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5 things to know in Austin food right now: Hot downtown eatery named Best New Restaurant in U.S.

5 things to know in Austin food: Hot eatery named Best New Restaurant

Hestia smoked meat beef
Hestia is among the best new restaurants in America. Photo by Chelsea Francis

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.

Veracruz All Natural founders Reyna and Maritza Vazquez have opened a pop-up walk-up/to-go window at the LINE Austin hotel on Congress Avenue. To commemorate the sisters’ humble food truck roots, local artist Carmen Rangel is painting a mural on the takeout window wall, which will join another painting on the property created by Sandra Chevrier and Shepard Fairey in honor of women's suffrage. The new pop-up location features the full Veracruz menu of tacos and quesadillas, as well as juices, smoothies, and aguas frescas, available to both walk-up customers and hotel guests. 

Mediterranean restaurant and underground lounge Devil May Care announced the opening of its renovated dining patio adjacent to the main dining space. Dubbed “The Garden of Eden,” this new terrace area is covered in lush greenery and provides a jungle-esque atmosphere complete with ambient lighting. The terrace will be open during the same hours of Devil May Care, beginning at 6 pm on weekdays and 3 pm on weekends. A special "High Tea" offering will be available on the terrace Saturday from 3-7 pm and will feature a curated food and drink menu with small bites and beverages including a selection of craft cocktails, bubbly infusions, and summer refreshers.

Other news and notes

Hopfields, the French-inspired gastropub bar near the University of Texas campus, re-opened its dining room service on June 22 with a fresh face leading the kitchen operation. Via a June 16 press release, Hopfields announced the appointment of chef James Flowers to the restaurant’s executive chef position. Local foodies may recognize Flowers’ work from his time at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin’s restaurant Trio, where he served as chef de cuisine for four years, and more recently La Piscina, McGuire Moorman Hospitality’s wood-fired Mexican concept. During the ongoing global pandemic, Flowers realized a desire to return to a small neighborhood restaurant, which connected him with Hopfields' owner, Bay Anthon. While the eatery’s regulars can expect Hopfields’ menu staples, including a house-smoked duck Rueben sandwich and pan-roasted half chicken, Flowers will bring “innovative weekend specials” to his new position. 

To celebrate its 12th anniversary, South Austin wine bar House Wine is celebrating with a (what else?) rosé party. On Saturday, June 27, from 3 pm - midnight, guests can enjoy a five wine flight plus a cheese plate for $40 as well as rosés by the glass and bottle for $8 and $30 respectively. House Wine will also be tasting rosés from vineyards around the world, including a special offering from Bodkin Wines, a Black-owned wine label whose sale proceeds will benefit Black Lives Matter. Alongside live music, guests can expect rosé sangria, frose, and “other surprises.” Tickets to the day party sell for $40 and can be purchased by making a reservation online.  

Luxury lifestyle magazine The Robb Report recently released its 10 Best New Restaurants in America list, with Austin restaurants Hestia and Comedor taking the No. 1 and No. 9 spots respectively. “[Kevin Fink and Tavel Bristol-Joseph] make dishes with a rugged heartiness that doesn’t sacrifice precision in flavor," notes the Robb Report. "The restaurant named for the Greek goddess of the hearth proves itself worthy of its moniker.” Of Comedor, the magazine writes: “The scallop crudo at Gabe Erales and Philip Speer’s modern Mexican restaurant offers a glimpse into what makes the restaurant so exciting ... In a city where outstanding Tex-Mex is ubiquitous, Erales and Speer have created their own must-try vision of Mexican cuisine.”