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6 things to know in Austin food right now: Italian restaurant says arrivederci to South Congress

6 things to know in Austin food: SoCo Italian eatery says arrivederci

Botticelli's on South Congress has closed.  Botticellis/Instagram

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.

South Congress staple Botticelli's took to social media on Friday, June 17, to confirm the family-run operation shut down permanently by the weekend’s end. “We don’t have the words currently to tell you how much this community has meant to us," says the statement. “We are so grateful to everyone who has ever walked through our doors.” Like many Austin restaurants struggling through this economic climate, Botticelli's shifted to a to-go operation earlier this year before briefly reopening its restaurant for dine-in service. The operation started a Gofundme page in March to support the restaurant and its staff in the face of what co-founder Andrew Botticelli called “the greatest unforeseen financial hit of [Botticelli's] lifetime.” As of this writing, the page has raised $10,780 of its $200,000 goal.

Pitchfork Pretty founder and executive chef Max Snyder has announced a new health-focused food truck concept after indefinitely closing the Southern-inspired eatery last month. The trailer, dubbed Rogue Radish Luncheonette, will serve “plant-based, macrobiotic, flexitarian” offerings. Snyder explained to Austin American-Statesman that this includes a set menu as well as a “daily changing rice and grain bowl,” which will feature “an assortment of seasonal vegetable preparations, [plus] a handful of proteins available to add on." Snyder says he hopes the food truck, located at 2113 Manor Rd., will open in about a month.

Other news and notes

One of the Austin culinary scene’s most eligible bachelors might be competing for love ... on primetime. Page Pressley, the chef behind the Austin-based virtual fine-dining operation Foxtail Supper Club, was featured alongside 42 other potential contestants on The Bachelorette’s official Facebook page as a teaser for the NBC reality dating show’s upcoming 16th season. While the post has since been deleted, Pressley has been widely reported to be among the contenders. This comes on the heels of the show’s recently revised filming plans, which came to a halt earlier this year due to COVID-19. The retooled season is set to premiere sometime this fall, and will feature a new cast of bachelors attempting to win the heart of bachelorette Clare Crawley, all while quarantined inside a Southern California La Quinta resort. 

P. Terry’s is dishing out something new to Austin's four-legged friends. The Austin-based chain recently announced a partnership with Barkin’ Creek Dog Kitchen & Bath. Beginning July 20, customers picking up burgers and fries from any P. Terry’s drive-thru with pooches in tow will receive a specialty dog treat. “Barkin’ Creek has long admired P. Terry’s and the Terry family,” said Barkin’ Creek co-founder, Flint Beamon in a July 17 press release. “To partner with them is a no-brainer. They have the same approach to using all-natural ingredients as we do for our four-legged clients.” The seasonally rotating cast of canine treats, made with such ingredients as oat and chickpea flour, include three planned flavors: peanut butter, pumpkin molasses, and apple cracker. 

Willie Nelson’s Luck Ranch is getting a green overhaul courtesy of a local agriculture institute and farm. On July 21, TerraPurezza, announced its partnership with Nelson’s ranch, which will transform 500 acres of land into a comprehensive regenerative farm. In addition to restoring native prairie, recharging aquifers, and improving soil quality using heritage breed livestock, TerraPurezza will use the land as a training institute for its integrated approach to agriculture, as well as a distributor of such products as pork, poultry, and eggs. “We have been following TerraPurezza for a few years now and I think their ideas about land restoration are great,” said Nelson in a press release. “Our family wants to be a part of showing that regenerative agriculture is possible for both small family farmers and big corporate farmers.” In addition to hosting Nelson’s annual spring music festival, Luck Reunion, the family-owned ranch also gained notoriety as the shooting location for the musician’s 1985 film Red Headed Stranger, written and directed by the late Bill Wittliff. 

Andiamo, the North Austin eatery known for serving authentic Italian cuisine reflective of its founder’s home city of Naples, has devised a convenient method of supporting local culinary industry workers. When customers place an order for Andiamo’s $25 Picnic for a Friend box, they’ll have the option of purchasing an additional $15 picnic box for a service industry professional in need. Each box contains a sandwich with prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, and basil, as well as a fresh salad containing watermelon, arugula, and feta cheese, plus a side of pickled mushrooms and peppers. In addition to the extra meal, patrons can add a bottle of white or rosé wine to their basket for an additional $20, as well as a bottle of red for $25. Andiamo is currently open for dine-in and take-out service Monday through Saturday 5-9 pm. Orders can be placed by calling Andiamo at 512-719-3377