(map) “Comfort food done well” is the thinking behind this new tavern in Bee Cave. The place isn’t actually new – it was the former Zoot restaurant – but the menu is all new. This week is a great time to try it, because all dishes are half-price through this Friday. There are so many great ideas on the menu, and at this price you get to taste twice as many!
These Corndog Bites are a fun idea. The chefs make the chicken sausage here, dip it in slightly sweet corndog batter, fry and slice. Delish.
Nachos made with tender, shredded duck confit are seasoned with exotic spices and topped with cotija cheese.
One of the most beautiful salads ever, composed of pressed watermelon, cucumber and pickled red onion. It’s almost too pretty to eat, but the flavors are amazing together.
Above, classic shrimp and grits: the shrimp are sauteed with pork lardons and the grits are bathed in a rich broth.
There’s a full bar, with TVs for that “tavern” feel. After this week, there will be drink and happy hour specials. Below, the outside patio is coming together, with an outdoor fireplace for that hard-to-imagine time in the future when it’s finally cool.
The Grilled Pork Belly Hoagie, topped with some crunchy house-made pickles to offset the richness of the meat. It’s an appetizer, sized more like a slider.
Now for the really unusual stuff, where chefs show their passion. Above, the Beef Tartare, diced raw (yep, raw) beef on a spicy horseradish sofrito sauce, with creamy goat cheese to spread on the toasts. (They bake their own bread here, by the way.) Below, Crispy Sweetbreads, delicate, lightly fried pieces served on mashed potatoes and succotash, with a delicious savory sauce.
There are four burgers on the new menu, including a chicken option. This one is called Austin’s Favorite, with sprouts, avocado and pepper jack. They grind the beef here themselves and it’s a hearty combo of ribeye and chuck. The old sign’s still on the front of the restaurant, but there’s a new sign out by the street.