Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chef Shawn Cirkiel Adds Season-Inspired Antipasti to the backspace Menu

The authentic flavors of Naples meld with robust ingredients of the fall season at Chef Shawn Cirkiel’s charming, urban trattoria, the backspace. The restaurant’s new seasonal menu additions highlight hearty local produce, made all the more enticing with half-off pricing during the backspace’s daily happy hour.

the backspace, well-loved for its traditional thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizzas baked in an Italian brick oven, has added a bountiful selection of antipasti dishes ($5 each) that will evolve several times a year to include seasonal offerings. Current fall-inspired antipasti plates include Sunchokes in White Wine with Carrots, Celery and Lemon; Roasted Apples and Fennel with Chili Flake and Parsley; Roasted Butternut Squash with Lemon, Walnut Pesto and Peppers; and Brussels Sprouts with Fontina Cheese, Lemon and Bread Crumbs.

Other antipasti favorites include Balsamic Tomatoes with Cipollini Onions; fresh Beets with Celery and Lemon Zest; Button Mushrooms and Sage in White Wine; the classic Marinated Olives, Lemon, Rosemary and Oregano; the flavorful Roasted Potatoes and Peppers with Olives and Capers; Marinated Eggplant, Capers and Mint; Chickpeas with Tomato and Onions, Basil and Oregano; Marinated Mozzarella, Lemon Zest and Chili Flake; and Spicy Cauliflower with Capers, Calabrese and Lemon.          

Demure in plate size but generously portioned, all of the backspace’s antipasti dishes are ideal appetizers for sharing. And because they’re only $5 per plate, diners can enjoy a variety of classic and modern Italian antipasti delights as a meal or while awaiting their favorite backspace pizza.    

Currently, all antipasti dishes, in addition to the backspace’s extensive wines-by-the-glass and beer selections, are half off the regular menu price every night from 5 to 6:30 p.m. throughout the restaurant. Guests are encouraged to pop in for a quick bite and a toast, or linger a little longer over several authentic Neapolitan-style courses and a bottle of Italy’s best wine.  

Located at 507 San Jacinto Blvd. in downtown Austin, the backspace specializes in authentic Neapolitan pizzas and artisan antipasti served in a warm, urban-style atmosphere. The restaurant is open nightly from 5 to 11 p.m., with valet parking available seven nights a week. For more information about the backspace, call (512) 474-9899, or visit

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