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What to Expect From Fixe: Upscale Southern Charm and Plenty of Grits

Opening very soon downtown, it'll also feature an indoor porch and barrel-aged drinks.

Ongoing construction at downtown's Fixe.
Ongoing construction at downtown's Fixe.
Nadia Chaudhury/EATX
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Fixe, the upscale Southern restaurant slated for downtown, aims to feel like a charming home hosting a dinner party. The name came about because co-owner Keith House and co-owner/executive chef James Robert want the food and dining experience to be addictive. The extra "e" was a play on the French term. The acorn, the emblem pictured throughout the restaurant, was picked because the seed of the oak tree represents the region. Eater had the chance to poke around the still-under-construction space for more details.

Many of the materials are vintage elements collected by ADG Design Group. Striving for a mix of old and new, the group rummaged throughout the state for what House called "soulful pieces." The host stand is a refurbished woodworker table. One wall features a collection of random found plates, and mirrors and empty photo frames will be scattered throughout the room. Reminiscent of attending a party in an old Southern house where guests would get drinks upon arrival, diners entering the restaurant will be greeted by the welcome bar. The wood for the bar table, which will seat six to eight people, came from an Onion Creek tree.

The main centerpiece of the space will be the large indoor porch with screen door details and an enclosed wood ceiling, giving Fixe a warm, intimate, and residential feel by filling and layering the room. There will be three private dining rooms, including the Parlor Room, which contains commissioned Victorian portraits of House’s and Robert’s dogs.

Robert’s menu reflects that same charming Southern vibe — he calls it progressive Southern food — like the crispy beef tendons, served in a chicharrones style with a side of spicy in-house hot sauce. There will be a dedicated grits menu, with herbivore, carnivore, and pescatore options. The kitchen’s take on biscuits with sausage gravy is a biscuit served with a spicy spreadable andouille and sweet house-made preserves. Dessert will include an aerated frozen cheesecake. Most ingredients are locally sourced from farms in the city, like Hausbar, Springdale Farms, and Johnson's Backyard Garden. Glass paneling separates the kitchen from the dining room, so that diners can see everything. The bar program will focus on simple barrel-aged craft cocktails that focus on ingredients and unique garnishes. Once open, there will be a daily "social hour" starting at 4 p.m.

Line cook training began at the restaurant at the beginning of the month, and Fixe hopes to open to the public before 2014 comes to an end. Stay tuned to Eater Austin for more updates.