The stretch of South Lamar Boulevard between Barton Springs Road and Ben White has added two new Italian options. It’s Italian Cucina recently opened at 1500 S. Lamar Blvd. (in the Post complex that is home to Barlata).
Owner Al Fini’s Northern Italian-influenced restaurant, which grew out of a former market of the same name in East Austin, serves dinner nightly, with a menu that includes pastas such pumpkin ravioli with garlic brown butter sauce, linguine with clams, agnolotti filled with osso bucco and classic entrees like veal marsala and chicken with prosciutto.
It’s Italian Cucina, which offers indoor and outdoor dining, serves half-priced appetizers at happy hour (4 to 6 p.m.) and sells bottles of wine to-go at a 25-percent discount. It is open Sunday-Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m. and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It also serves Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Further south, Manin Pasta has taken over the former Aroma Italian Kitchen space at 3403 S. Lamar Blvd. The restaurant serves a lunch menu that includes pastas, salads, Neapolitan pizzas and panini, and expand on that menu at night for a broad selection of more than 15 pastas, including housemade fettuccine with salmon and spaghetti carbonara and shaped and filled pastas such as squid ink ravioli stuffed with crab meat. The bar serves Italian-inspired cocktails and more than a dozen Italian wines by the glass, and Tuesday night is half-price pizza night.
Manin Pasta is open daily for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m.
The menu from chef Jeff Parks (formerly of Gumbo’s) will include a variety of seafood boils, sandwiches sandwiches, Gulf redfish, oysters and shrimp, along with comfort staples like deviled eggs and chicken fried steak. The restaurant states in a release that the seafood will be “local, and sustainably sourced when possible.” See the complete menu below.
The counter-service restaurant will serve 30 beers on tap and feature large tables for communal seating, outdoor space for dining and drinking, TVs set to spots and a game room area with classic arcade games.
TLC opens softly next week with service Tuesday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Follow this link to get 25 percent off your meal on Tuesday night. After its soft opening, TLC will be open Monday – Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Update from the organizers: Casey Wilcox from Central Standard won the contest, finishing one pound and three ounces of pie in under three minutes. Launderette’s Laura Sawicki came in 2nd place, finishing nearly one pound of pie, and Parkside Projects’ Shawn Cirkiel was just shy of one pound, earning third place honors. The night raised nearly $1600 for SAFE. Donations will be matched dollar for dollar by the Dell Foundation.
So, who’s gonna be making a mess of themselves? The contestants include Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue, Tyson Cole (Uchi), Shane Stiles (Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew), Philip Speer (Bonhomie), Laura Sawicki (Launderette) and more. Complete roster of pie eaters and more details on Facebook.
Looking for a holiday gift for your favorite meat lover but don’t want to get off your couch to go shopping? We’ve got a list of Central Texas barbecue joints that ship, saving you the gas money and the hassle. Follow the links for info.
Black’s BBQ. The Lockhart-based legacy restaurant sells brisket, ribs, sausage and more through its online store.
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew returned last week with its annual 12 Days of Smoked Meats. The 12-day run features daily specials that span the spectrum of smoked meats, from the expected (prime rib) to the eccentric (chicken-fried beef rib with tater tot casserole). The specials pick back up tomorrow with Day 7 and run through Sunday. The daily specials are listed below.
Day 7: Tues., Dec. 12th – Smoked brisket meatball sub with smoked marinara
Day 8: Wed., Dec. 13th – Smoked prime rib with horseradish cream sauce
If you’ve been confused as you look for a Mediterranean-inspired lunch from Verts and can’t seem to find the name in town anymore, don’t worry. The fast-casual artist originally known as VertsKebap still exists, but now goes by the name Noon Mediterranean. The business, which started in Austin in 2011, felt it had an identity and branding issue last year, according to industry publication QSR Magazine, and axed the “kebap” from its name, choosing to go with the more direct Verts. But the new name for the restaurant that started as “the world’s smallest food truck,” operating out of a Smart Car off The Drag, still didn’t communicate the idea of the restaurant well enough, so now it’s Noon Mediterranean. Noon, which got its start as Verts selling spit-roasted doner kebabs, serves a variety of grain and greens bowls (though you can still get a pita-wrapped meal) topped with grilled proteins and a variety of sides and accoutrements.
Founded by Michael Heyne and Dominik Stein, the company took on $20 million in private funding in 2015, and expanded to East Coast cities like Boston and New York. The concept, which had 26 stores in 2015, has since contracted, and now has 20 locations, including eight in Austin. The owners told QSR Magazine that they intend to expand nationally, with plans to open in New York City by the end of the year.
Maybe work got cancelled due to weather. Maybe you have friends in from out of town. Maybe you’re playing hooky. Or maybe you’re just thirsty. Dip into one of these Austin restaurants for some day drinking on a weekday. (Because sitting in a restaurant drinking all day somehow seems more acceptable than sitting in a bar all day. Hypocrites.)
Beer Plant: Mitigate the guilt of working through the beer list with some vegan pub fare. Black Star Co-Op: Fish and chips and house brews. Boiler Nine: Fun wine list, great beer selection, superb cocktails and you can sit by the fire at the back chef’s counter. Bonhomie: Tuck into the back cocktail bar with a side of pommes rosti. Bufalina: Killer wine list, best Neapolitan pizzas in town. Cafe No Se: Rosè and pastries all day. Clark’s Oyster Bar: A bottle of minerally white and a dozen oysters to start. Dai Due: Large format Texas beers and locally sourced grub. Fresa’s: Margaritas and all the tacos at the sit-down South First spot. Hopfields: It’s like you discovers your own little pub during a wander around Ireland or France or somewhere magical. June’s All Day: Big bold French red and a great soundtrack. Kome: It’s never too early for Japanese whiskey. Right? La Condesa: Sip one of the cities best margaritas while watching the downtown minions scurry about. Launderette: Sit at the bar and pair the global fare with wine. Odd Duck: Burger and whiskey. Repeat. Perla’s: Bottle of white with some seafood or a bottle of red with beef. Or maybe just an extra dirty martini. Salt & Time: Ain’t it funny how time just slips away while eating a giant burger and sippin beer. Sway: Maybe a dry Riesling to go with all of those exuberant Thai flavors? Texas French Bread: So you dipped into a French red while the person next to you sunk into some soup. Let em judge. Trio at the Four Seasons: Imagine you’re a movie star or millionaire and maybe get boozed up enough to throw down your credit card for a room, so you can extend the royal treatment a little longer.