I ate a lot of good food this year and to wrap up 2016, I wanted to reminisce about a few of my favorite Restaurant Bites from 2016. In no particular order, here’s the best food I ate around Austin (and in Europe!) this year.
From Juniper, which is one of my standout restaurants from 2016, there were a few items including their Milk & Honey dessert and their Puffy Potatoes which were originally featured on their Bar Menu but I see now have transitioned to the dinner menu as well!
From Odd Duck, their Spiced Pear Cake which I enjoyed during a lovely lunch on their patio!
Smoked Salmon Crostini at Winebelly that had capers and a dill creme fraiche.
A few items from Vinaigrette including their Tuna Salad and the Corn Griddle Cakes on their new brunch menu.
The new Red & Green brunch menu has many amazing options that all feature spicy red or green chilies. Find time to stop by some Saturday or Sunday for an extended meal and enjoy all the spicy options!
In May,<3M and I traveled to Italy and Greece. Although all of our meals there were delicious, the sweet treats we had were my favorite, including the below Cafe con Miel which is espresso with a drizzle of honey and cream.
I also loved the gelato — caramelized fig & coffee with fresh cream on top!
And lastly, while we were in Greece, we dined at Ambrosia in Santorini. I obsessed over their Moroccan sweet tower with dates, honey, nuts and again, more fresh cream!
A new vegetarian restaurant and brew pub, The Beer Plant, opened in Austin this year and I was delighted to enjoy lunch there with a co-worker over Thanksgiving break. We shared their vegan Cheeze Plate with cashew cheese, butter, jams, fresh bread and pickles. Everything was delicious but I can’t get over how much I favored their butter smeared on the crusty bread.
I’m a sucker for fresh cheese (both vegan and dairy!) so to continue the cheese love, this Caprese Salad at The ABGB was beyond amazing when tomatoes were at their peak this summer.
The Burrata at Winflo Osteria is my absolute favorite appetizer in all of Austin. I could eat this daily. I love how creamy, silky smooth the cheese is and it compliments the chewy bread and olive oil perfectly.
Another highlight of this year was eating at Emmer & Rye. We dined at the Chef’s Counter and I can’t recommend this type of experience enough. If you ever get the opportunity to eat at a Chef’s Counter with a glimpse into the kitchen, say yes!
Emmer & Rye has been on of Austin’s standout restaurants this year, renowned in many reviews across the nation and I have to say, their pasta dishes are definitely where they excelled. This Cacio e Pepe was a simple, delicious dish that I can’t rave enough about!
Lastly, my best overall meal this year came on Christmas Eve at Barley Swine where <3M and I celebrated the holidays by treating ourselves to their 10-course Chef’s Tasting! It was tough choosing just a few dishes because everything we had there was AH-mazing but there were two that stood out specifically. The first was this Shiitake pasta, scrambled eggs, kohlrabi. These were little pasta packets that you eat in one bite where a smooth, shiitake broth bursts in your mouth!
And my favorite from that evening, the Glazed duck leg, beet marmalade, fennel, crepe — kind of like a ‘make your own taco’ where you compile all the pieces yourself. I have a feeling you might be seeing a lot of duck in the near future!
I ate many other wonderful dishes throughout this past year but these were a large handful of my favorites! If you get a chance to visit any of the restaurants, hopefully, you’ll try some of these special dishes too!
Here’s to 2016 and looking forward to other great eats in 2017!