Hot hot heat

Austin's acclaimed Emmer & Rye serves up unique new downtown restaurant

Austin's acclaimed Emmer & Rye serves up unique new downtown eatery

Emmer and Rye Hennessy Dinner
Photo by Sara Marjorie Strick
Hestia Austin interior
The interior of Hestia is a dark counterpoint to Emmer & Rye's light-filled space. Rendering courtesy of Baldridge Architects
Emmer and Rye Hennessy Dinner
Hestia Austin interior

The team behind one of Austin’s most acclaimed restaurants has fire in their belly. Not just content to make national headlines with upscale eatery Emmer & Rye and its casual cousin Henbit in the Fareground food hall, chefs Kevin Fink, Page Pressley, and Tavel Bristol-Joseph are now opening a third concept, Hestia, at 208 Nueces St.

The live fire restaurant is appropriately named after the Greek goddess of the hearth. Although menu details are still forthcoming, the chefs did reveal in a release how the dishes would be served. As Emmer & Rye did with its dim sum carts, Hestia plans to shake up the dining experience by blurring the lines between the back and front of house.

In addition to their cooking duties, the kitchen team will be directly interacting with the customers by taking orders and delivering food. The unique service model hopes to facilitate conversation on the sourcing, preparation, and inspiration behind each dish.

“Hestia is about hospitality," said Fink in a release. "Our team takes great pride in the food they create, and this new concept gives the cooks the opportunity to share directly with the guests. Some of my most memorable cooking moments have been standing by the grill with my dad or being in a kitchen with other chefs talking about food. I am excited to create a lot of these memories with our guests."

Like Emmer, Hestia will anchor a downtown tower, in this case Third+Shoal on the former site of the Austin Music Hall. Leading the design is award-winning firm Baldridge Architects, the force behind downtown's Milk + Honey Spa, boutique hotel Kimber Modern, and the former Gardner. The design includes an indoor bar, two outdoor seating areas, and space for private dining. Parking, that bugbear of any downtown project, will be taken care of through valet or validation.

Barring any construction delays, Hestia will be open in early 2019. Full details, including the menu and beverage program, will be revealed in the upcoming weeks.