Matthew Odam visits Fixe for The Statesman this week, where he finds warm service but an atmosphere of theme park Southern charm. The space is "one of the loudest restaurants in Austin" and the kitchen's experimentation with Southern flavors delivers both hits and misses. On the "indoor porch:"
The anteroom of the modern building presents like a faux front porch, replete with rocking chair, and the dimly lit and expansive space fronted by a massive bar is dotted with quaint touches like old dishes and distressed fixtures intended to give the sense of history and character. But the large restaurant teems with a rambunctious energy usually found at downtown hot spots, the rusticity rattled by a see-and-be-seen vibe. The result is an odd hybrid that feels part themed steakhouse and part tourist exhibit honoring the American South, rather than an organic representation of the region.
Brandon Watson of The Chronicle scorches newly opened 416 Bar & Grille for their "culinary camp." While the service is friendly and the drinks are good, the food is a baffling disappointment. On the deconstructed nachos:
Deconstruction has for at least a decade wound up on lists of regrettable dining trends, but somehow never completely lost its appeal to a generation of chefs looking for a novel way to write paragraphs with a relatively limited vocabulary. At its best, the technique smartly evokes sense and memory, but it is more often merely a collection of components - the kind of thing a toddler would create if he insisted his vegetables could not touch on the plate. 416's falls in the latter camp - separating the stoner classic into a bowl of fried tortilla wedges and a separate plate housing four tiny stainless ramekins of sour cream, queso, pico, and salsa.