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6 things to know in Austin food right now: New downtown oasis officially opens

6 things to know in Austin food: New downtown oasis officially opens

Wax Myrtle's interior
Wax Myrtle's opens on Valentine's Day. Photo by Jackie Lee Young

Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of Austin’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.

Openings

A much-anticipated downtown hot spot is finally opening its doors. Wax Myrtle’s — the chic indoor/outdoor pool-adjacent bar and restaurant located on the fourth floor at the newly opened Thompson Austin and tommie Austin hotels — will officially open for business on Monday, February 14, aka Valentine’s Day. Wax Myrtle’s, which evokes a welcoming, West Texas vibe, will be open to hotel guests as well as locals and visitors. “We can’t wait to open our doors next week,” says Nate McCabe, director of food and beverage. “Wax Myrtle’s is a refined yet laid-back space where we hope guests can come in and lose themselves for a while, whether they want to have a meal, grab a drink, get some sun, or catch a live performance in our events space. Our food offerings are simply prepared Mediterranean dishes (with a local twist), paired with a curated beverage program of seasonal cocktails full of both familiar and surprising regional ingredients and flavors. We’ve got an amazing team ready to welcome Austin to our downtown oasis!” Make your reservation for a Wax Myrtle’s visit through Resy.

Some mighty fine things are in the works for a growing Austin suburb. According to a state filing, a new 4,095-square-foot restaurant dubbed “Hanson’s Corner Mighty Fine” is moving into Hutto, at 310 Ed Schmidt Blvd. Since the owner of the concept is listed as TC4, it’s safe to assume the new restaurant is similar (if not identical) to the Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries & Shakes brand, which was purchased last year from K&N Management by hospitality company TC4 & Co. That business is owned by local restaurateurs Tony Ciola and Creed Ford IV of The League Kitchen & Tavern, among other concepts. Construction on the new Hutto Mighty Fine, which will include outdoor patio seating, comes in at a cost of $1 million, according to the filing, and is set to begin May 1 and be completed by January 2, 2023.

Hey Romeo, if you’re looking for your Juliet this lovers’ holiday, you’re in luck. Austin’s beloved Juliet Italian Kitchen has a new younger sister, Little Juliet, a takeout and delivery concept located at the Kitchen United Mix space on Burnet Road in North Austin. The menu includes a variety of Juliet fan faves, from chicken Parm and dreamy spaghetti Bolognese to 17-layer lasagna, salads, pizzas, and meatballs galore, as well as tempting dessert dishes like tiramisu and New York-style cheesecake. Little Juliet will deliver via third-party apps like DoorDash and UberEats, or customers can swing by Kitchen United to grab their grub. Little Juliet joins fellow Italian ghost-kitchen concept Benvolio’s (now also at Kitchen United), which the team behind Juliet launched last year. Little Juliet is open every day from 11 am-9 pm. Order online here.

Looking for a new Maine squeeze? Then you should head to North Austin, where local favorite Blue Starlite Drive-In is parking its newest theater, at Garbo’s Fresh Maine Lobster’s new brick-and-mortar restaurant. Aiming for a beachside summer vacay vibe, Blue Starlite’s Tiki Drive-in will be the company’s fourth location and gets rolling with a soft opening on Friday, February 18 with a 7:30 pm screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. “For years, we have been looking for the right spot in North Austin,” says Blue Starlite founder Josh Frank. “We have finally found it. … Through our collaboration with Garbo’s, our North Austin drive-in will offer car slot packages that include beach-themed dinners and desserts from the restaurant and its adjoining Connor’s Creamery ice cream truck.” Check out the new drive-in’s planned showings and get tickets online.

Other news and notes

Sandwich snackers who are looking to fancy up their meat-and-bread game this Valentine’s Day need look no further than Chateau Jé Jé. That’s the wink-wink alias of Jimmy John’s (yep, that Jimmy John’s), which is hosting a one-time-only, intimate, seated restaurant experience for Valentine’s Day weekend at 1102 E. Cesar Chavez St. It’s open only from Thursday, February 10 through Saturday, February 12, when members of the sandwich-loving public can dine at Chateau Jé Jé, which will feature a four-course meal centered around Jimmy John’s sandwiches, a romantic outdoor garden setting, a live jazz band performing “sultry sandwich ballads,” and even chip and soda sommeliers onsite so you can make the best pairing decisions. Beer and wine will also be available. Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservation can only be made through Tock.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, February 9, is National Pizza Day (which is distinguished by every other day simply in its designated name), and one Austin pizza joint is celebrating by dishing out some good will. Southside Flying Pizza, which worked closely with the good folks at Good Work Austin after last year’s devastating winter storm, is shining a light on those good deeds performed in the Austin community by — how else? — “doughnating.” All day Wednesday at all its Austin restaurants, Southside Flying Pizza will offer $10 large cheese pizzas and $10 large pepperoni pizzas for delivery or takeout — and 25 percent of sale proceeds from those pizzas will be donated to Good Work Austin. Order here to score the $10 deal. But the doughnating doesn’t stop there. Also on National Pizza Day, Southside’s SoCo location (2206 S. Congress Ave.) will give away 100 free large pepperoni pizzas. The giveaway starts at 3 pm and lasts until the pizzas are gone, which we’re guessing will take about five minutes, so if you want a free pie, you’d better fly.