Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Austin Beerworks Goat Roast + Tailgate Season

Goat Roast at the Austin Beerworks Brewery - Sat 8/29
What is better than cold Austin Beerworks Beer, Live Music, and a spread of food from Contigo?

If you don't have an answer, that means you need to join us on Saturday, August 29 at the Austin Beerworks Brewery for a goat roast.  There will be music from Conjunto Los Pinkys.  ABW will be pouring Einhorn Berliner Weisse and Super Awesome Helles (you get to keep the glass).  Contigo will serve a menu of:

banh mi sandwich, grilled mushrooms, traditional garnish
beef tongue pastrami reuben, beer mustard, sauerkraut, russian dressing, rye

whole roasted goat, kimchi, einhorn beer reduction
braised pork shoulder, eggplant puree, leek salsa verde
smoked oyster, fennel, lemon

grilled corn
romaine, honey lime vinaigrette, pepitas, cotija, chili, cherry tomato
johnson's backyard garden purple potato salad, scallions, aioli


Saturday, September 29:  7:00 - 10:00
Austin Beerworks Brewery
$55 includes all food, beer, and glass

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

olive & june's Nathan Fausti Named Best Sommelier By TEXSOM

olive & june’s Nathan Fausti Named Best Sommelier By TEXSOM:
Fausti Just One of Many parkside projects Wine Experts
to Receive Recent Accolades

The sommelier at olive & june, the popular Southern Italian-style restaurant in Central Austin, has earned the most prestigious wine honor in the Southern United States. Nathan Fausti has been named the 2015 TEXSOM Best Sommelier, beating out a strong field of 22 other competitors from five states. The coveted distinction is one in a list of several wine-related honors recently received by sommeliers in the employ of restaurant icon Chef Shawn Cirkiel.  

The 2015 TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition took place in early August, during TEXSOM, the most prominent and influential wine-education conference in the United States. Fausti competed in a meticulous and uncompromising three-part wine exam that included service, blind tasting and wine theory elements, and was judged by an elite panel of Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine. Previously only open to Texas-based sommeliers, the TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition upped the ante this year, allowing sommeliers from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico to enter, providing a much larger talent pool against which Fausti had to compete.

“This year, we opened the competition to sommeliers from adjoining states,” says TEXSOM co-founder and Master Sommelier James Tidwell. “Increasingly, the influence of TEXSOM reaches well beyond the borders of Texas, so we felt it was time to include a potentially larger group to participate. We offer hearty congratulations to Nathan for winning the competition this year, and look forward to next year’s competition.”

As the winner of the 2015 TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition, Fausti — who has long worked as the sommelier at olive & june and is transitioning to the sommelier position at Bullfight, Chef Cirkiel’s new tapas-style restaurant — received a $2,500 scholarship from the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation, which he can apply to the Court of Master Sommeliers certification program.     

Fausti is not the only sommelier in Chef Cirkiel’s parkside projects restaurant empire to gain such notoriety. Last year, Joelle Cousins, previously assistant general manager and sommelier at Cirkiel’s acclaimed Sixth Street gastro pub parkside, won the TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition. Additionally, Paul Ozbirn, the beverage director for all parkside projects restaurants in Austin, was recently designated an Advanced Sommelier after completing and excelling at the Advanced Sommelier exam through the Court of Master Sommeliers, the lauded nonprofit organization that co-presents the TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition. A rare designation, Ozbirn’s Advanced Sommelier distinction is one only a handful of Austin wine experts hold.

These wine-related accolades and distinctions further elevate Chef Cirkiel’s parkside projects restaurants as destinations for not only incomparable award-winning cuisine, but also for unrivaled, first-rate wine and beverage programs helmed by the most knowledgeable and acclaimed sommeliers.   

parkside projects restaurants include beloved Sixth Street gastro pub parkside, Neapolitan-style pizzeria the backspace, Southern Italian family-style eatery olive & june and the newest member of the parkside projects family, tapas eatery Bullfight. For more information about Sommelier Nathan Fausti winning the 2015 TEXSOM Best Sommelier Competition and the parkside projects beverage programs, call (512) 474-9898, or visit

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Walton’s Fancy and Staple Now Offering Made-to-Order Seasonal Picnic Packages

Walton’s Fancy and Staple Now Offering Made-to-Order Seasonal Picnic Packages:
Gourmet Offerings Include Fresh-Made Walton’s Sandwiches
& Salads, and Fresh, Local Ingredients 

This summer and autumn, Walton’s Fancy and Staple, Austin’s most iconic and cherished deli, known for its fresh-baked daily breads, gourmet meats and cheeses, and decadent sweet treats, is serving up the perfect accompaniment to every outdoor family excursion, office party or relaxing afternoon at home: made-to-order picnic packages. Created with deft attention to detail and highlighting the freshest local and seasonal ingredients, Walton’s picnic packages evoke a sense of epicurean elegance, and offer a truly unique, stylishly arranged and personalized picnic experience.  

