New campus gastropub Blackbird & Henry impresses Statesman critic Matthew Odam with its well-executed menu of British and Texan cuisine. Chef Mark Schmidt mentored farm to table advocate Bryce Gilmore at his Marble Falls restaurant Cafe 909, and Odam finds a similar focus on local food in Schmidt's new project. One standout is the fish and chips:
Schmidt takes tart smelt, tosses them in rice flour and corn starch and fries them to a clean finish. The gluten-free fried fish arrived in a take-out style container with a generous serving of exceptional triple-cooked fries with a crunchy auburn coat and meaty center. The dish comes with my favorite new condiment in town — a malt vinegar aioliOdam rates Blackbird and Henry 9 out of 10.
The Chronicle features a massive, mostly positive roundup of the best dining bets in the northern suburbs. New Round Rock pizza restaurant Fire in The Hole gets mostly good marks, and the critics revisit popular restaurants like Jack Allen's Kitchen, Deckhand Oyster Bar, and El Monumento. Jessi Cape highlights the Italian and Mexican mash-ups at La Cochina Bar & Grill, including Italian enchiladas. [Chronicle]
THE BLOGS: Fed Man Walking Mike Sutter gives high marks to Smokey Denmark's barbecue, trailer El Paisa disappoints Taco Journalism, Epicerie's new table service pleases Forks Up, Mad Betty investigates the new 360 Pizza, Austin Urban Gardens checks out the new Anjore supper club, and Hungry Girl Austin enjoys Thai Kun.
· Blackbird And Henry Takes Flight Under Guidance of Chef Mark Schmidt [Statesman]
· Dining Beyond The Chains [Chronicle]
· All Week in Reviews Coverage [EATX]