Destination dining

Austin chef decamps to Texas Hill Country to open luxe all-day restaurant

Austin chef decamps to Texas Hill Country to open luxe all-day eatery

Camp Lucy
Tillie's will add another feather to Camp Lucy's hat. Camp Lucy

If you want to find Austin’s hottest new restaurant district, you might have to drive past the city limits. With the recent openings of The League Kitchen & Tavern, Stiles Switch BBQ offshoot The Switch, and a new and improved Pieous, Dripping Springs is a destination all its own.

Now catering and event company Whim Hospitality is joining the merry band with the announcement of Tillie's, a new all-day fine dining restaurant on the grounds of luxury resort and popular wedding venue Camp Lucy. Opening October 1 at 3509 Creek Rd., Tillie’s will give Austinites one more reason to escape to the Texas Hill Country.

“Our goal behind creating Tillie’s is to evoke emotion,” Whim Hospitality co-founder Kim Hanks (along with husband Whit) said in a release. “It’s that emotion that you feel when you step into someplace new. Whether it’s a new city or a foreign land, how a new surrounding impacts your experience and changes the fabric of who you are when you are a part of something new, exciting, and different.”

To help craft that experience, the couple drafted Austin chef Brandon Martin. A veteran of such acclaimed restaurants as Foreign & Domestic, Lenoir, Odd Duck, and Barley Swine, Martin will bring the seasonal and local approach of those local mainstays to a menu that will add international flavors to traditional American cuisine,

“I’ve worked in a lot of restaurants and have a lot of influences from the great chefs and cuisines that I’ve been exposed to,” Martin said. “I really love experiencing new flavors and techniques, and I’ve tried to do a little bit of everything with our menu.”

Highlights from his introductory menu include fried Brussels sprouts with chili jam, crispy shallot, and orange supremes; crispy pork belly served with masa gnocchi, seasoned corn, chard, red-eye butter, and carrot puree; and a Wagyu sirloin with grilled cabbage, corn relish, beet-infused pesto, and black garlic jus.

Since the property is located on the gateway to the Texas wine country, the restaurant will feature a large selection with more than 100 wines. There will also be a full bar serving craft cocktails.

Fittingly for a resort that includes a restored 19th century French colonial chapel, the dining environment will be one of the the most unique in the Austin area. The Hanks imported an almost 200-year-old town hall from Vietnam’s Ninh Binh to serve as the main space. A Vietnamese family home has also been restored to provide a separate space for private parties and meetings.

Tillie’s won’t be the only new addition to the Camp Lucy grounds. Work is also completing on a pool that will have a separate swim-up bar and an outdoor brick oven. The team hopes to have that ready to debut at the same time as the restaurant.