Guest Chefs From Norway, Off-the-Menu From Perry’s, the Dead Rabbit From NYC, Something Something Space Lord Chophouse, the Tantalizing Possibility of Free Hamburgers for a Year, and More

All the news that’s fit to get your taste buds quivering

Here’s some of what's happening in Austin's culinary scene – as wrangled from numerous PR releases, words on the digital street, and even the occasional (verified) IRL eavesdroppings.

This is the sort of fare conjured by Atli Mar Yngvason of Oslo's Katla, one of the guest chefs at Hestia on Monday

Yes, citizen, it’s your “Food News Buffet” for the second week of this new year in the little city that … well, okay, sure: It’s not so damned little anymore, is it?

OH HEI! There are two guest chefs from Oslo, Norway, being hosted by Emmer & Rye Hospitality this month: That fact is why your current reporter is awkwardly reminding everyone that he’s the great-grandson of Finn Rongvald Wilhelmsson. And it’s because those two chefs are bringing their world-class culinary skills to Kalimotxo on Sunday and Hestia on Monday that we’re telling you about their visit…

Remember those off-the-regular-menu items from Perry’s Steakhouse, back in the fall? How delicious they were? Well, it’s no longer fall. But Perry’s, with their ribeyes and pork chops and bountiful salads and so on, is still going strong as ever. So now they have new off-the-menu items – again available for a limited time only, for dine-in and to-go – and here’s a couple to tempt you: 1) Turtle Gumbo – Perry’s gluten-free filé gumbo, made with Louisiana turtle and homemade Polish sausage, all Cajun spiced and thickened with sassafras powder; 2) Lobster Thermidor – two char-grilled four-ounce lobster tails with sherry wine cream sauce, Gruyère cheese, and crimini mushrooms, accompanied by haricot verts. Yes, they’ll be as good as they sound: Perry’s Steakhouse in general – locally, the one in the Domain Northside and the one at 114 W. Seventh – elevates the entire omnivore scene, tell you what…

Speaking of fancy places to eat, the Driskill Hotel (604 Brazos) has announced the appointment of Markus Puereschitz as general manager. Puereschitz will manage day-to-day operations at the longtime icon of upscale hostelry – “longtime” in this case means since 1886 – and he’ll also ride herd on the planned hotel renovations and food-and-beverage expansions, which they’ll tell us about, they say, later. And then we’ll tell you

All the Irish eyes will be smiling when the Dead Rabbit comes to town

Hey, you know what’s coming to Austin this year? Well, yes, the new pizza place (Bambino) from the folks behind L’Oca d’Oro. And the new Israeli place (Ezov) from the Emmer & Rye crew. And that ultra-snazzy restaurant Luminaire and bar Las Bis, helmed by six-time James Beard Foundation finalist Steve McHugh, that’s coming to the Hyatt Centric (721 Congress) near the Paramount Theatre. And whatever Trudy’s is planning to replace their Trudy’s Del Mar location (1600 S. Congress) with, as that seafood concept didn’t quite take off. And, who knows, maybe Elon Musk will buy an entire block Downtown to open some joint called Space Lord Chophouse where algae-farmed nutrients are delivered via hyperloop technology implanted within your gastroenterological system as you’re seated? But what’s definitely coming, this very spring, is the second location of acclaimed New York watering hole the Dead Rabbit. Yes, that place: “Inspired by the history of the Dead Rabbit gang, the bar is fiercely Irish with an American accent.” Much sooner, though – on Wed., Jan. 25, 7-10pm, which is National Irish Coffee Day – the Dead Rabbit’s managing partner Jack McGarry and his fierce team will be in town from NYC to give the public a little preview of what’s on the way. They’ll do this by taking over Nickel City (1133 E. 11th) and serving a selection of cocktails (including their famous Irish coffee, alongside Nickel City’s own variation), with $2 of each drink going to Heard Austin. Reckon it’s a sure bet for a good time…

Say, how about a seafood concept that did take off? That would be Este (2113 Manor Rd.), where the old Eastside Cafe used to be. Opened just last fall, and why is it doing well? Maybe because it’s run by chef Fermín Núñez and Sam Hellman-Mass. And because, as Núñez says, Este is “focused on the canvas of heirloom corn masa and cooking seafood with a Mexican point of view. When I think of mariscos, I think of the many delicious raw dishes as well as the timeless tradition of grilling beautiful fish and shellfish on the beach over a hot charcoal fire.” Although, tbh, those daily happy hours with half-priced wine and half-priced oysters (Sun.-Thu., 5-6pm) probably don’t hurt either…

Revenge of the Third Son at Otoko and Watertrade

Let’s see – what else, what else? Clara Wang reports on which meal of Peking duck reigns supreme in AustinA. Richmond tells us how convenience-store escapee Pizzeria Grata is taking over the former Gourdough’s Public House… that Brenner fellow’s got a brief roundup of local boutique hotels and their restaurants, and a bit of a rave about Otoko’s new sake… and Wine for the People is teaming up with Spread & Co. for a Raclette Night on Wednesday… and the finalists for the 2023 Good Food Awards have been announced, with several local companies among them… and Valentine’s Day is coming up all too quickly, and we’re getting a batch of romantic recos ready for you… finally, though it’s still a couple months out, we increasingly hear service industry people saying “South By” with a sort of giddy anticipation…

WUXTRY! There’s a chance you could win free hamburgers for a year when Wayback Burgers (12901 N. I-35) celebrates its grand opening on Saturday. That wouldn’t be such a bad thing, would it? Free burgers for a year?

Now eat as well as you can, tip like it’s going out of style, and stop doing that weird thing with your eyes.

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