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.
Popular Asian comfort-food chain Bao’d Up is full steam ahead at its new East Riverside location, offering such beloved menu items as its juicy steamed pork bao and sweet and savory cheesecake buns. Also available for takeout at the new outpost is an impressive assortment of teas and tapioca drinks, as well as catering offerings like the irresistible bao, fried chicken, and Szechuan fries party trays. Located at 1920 E. Riverside Dr., Bao’d Up is open 11 am to 9 pm daily.
Just in time for spring weather, Hotel Magdalena is opening the Pool Bar, available to loungers Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11 am to 6 pm through the summer. Chef Jeffrey Hundelt will offer a special menu ideal for poolside snacking and dining. Highlights include yellowtail ceviche, onion dip with house-made potato chips, the Smash Burger, and carnitas tacos. Cocktails and natural wine will also be available. (After all, what's a poolside chill session without a cocktail?) Mask wearing will be enforced and capacity will be limited. Reserve a spot by calling (512) 422-1000.
The latest culinary concept to move into North Austin’s premier ghost kitchen space, Kitchen United, is all about the gains! Opening late last week, Protein House brings its signature menu of nutritious, protein-packed items — designed with the professional athlete in mind — to the Capital City for the first time. The company is headquartered in Las Vegas, and its move to Austin comes in the form of a new takeout and delivery-only concept offering such craveable options as the Muscle Builder double bison burger, PB&J protein pancakes, and morning offerings like loaded oatmeal. Protein House is open daily from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm.
Other news and notes
After a serious health scare, a popular Nova Hospitality Group sushi concept is raising money for its executive chef and his family. Last October, TenTen executive chef Yasuo Fujimori suffered a debilitating stroke. Though he’s recovering, he may never return to his previous profession. In an effort to support the financial burden of his recovery, TenTen will donate a portion of all the restaurant’s proceeds (for both dine-in and takeout service) from April 5 through April 11, with the ultimate fundraising goal of $10,000. Additionally, those wishing to make direct financial donations toward chef Fujimori, his wife, Chiemi, and their son Kai can do so via the family’s official GoFundMe page.
For the first time in more than a year, a posh wine-pairing dinner is back on the schedule at Ciclo, famed restaurateur Richard Sandoval’s modern Texas kitchen nestled against the sprawling lawn of Lady Bird Lake at Four Seasons Hotel Austin. March 31, Ciclo will host a one-night-only Orin Swift Cellars Wine Dinner featuring five Orin Swift varietals paired with a five-course menu from Ciclo chef Gerardo Lopez. A representative from Orin Swift will also be on hand to share tasting notes and perspectives on each wine. The event, which will include physically distanced seating for only 40 people (Ciclo will be closed to regular reservations that evening.), runs $98 per person, plus an additional $62 for wine pairings. Make a reservation by calling (512) 685-8300, or through OpenTable.
With its dining room water damaged as a result of last month’s winter storm, one East Seventh Street wine bar is coming up with a creative new way to serve its clientele. APT 115’s new aptly titled pop-up bar, Under Repairs, gets shaking on weekend evenings at a “super-secret location” near the wine bar’s currently shuttered brick-and-mortar (2025 E. Seventh St., Apt 115). Guests can book reservations for the pop-up event for $60 each and can expect a multicourse meal, raw seafood, and a wine pairing, plus additional offerings of beer, cider, cheese, charcuterie, and globally inspired snacks. Under Repairs pops up Fridays and Saturdays for the foreseeable future. Tickets to the event can be purchase via Resy.
Popular modern Mexican eatery Gabriela’s is officially unveiling its highly anticipated second location with one heck of a bang. Located due south from its original downtown location, Gabriela’s new outpost at 9600 S. IH-35 at Southpark Meadows will host a special grand opening party Sunday, March 28. Accommodating walk-in guests beginning at 11 am, Gabriela’s will offer discounted food items and drink specials during the grand opening event, including $5 margaritas, plus there’ll be live entertainment from local DJs, mariachi bands, and regional Mexican star Esteban Gabriel. Gabriela’s is currently open Monday through Wednesday from 11 am to 10 pm., Thursday through Saturday from 11 am to midnight, and Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm.
Austin-based liquor retailer Twin Liquors is bringing some real local star power to its latest virtual cocktail happy hour. During a special “How We Built This” installment of Twin Liquors’ online drinks and conversation series, taking place March 23 from 6 to 7 pm, Jill Burns and Kelly Gasink — co-founders of locally owned canned sparkling-cocktail operation Austin Cocktails — will lead an evening of stories, conversations, and libations. The virtual happy hour will be introduced by panelist Margaret Jabour, co-owner of Twin Liquors, and Burns and Gasink will discuss such topics as how their grandfather’s philosophy shaped their company’s brand personality, their biggest cocktail fails and their riskiest business decisions. Register for the free event here. Austin Cocktails (in mojito, margarita, and Ruby Red) are available in-store and on the Twin Liquors’ website.