And then there were three
Retro-inspired restaurant gallops into luxury downtown Austin hotel
Already home to Los Angeles coffee shop Alfred and celebrity chef Kristen Kish’s chic Arlo Grey, the Line Austin hotel is adding yet another brand-new concept. On October 24, the downtown destination opened the third of its promised concepts, Dean’s One Trick Pony.
Previously called Bridge & Trail, the reimagined concept keeps the bar and restaurant in line (ahem) with the hotel’s midcentury roots. According to a release, the concept is named after Don Dean, who served as manager of Club Seville, the anchor of the Line’s original incarnation, Crest Inn.
Long before Austin was christened the Live Music Capital of the World, Dean kept things swinging with a live show on radio station KAZZ-FM and jazz singles released on Sonobeat records.
Sean Knibb’s interior for the bar doesn’t quite read ‘60s, but it has some jazzy touches of its own, like multicolored grape cluster pendant lamps and a mural from Austin-based artist Drew Liverman. The L.A.-based Knibb also added a shuffleboard table to continue the fun.
The easygoing environment is mirrored in Dean’s menus. The cocktail program, designed by beverage director Brian Floyd, is approachable with new takes on old standbys like an Old Fashioned made with black cherry syrup and Bittermens hibiscus, açai berry and long pepper Burlesque bitters or a Tecate shandy made with lemon cordial and ginger beer. Floyd also introduced some Southwestern flavor, spicing up the tiki-ish Captain Fantastic (rum, pineapple, mango, lime) with habanero.
The savory menu comes from Justin Ermini, the hotel’s executive chef. Ermini comes to Austin with a serious CV, including stints working with Wolfgang Puck at San Francisco’s Postrio and Michelin-starred restaurants Jean Georges in New York City and Water Grill in Los Angeles.
Despite his pedigree, Ermini takes Dean’s in a more casual direction. Expect snacks like crab rangoon, jerk jerky, and a Mexican shrimp cocktail served michelada-style. The rest of the menu spans the globe, from a crispy chicken banh mi to Cuban mojo pork to American favorites like a double patty burger on a Hawaiian bun and a wedge salad.
Pastry chef Ashley Whitmore keeps her desserts accessible with rotating soft serve flavors and seasonal pies served whole or by the slice. Among the current offerings is a pecan-smoked apple pie with bacon and cheddar meant to be shared by two diners.
Although the opening of Dean’s comes at a difficult time for Austin restaurants due to the city’s current water issue, a company rep confirms that they are taking all boiled water precautions for dishwashing and tea and coffee service. The eatery is currently operating between 11 am-7 pm but will extend those hours sometime in November.