Sunday, October 26, 2014

Italic Opening in Early 2015

Construction Underway for Italic
ELM Restaurant Group’s Italian Project Takes Shape

The historic Starr Building in downtown Austin at 6th and Colorado has attracted attention for decades. It held the city’s first escalator and drive-up bank, features a renowned mural by distinguished American artist Seymour Fogel (lovingly preserved in advertising agency McGarrah Jessee’s upstairs office suite) and the interior was designed by none other than mid-century marvel Florence Knoll. And now, ELM Restaurant Group, the parent company of three successful Austin restaurant concepts: 24 Diner, Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden and Arro, is causing a stir by taking up residence in the large downstairs space originally occupied by American National Bank. Building residents and downtown denizens eagerly await the arrival of Italic, the group’s Italian concept slated to open in early 2015.

“The challenge in creating Italic,” says designer Veronica Koltuniack of VeroKolt, “is paying homage to the building’s iconic mid-century modern design roots without replicating or rehashing it. Chef Andrew Curren’s Italian menu will be simple and straightforward, and we want the atmosphere to reflect that vibe.” Interesting design elements will include a steel-and-glass wine mezzanine, homasote and Douglas fir wood paneling, custom concrete walls, repurposed industrial utility lights and unusual 1950s Italian desks and credenzas. Warm neutrals will be punctuated by subtle pops of sunny yellow and emerald green.

Entering the space will feel as if you stepped into a Tuscan kitchen to have dinner with newfound friends, where the only common language is food and an unlabeled bottle of wine topped with a soda cap. Chef Drew first fell in love with Italian culture and cuisine during a college semester abroad, and this passion led him to the Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park) and then to chef Jonathan Waxman’s Italian restaurant Barbuto in New York City. Drew has long dreamed of creating his own interpretation of those experiences and is thrilled to execute a rustic, approachable model for lunch, happy hour and dinner here in Austin.

A top-of-the-line American-built pizza oven offering 8 feet of stone hearth will yield an array of classic and rustic pizzas, as well as a handful of entrées such as roasted half chicken and Florence-style T-bone steak. Antipasti selections ranging from cured meats, Italian cheeses, olives and house-marinated produce to house-baked focaccia will start a meal or end a hard day’s work during happy hour. Seasonally rotating pastas, featuring both fresh and dried varieties, will allow ELM to hold true to its farm-to-table ideals as well as satisfy the craving for a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine.

ELM’s Beverage Director, Master Sommelier Craig Collins, will create an easy-to-navigate, 100-percent Italian wine list. The keg wine program will feature a house red and white, and the full bar will include Italian-influenced cocktails, select local & internationally renowned craft beers and an extensive list of classic Italian apéritifs and digestifs.

The creative team behind the expansion includes the architectural and design team at Furman + Keil Architects, the branding team at McGarrah Jessee and Franklin-Alan commercial builders.

October Supper Club at Mulberry

October Supper Club at Mulberry

Date: Monday, October 27th, 2014
Time: 7pm-9pm
Location: Mulberry | 360 Nueces Street (under the 360 Condos)

Facebook link

Eventbrite link for tickets

Join us for cuisine inspired by fall flavors, paired with select wines and great company as we present our October Supper Club. Chef Kristine Kittrell and Chef de Cuisine, Ruston Richardson, will prepare a three-course meal, along with their ideal choice for wine pairings for each course. Seating is limited.

Beet Brined Oysters On The Half Shell, Fresno Honey Grinita
Strawberry Cups, Jicama Salad
to drink: Cava, Francesc Ricart, Spain or Sparkling Rose, Louis de Grenelle, France

Venison Carpaccio, Maple Yogurt, Pickled Beechwood Mushrooms, Candied Pine Nuts
Fried Quinoa Salad, Pickled Okra, Yogurt Coconut Cashew Butter, Pickled Radish
to drink: Pinot Blanc, Brooks, Oregon 2013 or Chardonnay, Lioco, California 2012

Green Tea Brined Duck Breast, Roasted Kabocha Squash, Broccoli Rabe, Cipollini Foie Gras Jus
Gnocchi Sweet Potato Purée, Creme Fraiche, Cashew, Pumpkin Seed Oil
to drink: Cabernet Franc, Pascal Lambert, France 2012 or Pinot Noir, R. Stuart, Oregon 2011

Deconstructed Carrot Cake, Vanilla Syrup, Cream Cheese Ice Cream, Walnut Crumble
to drink: Port, Taylor Fladgate 10 year Tawny Port or Sauternes, Chateau d'Armajan 2008 or Latte

Executive Chef | Kristine Kittrell
Chef de Cuisine | Ruston Richardson
$ 55 Per Person | All Inclusive

Fall Flavors Take Center Stage at Finn & Porter

Chef Showcases Season’s Offerings Including an Unexpected, Artistic Play on
Campfire S’mores

Chef Peter Maffei of Finn & Porter, located inside Hilton Austin, recently released his new fall menu filled with creative preparations of seasonal ingredients along with signature touches to classic cool weather dishes.

Maffei infused the flavors of fall into a sumptuous Foie Gras appetizer dish served with golden beet, braised red onion, arugula and celery; a handmade Ricotta Gnocchi with crispy lamb sausage, mushroom, tomato and quail egg; and a new play on a previous favorite – the Lockhart Quail with confit grape, pearl onion, kohlrabi and sherry jus.

The salad and soup section includes the return of another seasonal favorite: the Beet Salad served with Wateroak Farms goat cheese, pistachio and micro arugula. Nothing says fall quite like Maffei’s Parsnip & Apple Soup filled with crispy parsnip and apple celery chutney.

Entrée selections cover the range of proteins including six inventive seafood dishes, beef cheek and steaks, plus a hearty duck cassoulet and pork chop. New to the fall menu is Hawaiian Butterfish, served with custard potato, fennel, carrot and mushroom cippolini broth. The Diver Scallops with cider glazed pork belly, caramelized cauliflower, radish, apple and watercress are light and full of flavor. Maffei serves a fresh Halibut with spaghetti squash, apple, pine nuts, raisin and saffron sherry buerre blanc. For those with a big appetite Finn & Porter serves up a 16oz Pork Chop with butter whipped potatoes, Swiss chard and caramelized apples.  The Beef Cheek is accompanied by hand rolled pasta, glazed root vegetables and Swiss chard. A fall/winter classic, Duck Cassoulet, includes confit leg of duck, merguez sausage, crispy pork, carrot and white beans.

Known for its expert preparation of steaks, the latest menu includes a 16 oz. Strube Ranch Ribeye or a 24 oz. version for two people.  And a year-round favorite is the Finn & Porter, a seven ounce center cut beef tenderloin and poached lobster served with creamed spinach and fennel orange beurre blanc.

For dessert, chef has created a treat for the all of the senses, Campfire S’mores Pot de Crème. The scent of toasted marshmallow, smokey maple leaves and chocolateenvelops diners as the dish is served. Three crème’s -- toasted marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker?,  are served in hollowed-out eggshells, delivering a totally new twist on the traditional S’more.

“I’m incredibly proud of this fall menu,“ Chef Maffei said. “My personal favorite dish is the Beef Cheek as it is the true definition of fall, plus the Campfire S’mores Pot de Crème is the ideal ending to any meal. The S’mores has that “wow” effect that gets diners excited – we have to be sure our guests save room for it!“ Maffei stated.