to seemingly unending restaurant openings. We've gathered the latest and greatest restaurant tidbits — from special new lunch and dinner offerings to chefs taking the plunge.
Austin chefs take the plunge
A group of daring industry pros rappelled down the Omni hotel downtown on November 16 to bring awareness to addiction and raise funds for Shatterproof, the national nonprofit working towards ending the stigma of addiction. Led by Phillip Speer, who has been sober for two years, the team called 86 Addiction included Paul Qui (Kuneho), Page Pressley (Emmer & Rye), Brandon Hunt (VIA 313), Nic Yanes (Juniper), Gabe Erales (Geraldine’s), Callie Speer (Bombshell), Jared Ferguson (Garage), Barry Gamache (Swift’s Attic), and Howard Change (Wu Chow). They joined over 75 participants with personal stories of addiction.
Bartender wins national cocktail competition
Drambuie and Chilled magazine brought the Modern Classics competition to Firehouse Lounge on November 14. Six bartenders competed by creating two cocktails using Drambuie: a recreation of a signature cocktail and a non-whisk(e)y cocktail. The coveted prize, a trip to retrace the history of Drambuie through the Isle of Skye, went to Tacy Rowland of Roosevelt Room. Rowland, who recently returned to Austin after a stint in Colorado, has worked in some of Austin's best cocktail bars, including drink.well.
Café Josie gets boozier
After years as a wine-and-beer-only venue, the Clarksville favorite is now offering a full bar. Nathan Etheredge, the cafe’s wine buyer, has created a cocktail menu with classics and a few signature creations like the Tenochtitlan, featuring Rey Campero Mezcal Espadin, Perruchi Vermouth Blanc and Regan's orange bitters, and the Tito Largo, blending Tito's vodka with fresh squeezed lemonade, Martine Honeysuckle Liqueur, and Angostura bitters. On the flip side, the cafe is no longer allowed to let diners bring in their own wine.
Dolce Neve celebrates Cake Day
Celebrate National Cake Day on November 26 with a gelato cake from the little shop on South First Street. Dolce Neve will offer delicious frozen treats in regular pan form, as well as the traditional Italian zuccotto, a dome-shaped gelato cake. These uncommon delights will be available throughout the holidays, but orders require 48 hour advance notice.
General Tso'Boy's lucky lunch
This fast-casual eatery at Rock Rose is now serving a Lucky Lunch Box. Available Monday through Wednesday from 11 am to 2 pm, the lunch box includes a mix of brown rice with white rice and tri-color quinoa, choice of protein, side of sesame ginger broccoli or sesame salad, and drink for $8.88. The name of the special stems from its price, as the number eight is considered the luckiest number in Chinese culture.
Jacoby’s gets festive
The East Austin favorite is getting ready to give back by hosting a fundraiser for UT Elementary. The fundraising effort kicks off on Tuesday, December 6, with Jacoby’s Festivus. The evening will include hot chocolate, cookies, songs from the UT Elementary choir, and a tree lighting. They will continue raising funds by selling ornaments at the mercantile, with all proceeds going to the school.
Peached Tortilla launches Ramen Night
The Burnet Road favorite has a new Ramen Night, serving a featured ramen every Thursday, in addition to the regular dinner menu. This week it's a chicken shoyu ramen, topped with crispy pork shoulder, corn kernels, chopped green onions, sliced nori, and an onsen (soft-cooked) egg, in a broth seasoned with a little bacon fat for added depth and richness. A new flavor will make its appearance the week after Thanksgiving.
Trace dishes up Thanksgiving pies
An all-star cast of local chefs and bakers are doing their part to help the needy while making your Thanksgiving easier. Take home a classic sweet or savory pie for just $10 and benefit Keep Austin Fed, a local organization that fights hunger in our neighborhoods. Trace pastry chef Angel Begaye, Phillip Speer from Bonhomie, Ariana Quant from Uchiko, Olivia O'Neil from Sugar Mama's, Emily Davis from Uchi, Susana Querejazu from Odd Duck, and Ethan Holmes from Snap Kitchen will bake a variety of pies that include pumpkin, pecan, buttermilk, rhubarb, coconut, and Fat Elvis. Pies will be available for pick-up starting at 3 pm on November 23 — no pre-orders.