Former New York Times food critic turned general sharer-of-opinions Frank Bruni was in town over the weekend for the Malicious But Delicious invasive species dinner at Foreign & Domestic, at which he learned much about the patriotic and moral benefits of eating Texas' feral hogs.
Today, he dropped a note on his Facebook page just to reiterate how great Ned Elliott and Jodi Elliott's restaurant is, with "its menu so very much NOT the kind of carbon copy you see too often," where the crowd is "clearly more into food than scene."
I Tweeted that it reminded me of Animal in L.A., and it does in the sense of its blunt design and its embrace of off cuts: the crispy beef tongue appetizer is superb. But it's considerably leafier, and does with greens and veggies what it does with meat, showcasing stuff that's not routinely showcased. It's also quite eclectic, sneaking onto the menu a huge popover showered with Gruyere just . . . well, just because.Bruni also ate at "crazily popular" Sway, but writes that he "was disappointed" by the nonetheless "intriguing" restaurant that kind of reminds him of Momofuku Ssam Bar. In contrast, the Austin American-Statesman's Matthew Odam recently rated the modern Thai restaurant a mighty respectable 8.5 out of 10, while Texas Monthly's Pat Sharpe has high praise for chef Rene Ortiz and pastry chef Laura Sawicki from her favorite "catbird" seat at the Sway kitchen counter.
Sway. [Photo: Patrick Michels/EATX]