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