For an earlier-than-usual review, The Chronicle’s Brandon Watson headed over to Juniper, where he was happy with the just-enough portions. Instead of having Italian hammered into every corner of the menu, the regional cuisine serves more as a root for the dishes. This leads to simple yet composed dishes like the pastas:
So there is pappardelle ($14), as luxurious as any you are likely to find locally, and that pappardelle is topped with a thick oxtail ragu. But then the kitchen amps things up with horseradish, not really enough to give the dish sting. And there's a twirl of thin pasta ($14) laying in a Parmesan-rind brodo and topped with chives. You can add Alba truffle for $20 or Osetra caviar for $10, but it excels in its simplest form. There's orecchiette ($11), simply prepared with pecorino and broccoli and a haystack of surprisingly delicate pork ear.
Also for Chronicle, Virginia B. Wood is amazed that Radisson Hotel’s replacement restaurant Dine isn’t more lauded. The menu, helmed by longtime Austin chef David Garrido along with chef de cuisine Mario Medina (Parkside, Barlata), is not to be missed. She recommended starting with happy hour:
Garrido's signature crispy oysters on yucca root chips ($4.50) are here, and there are some little salmon ceviche tacos ($4.50) that offer great contrasts in flavors and textures. Try some piparras peppers wrapped in whisper-thin strips of serrano ham ($1.50), or pork belly sliders ($4) with crunchy slaw, or Linguica sausage ($4) paired with beer mustard and house sauerkraut with focaccia toasts.
THE BLOGS: Dine With Shayda trekked to Round Rock for Svante’s stuffed burgers, and Mike Sutter went for lobster tacos from Alcomar as his taco journey winds down.