Last week I spent four glorious days in Austin, and I had to share some of the highlights with you guys. This is a glorious town, not only because it has a kicking food, wine, and cocktail scene, but also because of its laid back attitude and the super cool Austinites that populate the town. I know one thing for sure, if I was 25 and single I would high-tail it out of Boston for Austin so fast. Anywhere that the people are this adorable, all while wearing no make-up and dressing in t-shirts and cut-offs is a place I want to be (or, my single self would want to be. Of course, my married mother self is perfectly happy here in Boston with our freezing winters, over-priced real estate, and cranky locals).
First, the wine. It was like living in a city made up of Urban Grape wine. Every wine list was packed with our staff favorites. Little corner markets had great selections like Jolie Folie rosé and Secco bubbles. The waitstaff at every restaurant was well-trained and had a great appreciation for good wine. There was no Kendall Jackson to be found. This is definitely not the case in many other parts of Texas that I’ve been to, so I was pleasantly surprised at the great bottles we were able to drink all weekend.
We may, however, want to talk about the logo at this new wine store… A little too much of a coincidence, maybe? C’est la vie.
Now, the food. Every meal we had was fantastic, and the decor of every bar and restaurant we went to was incredible. Even the really “designed” spaces were so laid back and approachable. Our favorites included:
The Josephine House
I’ve never eaten brunch in such a pleasant setting in all my life. The pastries were outstanding, the rosé was perfectly chilled and sweating, the meals were to die for….we could have sat and talked all day. I had a bowl of polenta and mushrooms with a soft-boiled egg on top. So simple and yet so tasty that I licked my bowl (not shy). The people watching was also fantastic – so many cute singles on dates. I state again, if you are single, move to Austin.
Brian Samuels told us to check this place out and I’m so glad we did. They had a squash curry that will haunt my dreams until I can get back and have it again. Truly the best curry I’ve ever had. The setting was gorgeous, but fun with big communal tables and bottles of rosé all around. We were too stuffed for dessert which is one of my only regrets from our trip, as everything looked so delicious.
Hotel San Jose
Hipster Heaven personified, but somehow in Austin the hipsters are so laid back and chill that they are an almost unrecognizable relative to the NYC hipster. We went here for drinks and sat in their hipster courtyard, under a heater, drinking prosecco and passion fruit juice cocktails. These are a new obsession that I will be perfecting and sharing with you soon.
Elizabeth Street Cafe
Right across the street from Sway, this adorable little cafe makes perfect French pastries (I think the same as what we ate at Josephine House), delectable macarons and Vietnamese food. Kind of random, I know, but it worked. We had a meal of fresh spring rolls, Bahn Mi sandwiches and coconut lime macarons while sitting out on the patio, which was right out of a Kinfolk photoshoot. Kimchee is definitely big in Austin and I thoroughly enjoyed it on my short rib sandwich while sipping on a green tea and lemonade spritzer.
This tiny speakeasy had a detached and decrepit air about it, and was sort of American Horror Story-esque, but we settled in, ordered our punch and had serious laughs with lots of raunchy talk. Absolutely loved it.