Among this Spring’s ARW highlights is an impressive menu from Parkside (301 W. 6th Street). Start off with the Country Side Farms rabbit terrine (locally raised and can be found each weekend at the Farmer’s Market), or try a mini oyster po’ boy. Move along with the mascarpone ravioli with garden vegetables, parmesan reggiano, and micro greens. For something simple and comforting, order the grilled salmon with lentils, radish, and spring onions. Or try the NY strip and short rib duo with a sweet potato puree and red wine reduction, a third entrée option on the menu, and something I certainly will not be able to resist. End the meal with a cinnamon sugar donut with brandy mascarpone and maple ice cream, or the goat cheese cheesecake with basil ice cream and pine nut brittle.
Another place on this year’s list definitely worth checking out is the Shoreline Grill (98 San Jacinto Blvd.). For the first course, why not try the chicory salad with a poached duck egg, shaved asparagus, crispy duck skin, and marjoram vin, or the seared scallops with green apple puree, house cured bacon, and Riesling poached grapes. Next, treat yourself to the Chilean sea bass with wild mushrooms, leeks, grape tomatoes, pearl couscous and Meyer lemon butter, or, if you are in the mood for a steak, the all natural black angus filet with rainbow chard, potato puree, and smoked garlic demi should do the trick. Finish it off with a chocolate mousse or a peanut butter torte.
Make it a date at Jeffrey’s (1204 West Lynn Street) and taste their famous crispy sesame fried oysters with bacon tomato and house made salt and vinegar chips. Or, for vegetarians, begin with their Thumbalina salad—a delightful ensemble of hydroponic red romaine, raw and roasted Thumbalina carrots, avocado, crushed marcona almonds, French feta with a dill seed lemon vinaigrette. After that, enjoy Barnegat Lighthouse scallops with caramelized salsify and fresh vegetables from Boggy Creek Farms. For dessert, go for the Crescent City Beignets with malted milk vanilla ice cream affogato and you surely will not be disappointed.
ARW is ideal for everyone, from foodie to novice, and with so many restaurants on the list, there is something for everyone (including gluten-free options). Reservations are not required, but advised. So go pick up a map at any participating restaurant, get online (www.restaurantweekaustin.com), and start planning your culinary adventure today — you can’t afford to miss it.By Deana Saukam