[Photos: Meghan McCarron/EATX; Raphael Brion/EN]
Contigo unveiled their new restaurant Gardner with some serious showmanship at the Austin Food & Wine Festival on Saturday. Festival attendees were greeted by a massive banner announcing the concept at Contigo's fire pit station, as well as a stylish display of vegetables dipped in wax.
As suggested by the name and presentation, the restaurant will be "focused on seasonal vegetables." The previously unnamed project on East 6th has been in the works for months, but owners Ben Edgerton and Andrew Wiseheart were tightlipped about the concept. Read on for more details about this epic reveal.
Instead of serving up Contigo's meaty specialties, Gardner's fire pit station featured inventive vegetable preparations, like white asparagus rolled in pork salt. Statesman critic Matthew Odam was smitten and calls their vegetable dishes " a taste of the future." The group is also hiring an executive pastry chef to oversee Gardner and Contigo's programs.
Edgerton told Eater that Gardner is named in honor of Andrew Wiseheart's father, Gardner Wiseheart, who introduced him to the pleasures of cooking. The restaurant is expected to open this fall, in the same building as the new location of Counter Cafe. Be sure to check out their pretty pretty website.
· Contigo Owners Reveal New Restaurant Concept at Austin Food & Wine Festival [Statesman]
· All Contigo Coverage [EATX]