This week, Austin's restaurant critics reviewed two of the hottest new openings of the summer: French-inspired Arro from chef Andrew Curren and the 24 Diner/East Tiger restaurant group, and Bufalina, the tiny Neapolitan pizzeria on East Cesar Chavez.
Matthew Odam appreciates Arro's "convivial atmosphere" and many of the appetizers. He praises the "creamy" croque monsieur and the "excellent fall-from-the-bone" frogs' legs, though the 'unctuous' bone marrow and pistou had an unfortunate "bread toupee." The entrees, however, often suffered from " full-on assault (a-salt?) of seasoning and too much heat." The emphasis on wine on the menu was not reflected in the service, which "does little by way of explanation or education." Dessert's high point was the "excellent lemon goat cheese tart," though the pot de creme "suffered from astringent chocolate." The critic rates Arro a 7 out of 10, and cautions that to hold down the challenging West 6th spot, they need "a steadier hand and a sharper eye."
Melanie Haupt is impressed by Bufalina's "singular pursuit of a lofty goal," namely, good Neapolitan pizza. Their limited menu makes up in "quality" what it lacks in quantity, and the salads sourced from nearby Boggy Creek Farm are "are not only a triumph of locavorism in action, they are masterpieces of composition and plating." The fermented pizza dough is "pleasantly chewy," with "right amount of char," in other words, "flawless." The margherita and fresca pizzas were favorites, and if the mushroom pizza is on the day's menu, the critic advises that "you would be a damn fool not to order it." Skip the homemade ice cream for dessert, however, which was merely "fine." Haupt concludes that Bufalina was "absolutely worth the wait."
The Chronicle also devotes a review to Celtic Seafare's smoked salmon in Dripping Springs because, why not.
· Arro Attempts to Bring French Comfort to West Sixth Street [Statesman]
· The Pie's The Thing [Chronicle]
· Smoked Fish Delish [Chronicle]
· All Week in Reviews [EATX]