Some Austin restaurants arrive on the scene with very little fanfare, others teasingly trickle information in with the precision of a Hollywood blockbuster. Such is the case of Hestia, the upcoming restaurant from Emmer & Rye's powerhouse team of Kevin Fink and Tavel Bristol-Joseph.
Though the downtown concept officially announced it is opening December 7, many other details are still clouded in mystery. (Call it The Blair Witch Project of anticipated Capital City eateries.)
As previously reported, the restaurant at 208 Nueces St. will have a unique service model that centers on the back of house. The kitchen staff will directly interact with guests to facilitate a more intimate conversation between those who make the food and those who consume it.
Chefs de cuisine Keith Rzepecki and Julien Hawkins have been brought on to assist with the experience, but Hestia's exact menu has yet to be revealed. In keeping with its naming inspiration — the Greek goddess of the hearth — wood-fire cooking will be at the core of the operation.
“Our style has always been about exploring techniques, and the hearth at Hestia gives us an opportunity to play with the role of fire in food," says Fink in a November 19 release. "We believe in a collaborative kitchen environment and are excited to work with our chefs de cuisine … to create a special experience that permeates all aspects of the restaurant."
To create that special experience, Hestia tapped award-winning firm Baldridge Architects. The resulting space is a sort of foil to the bright and sunny Emmer, using darker woods and inky upholstery for an enveloping effect.
Austinites will have to wait until December to know the rest of the details. But like Blair Witch did in 1999, it’s sure to dominate the cultural conversation for weeks to come.