'Top Chef' contestant and Tiny Grocer hero open new restaurant in Hyde Park after long wait
Anyone who woke up on the wrong side of the bed today should consider hustling over to the new side of the renovated Hyde Park post office. Formerly just a government building, on October 3 it welcomes French bistro Bureau de Poste and the second location of the extremely popular Austin shop, Tiny Grocer.
Bureau de Poste was preceded by much excitement, thanks to the stellar reputations of Tiny Grocery founder Steph Steele and Top Chef contestant Jo Chan. The new location at 4300 Speedway combines the local favorite grocery store with a more robust menu and seating than the original deli — although it, too, will serve made-to-order sandwiches and pre-made items.
The grocery portion will sell more than 3,000 products curated by Steele, alongside a coffee bar, wine, and Swedish Hill and Gati gluen-free pastries. The floral, kids, pets, and nonalcoholic beverages (including mixers) will be larger than the original store. Notably, it is the first-ever outside retailer for Made In cookware.
The restaurant portion elevates the concept from a shopping destination to a place to sit and spend some time. Chef Jo Chan, best known for work at one of Austin's fanciest restaurants, Eberly, and her time on the cooking competition, now debuts some of her more international tastes that she recently developed while traveling. Some of the very French dishes on the menu include escargot, French onion soup, and beef tartare.
The sides come together over a desire to build a community gathering place and be deeply involved not just with the quality, but with the customers. Of course, Tiny Grocer already has its loyal fans, and a grocery store always lends itself to repeat visitors; the duo hopes that Bureau de Poste will also start accumulating some regulars.
Some more dishes to note: A release claims that Bureau de Poste will be the first restaurant in town that offers skate (a ray-like fish) regularly, and Chan's roast chicken partially recreates famous dishes from Zuni Café and Barbuto, where Chan used to run the kitchen.
The clafoutis — a baked custard with seasonal fruit and crème fraiche whip — is the chef's tribute to famous chef Julia Child, who was known for making French cooking approachable to Americans at home. (Austin only has one degree of separation from Child, whose book inspired Austin-born blogger Julie Foster to learn to cook in a personal triumph that later became a memoir and a feature film.)
Best of all, if guests were particularly charmed by an ingredient at the restaurant, they may sometimes find it on the grocery shelves.
Bureau de Poste will operate daily from 5-10 pm, with an additional brunch service on weekends from 10 am to 3 pm. Tiny Grocer operates 8 am to 10 pm daily. More information about Tiny Grocer is available at tinygrocer.com, and more information about Bureau de Poste is availalbe at bureaudeposteatx.com. Reserve on OpenTable.