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Urban winery pours into East Austin, Emeril plants roots at local school, and more food news

Winery pours into east side, Emeril plants Austin roots, and more news

Infinite Monkey Theorem tasting room Austin
Graffiti from 20 Austin artists gives the new Infinite Monkey Theorem facility a funky vibe. Photo courtesy of Infinite Monkey Theorem

Editor's note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the what’s what and who’s who of Austin food. We have you covered with our regular roundup of the freshest Austin restaurant news.

The Infinite Monkey Theorem urban winery debuted its brand-new space at 7012 Shady Ln. on April 30. As reported back in December 2018, the new East Austin space comes with increased production and a snazzy tasting tom featuring art by 20 local street artists. On-site food truck Austin Rotisserie came along for the ride with a menu of French comfort food. Future plans include a collaboration with Buzz Mill Coffee to be fleshed out at a later date.

Healthy grain bowl eatery Honest Mary’s is opening a second location in October at 4800 Burnet Rd. in the Rosedale Shopping Center, Chioco Design was tasked with reworking the space, the former home of Blue Star Cafeteria. The renderings show a gussied-up facade, complete with a pergola-covered patio.

Boutique liquor store The Austin Shaker opened a second location at 420 N. Pleasant Valley on April 20. Long a favorite of both Austin’s cocktail nerds and industry pros, the shop offers a curated selection of spirits, wines, and beers; accoutrements like gum syrups and bitters; bartending supplies; and glassware.

In other booze news, Travis Height Wine & Spirits is celebrating its new look and rebrand on May 23. Founded as Travis Heights Beverage World in 2003 by former Whip-In owner Amrit Topiwala and son Rohit Topiwala, the shop now boasts a huge selection of mezcals, rums, rare liqueurs, and single malts. The grand opening party will include samples and some surprise special guests.

Bam! Emeril Lagasse has selected Cunningham Elementary School as the first Texas school to take part in Emeril’s Culinary Garden and Teaching Kitchen, a recently launched educational initiative. The program includes a five-year grant which the school will use to build its current gardening program and build a teaching kitchen.

It’s Italian Cucina has extended its hours into lunch. The South Lamar Boulevard hideaway offers lighter options like a prosciutto caprese salad or grilled wild-caught salmon with sautéed vegetables for those who want to function for a busy day ahead. But it will be difficult to resist the carb bombs like spinach fettuccini in a cream sauce, spaghettini Bolognese, or the daily ravioli and risotto specials. Hours are 11:30 am to 3 pm Tuesday through Friday.

Only one Austin restaurant made it to OpenTable’s 2019 list of the Best Brunch Restaurants in America. Each year, the online reservation platform compiles the guide based on 12 million verified reviews from over 30,000 restaurants scattered across the nation. This year, Chez Zee continued a winning streak that started in 2014. The now-shuttered Olivia was the only one other local eatery to have ever appeared on the list back in 2014.