Fixe, the new Southern restaurant from Eddie V's alums Keith House and James Robert will open December 24, according to The Statesman. Eater has an exclusive first look at their opening menu, which features an entire section dedicated to grits. Other notable offerings include a lobster and crawfish pot pie, a duck entree featuring duck fat hushpuppies and yes, biscuits. The dessert menu features both traditional offerings like a sweet potato pie and a red beans and rice dessert whose only description is "trust us!!!"
Fixe is one of two restaurants opening in the new IBC Bank building at 500 W. Fifth Street. An opening press release describes the concept as "Sunday Supper" style dining, with plenty of Southern hospitality-style touches like an indoor porch. In addition to House and Robert, the culinary team is rounded out by Zach Hunter, who has cooked in Michelin-starred kitchens like Atera and Mugaritz, in addition to Austin's Uchi, Uchiko, and Qui. Hours are 4:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. seven days a week, and they will accept reservations online.
The IBC Bank's second restaurant, the new Chinese concept Wu Chow from the Swift's Attic team, will open in early 2015. Check out the menus and full opening press release below.
FIXE, HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SOUTHERN HOUSE RESTAURANT, TO OPEN DECEMBER 24th
Austin culinary veterans venture out on their own, serving up a progressive southern cuisine with a heaping side of hospitality
December 22, 2014 (Austin, Texas) - Located at the ground floor of the brand new IBC Bank Tower on 5th and Nueces in downtown Austin, progressive southern restaurant, Fixe will open for business on Wednesday, December 24th. The long anticipated project from Austin culinary veterans, James Robert(Executive Chef/Co-Owner) and Keith House (Director of Operations/Co-Owner), will be open for "SundaySupper" style dining, seven nights a week. Bringing to life familiar tastes imagined in progressive ways, the restaurant opens at 4:00 for the Daily Social (Fixe's version of happy hour) with dinner following. The 250 seat restaurant also has onsite valet available.
14 years, almost to the day, after opening their first project together (at that time serving as Executive Chef and General Manager at prominent Austin seafood restaurant, Eddie V's) Robert and House are excited to welcome guests to their very own restaurant. Their "southern house" concept comes to life in many forms: with service that's based on the notion of southern hospitality; a menu that pays homage to Chef Robert's Louisiana roots and, in many instances, is a reimagined take on his family's own recipes; and with the traditional southern in the physical space itself.
"Growing up in small town Louisiana, food was a very big part of my life. With cooks on both sides of my family tree, I saw early on that food has a way of bringing people together," said Executive Chef and Co-Owner, James Robert. "This menu showcases familiar tastes and dishes that I grew up with - you'll see a section dedicated to an heirloom variety of grits, biscuits, boudin and more - but each with an element of surprise. The familiar is definitely there, we've just reimagined how it all comes together for the guest."
Much about the downtown dining destination is a family affair. In addition to the recipes and nostalgia-inducing dishes, Robert and Keith's longstanding working relationship is rounded out by Chef de Cuisine Zach Hunter. Before spending time in great kitchens such as Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain, Michelin- starred Atera in New York and culinary powerhouses Uchi, Uchiko and Qui in Austin, Hunter found his first mentor in Robert. For him, it was always a part of the plan to come to Austin and be a part of Robert's own concept. Hunter pulls from his experiences to add some of the progressive surprise to the traditional southern fare at Fixe.
The seasonal and local menu, "celebrates the soul of the south" and will change based on the season and what's available. With six dedicated sections, the menu will offer "snacks," "chilled" and "small plates" perfect for sharing, as well as an entire section dedicated to grits. From there, guests will have a number of mains entrées to choose as well.
Some of the opening menu highlights include snacks such as Fixe Biscuits with house made preserves and n'duja($6) and Smoked Fish & Potato with crème fraiche, preserved lemon and brioche ($6); chilled plates includingGrains puffed and cooked, mushroom and uni ($8) and Pickled Shrimp with farm vegetables and coriander ($14); small plates such as Boudin with chow chow, Dijon cream and onion crackers ($12) and Beef Tartare with crispy oysters, pickled radish, cornmeal pancake, celery root remoulade ($17); grits including The Herbivore with garlicky kale, farm egg, romesco and salsa verde ($11), The Carnivore with Texas quail, pickled pears, pecan granola and BBQ consommé ($13) and The Pescavore with Texas shrimp, freeze dried corn, shrimp butter and bottarga ($15) Fish such as Lobster & Crawfish Pot Pie with Maine lobster, Louisiana crawfish, mushrooms, pecan miso béchamel ($22); ‘Blackened' Red Snapper with rock shrimp, bone marrow, squash, Sea Island red peas and hot& sour nage ($24); and meat dishes like Duck Breast with black-eyed pea cassoulet, cranberry, duck fat hushpuppy and duck jus ($23) and Veal Brisket with confit sweet potato, espelette marshmallow, pecan and foie gras ($24).
Designed by local architectural firm Nelson Partners, the warm and spirited space feels like a home, though this house has, much like the menu, been reimagined with some twists. Mixing new and old, found vintage pieces with commissioned art, Texas based EDG Design successfully marries bold masculine elements like the end grain mesquite bar and Chef's unique "pass table" (which extends the reach of the open kitchen, providing a chef table-esque experience in the dining room) with lighter, more whimsical touches throughout.
Other unique design elements include a welcome bar out front that provides access to Fixe's craft cocktail options before arriving at the restaurant's proper bar. It also ties into the concept of southern hospitality, essentially greeting guests with a "welcome drink" as they enter. In the center of the restaurant, a "porch" has been configured to further establish the charm of an old southern estate, and also slightly sections off guests in the front banquets and bar. For guests wanting to actually dine outside, Fixe's, terrace located on 5th street, provides the option. The restaurant also features three private dining spaces, accommodating 24, 12 and 8 diners, respectively and are fully equipped with AV capabilities. The front PDR, called the parlor, feels like a formal southern dining room and actually features anthropomorphized "formal" portraits of the owners' dogs, commissioned by a local artist. Finally, dropped plaster ceilings with classic moldings are base to more modern light fixtures. Wall coverings vary from room to room, with beautiful textured wallpaper leading rough plastered walls richly infused with blue color and patina. Floors transitions to red and white oak floor boards on inside of the restaurant's interior porch.
"The process of conceptualizing and building our own restaurant has been a dream come true. And we were really fortunate to find great local partners who understood our vision for the restaurant," said Director of Operations and Co-Owner Keith House. "We are thrilled to open our doors and share our finally complete home with guests. But what's more, we are excited put our years of experience on the floor and in the kitchen back in action. For us it's always been about the best hospitality experience and we are excited to finally deliver that with Fixe."