After about an eight-months hiatus, the downtown Hilton (500 E. Fourth St.) once again has a centerpiece restaurant. The downtown staple unveiled its new-look Cannon + Belle last week. The restaurant, which took the place of Finn & Porter, follows the trend of Texas-centric comfort food. Chef Peter Maffei, who also guided Finn & Porter, is at the reins in the kitchen.
Cannon + Belle, named after Angelina Belle Eberly, who also has a new swanky spot named in her honor on South Lamar Boulevard, is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving a menu that includes toasted farro with marinated cauliflower and a poached egg, hot chicken with Brussels sprouts, shrimp and grits, burgers, sandwiches, and “gourmet” pizzas with toppings like bacon-wrapped quail.
The Texas-focused wine program features wines on tap from Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood, and includes offerings from McPherson Cellars, Becker Vineyards and Fall Creek Vineyards.
The new restaurant is part of a $23 million renovation, that included updates to the lobby and other public areas. Cannon + Belle is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Despite all of its growth during the past decade, East Austin still has dining niches that need filling. One of those has long been a need for Chinese food. That problem will be remedied this weekend when Old Thousand opens at 1000 E. 11th St. Suite #150.
The restaurant, which will focus equally on take-out and dine-in service, is helmed by chef James Dumapit (former executive sous chef at Uchiko) and chef David Baek (formerly of Thai Kun and Uchi). The restaurant is the first from SMGB Hospitality Co., a newly formed group that includes industry veterans Benneth Cachila (Uchi), Larry Perdido (Moonshine), Tony Pollock and Christian Romero (Uchi).
Old Thousand, which takes a modern approach to traditional Chinese dishes, will be open for dinner nightly with a menu that includes jellyfish salad, honey prawns with pecans, mapo dofu, dan dan noodles with mushroom puree, brisket fried rice, and hot pot with pork belly and Chinese sausage. Old Thousand will also feature a full bar, with local beers on draft and an accessible wine list featuring mostly European labels.
As for that name? Mahjong players will recognize it as one of the wild card tiles in the game. It’s also a clever nod to the restaurant’s address. (oldthousandatx.com)
The Jacoby’s Restaurant and Mercantile group helmed by owner Adam Jacoby and his husband, creative director/designer Kris Swift, didn’t have to look far for a space for its second concept.
They opened Grizzelda’s this week at 105 Tillery St., across East Cesar Chavez Street from their original ranch-inspired restaurant. Led by executive chef Albert Gonzalez, also of Jacoby’s Grizzelda’s, serves a mix of interior and coastal Mexican food, as well as Tex-Mex. The menu includes snapper ceviche with nopales and crispy jalapeno, tuna tostadas with crispy shallots, Puerco pibil tacos, and beef dishes sourced from the Jacoby family ranch, like picadillo, and braised short rib.
Grizzelda’s, which took over the former Taqueria Los Jaliscienses space, is open Wednesday-Sunday for dinner.
Austin investor David Kahn purchased in late spring the former La V property that resides on part of a half-block plot on East Seventh Street. Kahn says the stunning space at 1501 E. Seventh St. is for lease and that he is hoping to find a locally owned restaurant to take the spot, and not a large national corporate tenant. The 1/4-block lot adjacent to the restaurant, which has been used as parking and event space, is zoned in a way that would allow for a multi-family-housing development or hotel, among other uses, but that he currently has no future plans for the space adjacent to the restaurant.
The East Austin fine dining restaurant owned by Houston oil and gas executive Ralph Eads closed January 2 after less than a two-year run, citing fiscal concerns.
One of Austin’s best restaurants is entering uncharted territory. Uchi will host its first-ever brunch on December 11. The reason? To benefit the Central Texas Food Bank. The brunch will be omakase style (chef’s choice) and include sake-cured masu, Hausbar (Farms) herb omelet, duck confit with grits, fried whole seabass and more. The cost for the event is $100 for two guests, not including tax, gratuity or beverages. The brunch runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mandatory reservations can be made by calling 512-916-4808
“We are always looking for new ways to support the community and we thought what better way to give back than by trying something new,” Uchi chef de cuisine Michael Castillo said. “We are not a ‘brunch’ restaurant so spreading our wings a bit and doing brunch Uchi style is really fun for us,” Castillo adds.
University of Texas students have another fast-food option in their lives. California-based In-N-Out Burger is now open at 2700 Guadalupe St., just north of Dean Keaton Boulevard. The restaurant, which has a drive-thru, opens daily at 10:30 a.m. This is the seventh Austin-area location of the burger joint with the secret menu and underwhelming fries.
Stiles Switch BBQ has announced the roster of its 12 Days of Smoked Meat, an annual ritual for the North Austin barbecue restaurant. Each day from December 6 through December 18, the restaurant will run a smoked meat special. The specials will also be paired with a local or regional beer. Specials include brisket smoked meatloaf with buttermilk mashed potatoes (12/9), smoked fried chicken with slow smoked corn on the cobb (12/11), and smoked brisket tamales served with Tacodeli chili con queso (12/18). In addition to the specials, Stiles Switch is also accepting online orders for its smoked brisket tamales. More information about both can be found at stilesswitchbbq.com.