The speculation is over about what will replace the shuttered Antonelli’s Cheese Shop at downtown Austin’s Fareground food hall. On January 9, ELM Restaurant Group announced it was filling the vacancy in-house with a second location of its Italian eatery Italic.
Opening on January 12, the Fareground outpost will be a mini version of the original restaurant. The menu is arranged similarly to the flagship’s lunch menu, with small sections divided by primi (the Italian “first dish” traditionally served after antipasti), pasta, sandwiches, and contorni (sides).
The primi list features the two salads from the group's West Sixth Street outpost, a kale version with Calabrian chiles and sunflower vinaigrette and a chopped with bitter greens, olives, soppressata, and mozzarella. The ever-popular burrata is coming too, along with a new dish of peppers stuffed with yellowfin tuna, red onion, celery, and capers served with aioli.
Those wanting something more substantial can order a sandwiches or a hearty pasta like penne rigate bolognese or lasagna made with Italian sausage and salami. Sides include two more salads, a simple arugula toss with Parmigiano and lemon and fusilli with pepperoncini, cherry tomatoes, and mixed herbs.
The opening of Italic's Fareground stall marks a busy year for ELM. After opening the food hall in January 2018, the group split with Easy Tiger in February. Then in June, it debuted Cookbook Bar & Cafe inside the Austin Central Library with dishes inspired by recipes from acclaimed culinary figures.
And it seems like there won’t soon be a moment to take a deep breath. Among the projects coming in 2019 are locations of 24 Diner at Rock Rose in Domain Northside and the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The group also isn’t quite done putting the finishing touches on Fareground. A street level bar designed by Michael Hsu, appropriately named Level Up, is currently under construction in anticipation of a spring opening.