With a focus on the best seasonal offerings available from Central Texas farming and ranching communities, Walton’s picnic packages will be available through the fall 2015 season, and include such coveted ingredients as local produce from purveyor Farm to Table and Morsels’ Farm, Walton’s and Bess Bistro’s own one-acre farm, as well as arugula from Animal Farm in Cat Spring, juicy peaches from Pedernales Valley Farms, cucumbers from Buena Tierra Farm, hydroponic bibb lettuce from Bella Verdi Farms, lettuce greens from Bluebonnet Hydroponic Farms, wildflower honey from Good Flow Honey Co., eggs from Happy Chick Farms and Mill-King Market and Creamery’s whole milk. Much of the poultry and cheeses used in the baskets are sourced from area producers, including Pure Luck Farm and Dairy and Wateroak Farm. And all jams, mustards and compotes are produced in-house at Walton’s, as are some of the charcuterie options, like pork terrines and goose pâté.

Walton’s summer and autumn picnic packages, which come complete with a crafty picnic basket and a convenient wine opener, include the Standard ($29), which includes two baguette sandwiches, two bags of “Dirty” Potato Chips, one pound of Southern potato salad, assorted macaroons and two Topo Chicos. The Staple Fromage package ($43) comes with two locally sourced cheeses, two cured meats, one baguette, lavash flatbread, Texas honeycomb, marinated olives, house-made fig jam, assorted macaroons and two Topo Chicos. The Fancy Fromage package ($112) is a gourmet feast that includes three artisanal cheese, three cured meats, house-made goose liver pâté, a condiment trio of peach mustardo, apple compote and fig jam, and one baguette, lavash, Texas honeycomb, pickled farm vegetables, marinated olives, spiced nuts, a large bottle of San Pellegrino and assorted macaroons. The Family picnic package ($85) has something to suit everyone’s taste, and includes four assorted baguette sandwiches, a choice of family-style seasonal salad, two pounds of Southern potato salad, four bags of “Dirty” Potato Chips, four gooey chocolate-chip cookies, assorted macaroons, four Topo Chicos and one gallon of house-made lemonade.    

Featured 10-inch gourmet baguette sandwiches, prepared with fresh-baked “baguettini,” Walton’s version of the traditional French baguette, include the Salumi Biellese with Grafton cheddar, watercress and a Dijon aioli; the Grafton Cheddar & Provolone, served with an apple saffron chutney; the savory Turkey & Gruyere, stacked with avocado, roasted tomato and grain mustard; the Country Pâté & Cornichon with wild arugula; the decadent Prosciutto & Pears, served with blue cheese and horseradish; and the House-Cured Salmon & Farm Egg with a caper compote and goat’s milk cheese. Of Walton’s 10 Local Farm Salad Options available as part of the picnic packages, highlights include the bright Kale salad with roasted cauliflower, seasonal squash, a sherry vinaigrette and sea-salted sunflower seeds; the Sweet Potato & Little Gem Lettuce salad with almond butter dressing, dried dates and cranberries; the Avocado Salad, a rich combination of grapefruit, honey tangerine, red onion, toasted oat croutons and a buttermilk-Bulgarian yogurt emulsion; the Local Greens Salad of snap peas, watermelon radish, sunflower seeds, ricotta salata and a preserved lemon vinaigrette; and the Arcadian Green Salad with sheep’s cheese, squash, a hard-cooked farm egg, red onion, avocado and a honey-tangerine vinaigrette.

Picnic package orders must be placed 48 hours in advance by calling Walton’s direct catering line at (512) 391-9966.

To add to your basket for an extra special outing, ask about Walton’s selection of wines perfect for pairing with the ideal picnic, such as the light rosé from Texas’ own McPherson Cellars.

“Austin has so many natural attractions and areas for its residents and visitors to enjoy an outdoor culinary experience,” says Walton’s Chef Phillip Anderson. “We want these baskets to encourage people to get out to the park with their friends and loved ones and enjoy this wonderful city and its surroundings. Walton’s, we feel, is tailor-made for providing Austin eaters and drinkers the opportunity to do just that.”

Walton’s Fancy and Staple is located at 609 W. Sixth St. in downtown Austin. This unique and historic deli offers a variety of meats, cheeses, fresh-baked breads, pastries, and organic teas and coffees. Walton’s is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about Walton’s Fancy and Staple, and the new summer and autumn picnic packages, call (512) 542-3380, or visit Ask about delivery (baskets with wine selections are available for customer pick-up at Walton’s, only).

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