Austin Culinary Happenings
This week in food: New restaurants, Citywide 86'd, Odd Duck thumbs-ups and Vince Young Steakhouse's fate
The King reigns — Hey everyone: The line is super-long at the East Side King takeover of Toki Underground in D.C. we told you about last week — and we're not one bit surprised. For more news regarding the exciting out-of-state pop-up, check out the restaurant’s Facebook.
Citywide 86'd — Uchi has announced some tidbits regarding its upcoming Citywide 86'd competition. According to the restaurant's blog, the culinary competition will host three of its preliminary rounds at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. (The rounds were previously hosted at Uchiko.) According to Uchi Culinary Director Philip Speer, “Citywide 86’d is an exciting way to bring our culinary and restaurant community together by challenging the unsung heroes of our favorite restaurants. This is an opportunity to have cooks, servers, pastry cooks and bussers alike challenge each other to a fun day of cooking and competition." There will be successive elimination rounds taking place February 8, March 1, April 25 and May 3, with the finale on June 16 at the AT&T Conference Center.
AF&W announces schedule — This week, integral details emerged regarding this spring's Austin Food & Wine Festival. The third annual festival, which takes place April 25-27, announced a few of the chefs in its lineup, additional events and details on how to gorge and booze during the weekend event. As of this morning, the prefestival dinner, Feast Under the Stars, has already sold out. You can find more more details here .
The Peached Tortilla — After five years of mobile service, The Peached Tortilla is finally putting some walls around its establishment. The popular food truck will become a restaurant in the Allandale neighborhood in fall 2014. No news on the menu just yet, but owner Eric Silverstein says the it will continue to draw inspiration from Asian-centric fare with Southern twists. For more information, see this week's full story on the new restaurant.
A new gastropub — South First Street has a new booze establishment on its hands. Porter Ale House & Gastropub hosted a soft opening on January 15 for thirsty Austinites. The new brew spot hosts a selection of pub-centric plates, more than beers on tap and a rustically cozy atmosphere. The owners are drawing inspiration from "previous experiences at some of New York’s finest restaurants and a mutual inspiration from the late great Julia Child," they said, to create the unique space.
Cooking for a cause — Good news regarding the Leah Ortiz benefit we told you about last week! Uchiko and Swift's Attic raised a total of $4,370 for server Leah Ortiz, who, along with her boyfriend, was injured in a motorcycle accident last year. An anonymous donor matched the $4,370 funds raised, bringing the total to $8,740 to go toward Ortiz's medical bills.
Exotic feasts — Goodall's will host a Spanish-themed wine dinner this Wednesday, January 29. The international dinner will feature spirited cocktails, an assortment of tapas, seafood paella, savory pork belly and decadent almond cake. All courses will be paired with a selection of fine Spanish wines. The price to attend the exotic dinner is $79.
Sharpe's take — Texas Monthly Food Editor Patricia Sharpe has weighed in with her first take of Bryce Gilmore’s new restaurant, Odd Duck, and likes what she tastes. Sharpe summed up her opinion elegantly in saying “I kept expecting the ups and downs of the typical restaurant experience; instead there was just a steady upward trajectory.” It seems CultureMap food writer Kristi Willis was equally positive in her take on the restaurant this week.
A chef returns – This February, Mark Schmidt of the now-closed Café 909 will debut his newest restaurant, Blackbird and Henry, on Guadalupe Street. According to a press release, the restaurant will pay great homage to Café 909, featuring “new creations inspired by [Schmidt’s] British upbringing and travels through Europe and North America.” Expect a myriad of unconventional-but-delicious dishes, such as curried prawn kedegeree (house-smoked trout, cous cous, coriander, red onion, quail egg, cucumber raita), Café 909 pistachio parfait (pistachio mousse with burnt-honey caramel topped with crushed pistachios) and more. The restaurant is located at 3016 Guadalupe Street and will serve dinner seven days a week from 5 pm to midnight. You can find more information about the restaurant on Facebook.
More troubles for Vince Young — UT’s one-time favorite quarterback is now facing a great many troubles: Young was recently dropped from the NFL roster and just filed for bankruptcy. Austin American-Statesman food writer Matthew Odam recently wrote about how and if the quarterback’s troubles are affecting his namesake restaurant, Vince Young Steakhouse.