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 and closings
Hot on the heels of opening its first Austin location at Domain Northside in late November 2019, cult purveyors Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams will start dishing out treats at 1208 S. Congress Ave. on February 26. According to a company rep, the new spot will be giving out free scoops all day and founder Jeni Britton Bauer will be on hand for a special appearance.
In another Austin scoop, California chain Gelato Paradiso quietly debuted at 1400 S. Congress Ave. January 4. Now that the shop has eased into its first month of business, the shop is trumpeting a two-day grand opening weekend. On February 29, guests can enjoy a 50 percent discount on gelato and sorbet cones, cups, and pints from 11 am-10 pm or arrive early to be one of the first 50 guests to receive free gelato for a year. On March 1, the brand will get a jumpstart on Amplify Austin Day by donating half of all sales proceeds to Urban Roots.
Other news and notes
After giving Texas its own regional award category in September 2019, the James Beard Foundation is giving out more Lone Star love. Tacodeli co-founder and chef Roberto Espinosa will head out to New York's prestigious James Beard House on April 16 to host a taco party. Menu highlights of the $125 feast ($100 for members) include aguachile de camaron made with Texas Gulf shrimp, tomatillo salsa verde, serrano chiles, and lime and HeartBrand Ranch Texas Akaushi beef confit with chile and sesame adobo picosito
The Austin Eastciders Collaboratory taproom at 979 Springdale Rd. is now offering the Capital City a limited edition treat. Working with Hill Country wineries William Chris Vineyards and Spicewood Vineyards, the beloved local brand aged cider for nine months in French oak barrels to create a unique sipper with light citrus and slightly tart notes.
On February 24, Tiny Pie's chef William Ankeney became the latest Austin chef to pop up on the Food Network during an appearance on Chopped Sweet. Though the show's "tiny treats" category undoubtedly gave Ankeney an advantage, the $10,000 prize ultimately eluded him. The hometown pie maker was named runner-up.
East Austin Hotel's boho diner Sixth and Waller is ditching counter service for dinner. In celebration of the full-service evenings, executive chef Jason Stude has whipped up a brand-new menu with dishes like shrimp and truffle grits, roasted chicken and grilled corn panzanella, and steak and eggs.
Need another reason to vote during Super Tuesday March 3? Barley Swine is offering $30 off its chef's tasting menu to guests who show their "I Voted" sticker. Reservations are recommended, but the restaurant accepts walk-ins after 5 pm.