This week is a slow one for Austin's restaurant reviewers with just one major restaurant write-up from the Chronicle, on Searsucker. Meanwhile, Fed Man Mike Sutter posts the first lengthy local review of Qui since Patricia Sharpe at Texas Monthly wrote up her first visit.
Rachel Feit at the Chronicle finds that Searsucker can handle southern classics but often goes astray in terms of execution. Feit characterizes the menu as style over substance, noting that, "American classics are commodified with just enough cleverness to make them seem exotic." Dinner was the low point, with "absurdly meager" beef carpaccio and brussels sprouts that "tasted like they were made by someone who was forced to eat them as a child." Better was the shrimp with "sublime cheddary grits." Brunch was a "bright spot" with " light and flaky" biscuits and "what may be the best bacon I've ever tasted." Overall, Feit's verdict is that "the Austin Searsucker has the right style concept; it just needs better attention to execution.a
Mike Sutter files a lengthy review of Qui, in which is overall verdict is that the restaurant is "energetic and fun if not exactly tight." In the extended music metaphor, "Rabbit 7 Ways" is the "greatest hit," and other standouts include the "dinuguan, a Filipino stew with pig's blood and vinegar," the "tender roasted quail" and the "sweet-sour interplay" of the roasted eggplant. Sutter is not charmed by the "overly precious" cold vegetable soup "Ode to Michel Bras" and calls the "toasted pinenuts and pumpkin seeds with clam, matsutake mushrooms and sunflower petals," a version of "Culinary Mad Libs." Sutter was a big fan of Michael Simon's drinks and is not of the new menu's "understudies," but praises June Rodill's wine prowess. Overall, Sutter's verdict is that Qui is "a real player in the restaurant rotation."
· Do These Farm Bird Lollipops Make Us Look Fat? [Chronicle]
· The Paul Qui Songbook: A Polyphonic Review [Fed Man Walking]
· All Searsucker Coverage [-EATX-]
· All Qui Coverage [-EATX-]
· All Week in Reviews Coverage [-EATX-]