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6 things to know in Austin food right now: Japanese joint rolls out new happy hour spread

6 things to know in Austin food: Japanese spot unrolls new happy hour

A sushi and hand roll spread at TenTen.
The new happy hour menu at TenTen covers everything from raw hand rolls to cooked specialties like chicken karaage. Photo by Brianna Caleri

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.

New menus 

TenTen, the modern and moody Japanese restaurant on West Sixth Street, introduced a new happy hour menu (weekdays from 4:30-5:30 pm) diverse enough to cover dinner. For fans of dark meat, the chicken karaage is a juicy and lighter take on fried chicken, served with a chile, honey, and mayo spread. Eight types of tiny hand rolls offer options for groups with differing opinions on raw fish, including crispy coconut shrimp tempura. Most central to any happy hour, all cocktails, wine, sake, and house-spirits are served half-off, including a smoky and sweet “tanto tai” not unlike a Japanese piña colada.

APT 115 is rebranding from just a wine bar, to a wine bar and upscale restaurant newly led by Chef Charles Zhuo. The tasting menu, although it changes often, focuses on surprising elevations made with minimal equipment; for instance, a cauliflower fondue or pork belly rillette. Wines from Texas and far-off countries from the extensive menu are available at 30 percent off after dining, and tunes from the owner’s private collection are in steady rotation.

Other news and notes

Lick Honest Ice Creams is pursuing even more honesty through a partnership with Bright Littles, a brand offering tools to create structure around difficult conversations with kids. Author Tara Miko Ballentine, creator of Bright Littles, will be in the Lick store at Mueller on May 25 from 3-6 pm, selling conversation cards and a home safety journal, and hooking buyers up with a free scoop of ice cream. Isn’t ice cream the perfect incentive to get out there and talk about practical safety and emotional awareness?

Real Ale Brewing Company is throwing a 26-year anniversary party — really more of a full-fledged festival — on May 21. The beer of honor will be the Lil Devil, a Belgian-style golden ale made with American and New Zealand hops, sold alongside other brand-new beers and some cocktails. While travelers enjoy the brews and the Hill Country, Colombian funk band Superfónicos and songwriter Andrea McGee will keep the party going, with bites by food vendors (Yapa Empanadas, Cast Iron Punk, and Abby Jane Bakes), and a local artisans’ market. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

California winemaker Tarpon Cellars is breaking into the Texas market, and kicking things off with a launch party at Cork and Screw on May 22, from 1:30-7 pm. One ticket ($45) includes three samples of Tarpon Cellars wines, a branded wine glass, all-day wine specials, and live music performances by Sir Woman, She Returns From War, and DJ Harry Paradise. The event, also with bites from Sammotaro Pizza, will benefit Lift Collective, which aims for a more inclusive wine industry through “discussion, scholarship opportunities, and mentorship.” Tickets are available at simpletix.com.

For this virtual wine tasting on May 25 at 8 pm, participants can tune in from the comfort of home, not choose a designated driver, and enjoy the rest of each bottle. To celebrate National Wine Day, Chris Brundrett of William Chris Vineyards and Andrew Sides of Lost Draw Cellars are sharing their insights as wine makers while leading participants through four bottles of their own Texas wines. The package ($139) and more information on the live stream are available at williamchriswines.com.