AUSTIN, tx: LUTIE’S AND LORO
When you hear “Austin eats,” you probably think of barbeque or tacos. There is taco around every corner in Austin and we can vouch that many are delicious. But I wanted to experience something a little bit different and was happy to enjoy two great gems in our Austin weekend adventure.
LUTIE’S GARDEN RESTAURANT
While we did not get the benefit of a lush, green spring visit, we enjoyed the garden inside (and on the ceiling!) at Lutie’s on the historic Commodore Perry Estate in Austin. This Texan shipping tycoon's former home is now a luxury hotel with the stunning restaurant named after his wife Lutie Perry. You can almost imagine the parties they hosted in the 1920s on this beautiful property. Our dinner at Lutie’s was the entire family’s top voted favorite meal of the trip. It was a good thing that this upscale restaurant promotes family-style “sharing,” as my teens loved each dish so much we were having to allocate bites so everyone got a taste. They were happily going to ravish it all without caring if mom got a bite. It’s that good.
Top Row (l-r): BBQ shrimp with hot wax peppers and celery, swordfish with mustard creole curry, sunchoke falafel
2nd Row (l-r): dry aged duck with pickled cabbage and figs, Kouign Amann ice cream with caramel sauce, blue cheese and honey with pecan biscuits
Video below: Bees wax creme caramel with honey - jiggles for giggles
My favorite two bites were the swordfish and the Kouign Amann ice cream, which tasted just like the pastry we had in Paris. The bar is also a work of art and the wine selection was fabulous.
Lutie’s, 4100 Red River Street, Austin, 512.675.2517
To get reservations on the night we wanted, it was necessary to book one month in advance to the day…to the minute (hint: the reservations system online opens at MIDNIGHT CST. You’re welcome.)
When you mix James Beard award winning chefs such as Aaron Franklin from barbeque shrine Franklin BBQ and Chef Tyson Cole of beloved sushi palace Uchi, you get Loro. This mix of Asian flavors with the smoky Texas BBQ is an awesome combo. Thanks to its laid back patio party vibe, we ended up going twice during a short weekend trip. Happy hour in the sunshine at 70 degrees was a great break from wintry St. Louis. Sweet and crunchy corn fritters served with a spicy sriracha aioli paired perfectly paired with a cold beer. For dinner, a healthy smoked salmon bowl with cucumber-yuzu broth was a narrow second best to a crunchy cabbage salad with pickles and lemon zest. The casual order at the counter and pick-your-table situation matched the relaxed living room atmosphere. We had to wait for dinner, so plan ahead or be prepared to enjoy several cocktails on the yard while you wait!
Loro, 2115 South Lamar Blvd, 512.916.4858, Happy Hour: Mon-Fri, 2-5
Other things we recommend doing in Austin when you are too full to eat again: